National Spotlight Series
After claiming gold in the Level 7 Intermediate Individual event in the Aerobic National Championships, we caught up with MacKenzie Manev (PLC Sydney) and got an insight to her training schedule, goals in gymnastics and the people who have helped her get to where she is today.
When did you first start gymnastics and why?
When I was about 3, I seen a girl doing a cartwheel and after that all I wanted to do was learn how to do it. Every day I would practice and practice. When I was 5 I started recreational gymnastics, then went over to Artistic Gym for a few years. While watching some friends at an Aerobics Competition decided that it I’d like to give it a go, after a year trying to do both I decided to commit to Aerobics
How often do you train?
I train 4 days a week. Some days it can take up to an hour to get there.
Do you do any other sports or types of training?
Yes, I also do dancing and singing outside of Aerobics
Who is your gymnastics idol?
I do have a few that I idolise. Almost too many to name. Some I train with and others I see through competitions like Nationals. We are lucky to have some nice Senior athletes that take the time to encourage and support us.
What is the best experience you have had in the sport?
There is a few, but I would have to say that being selected to represent Australia at ANAC in July this year would have to be on top.
What was the best thing about National Championships 2019?
A highlight from these Championships would have to be winning a Gold Medal. It was a very hard competition this year with some great girls who made me work hard to achieve it. I was also awarded with my 5-year National representation Certificate which I appreciated.
Who would you thank the most for helping achieve your goals at National Championships and why?
I do have a few people that I couldn’t do this without.
My coach Gaia, she always pushed me to achieve more then what I thought possible. Having her believe in what I can do as an athlete makes her a great Coach.
My mum, is very supportive. She is a single parent and always tries her best to make sure I have everything I need. She loves me unconditionally, without her I couldn’t do what I do and achieve what I have.
My Nonna & Pa, without their love, support & help I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have been able to have in this sport.
What is your goal for the next 12 months in Gymnastics?
I will be aiming to try and perfect harder skills and hopefully keep improving on my routine. Maybe try to advance and work my way up to a higher level.
What has been the hardest thing to overcome so far in Gymnastics and how did you get through it?
In 2017 I changed gyms and then my biggest supporter Pa passed away from Pancreatic Cancer. 2018 I was thinking about walking away as I didn’t feel as passionate about the sport at that time, but I overcame this with determination to achieve a goal I set myself in 2016, to trial for ANAC, which this year I achieved my goal.
What do you do outside of the gym?
There isn’t a lot of time for hobbies, I started High School this year and keeping up with the homework or assessments can be hard some days. But when I do have time I like to read and just have some down time. I do like to go to the movies.
What do you love about gymnastics?
What I love about Aerobics is the challenges of learning and perfecting new skills, I am always trying to better myself to improve my routines. To perform a great routine and nailing all the skills and transitions is the best feeling. When you do a great routine, I feel on top of the world and all the training and hard work pays off. I love performing and showing the Judges how much I love being out there. Even though I get very nervous before hand I try to focus on what I need to do and give it my all. The friendships that you make along the way are wonderful as they understand the commitment it takes to get where you want to go.