In Memory of Edith Peluso

 

It is with a heavy heart that Gymnastics NSW mourns the loss but also celebrates the life of Gymnastics NSW Life Member, coach, educator, mentor, and friend to New South Wales, Edith Peluso.

A pillar of growth for rhythmic gymnastics not only in New South Wales but all of Australia, Edith was the head coach of the highly successful NSWIS rhythmic gymnastics high performance program from 1990 until 1998. She then led the successful MLC Olympic program out of Burwood, NSW until 2005 before relocating to Queensland to join the Morton Bay College program.

Recognising the importance of reaching out to country areas, Edith promoted the growth of the sport not only in metropolitan Sydney but also regional New South Wales. In fact, of the athletes she coached through to the Commonwealth Games Katie Sigsworth and Leigh Marning were from Taree and Shaneez Johnston and later her sister Naazmi were originally from Lismore. Katie, Shaneez and Naazmi stayed with Edith for periods of time to enable their participation in high performance sport. At the ’94 Commonwealth Games 2/3 of the team were coached by Edith. Leigh Marning and Katie Mitchell (Sigsworth) were members of the Australian team that placed second, with Leigh placing 4th AA and 3rd in clubs. At the ’98 Commonwealth Games team Shaneez Johnston and Danielle LeRay) were coached by Edith (Leigh Marning by then was coached by another coach) with the team placing 3rd, and Leigh Marning 2nd AA, 2nd Rope and 3rd Hoop, and Shaneez 3rd AA, 2nd clubs and 2nd ribbon.

Dani LeRay then went on to represent Australia at the 2000 Olympic Games, under Katie Mitchell (Sigsworth).

Naazmi Johnston was coached by Edith for a number of years in Queensland and represented Australia at 2008 Olympics under Gina Peluso (Edith’s daughter) but Edith remained heavily involved. Naazmi then returned to Sydney where she was coached by Dani LeRay and went on to place the highest individual AA place at the RG World Championships (30th) almost securing a finals position, and 1st AA, 1st team, 1st ribbon, 2nd rope and 4th hoop at the 2010 Commonwealth Games – an event that saw Naazmi win the most gold and most medals by any NSW athlete in any sport at that event.

Dani Prince was coached by Edith and represented Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and was part of gold medal winning team, she went on to place 5th AA at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and represented Australia at the 2016 Olympics. Dani then relocated to Sydney and under coach Dani LeRay was part of the team that placed 3rd at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Edith’s contribution to gymnastics in NSW and Australia is truly outstanding, but to Gymnastics NSW Edith was much more than this list of truly remarkable achievements. Edith was as gracious as she was strong and was always committed to the growth, development and success of rhythmic gymnastics not only in New South Wales but all of Australia.

Actively involved in relocating a number of leading coaches to Australia for squad clinics, camps or to join the NSWIS coaching team, Edith was also determined to gain exposure and success internationally by attending many international events with her talented young athletes.

Edith knew the value of coach education and was actively involved in education for many years.

In many respects, the growth and success of rhythmic gymnastics in Australia today has been built upon the enduring and passionate contribution by Edith. Her legacy lives on through the many strong and confident women that she introduced to the sport and who continue to promote the sports growth and development.

Our thoughts and wishes go to her four daughters, one son and eleven grandchildren.