16-year-old Emma Tindale of Rotorua’s Mid Island Gym Sports will travel to Bulgaria in November. Photo / Laura Smith
A Taupō teenager will burst onto the world stage to represent New Zealand at the World Age Group Championships in Bulgaria this November.
16-year-old Emma Tindale of Rotorua’s Mid Island Gym Sports became the first from her gym to represent the country at a World Cup in 43 years.
The last athlete to do so was Mid Island Women’s Artistic Coach Lynette Farkash.
TIndale will be teetering in the 15-16 age group.
The athlete has been doing gymnastics in Rotorua for four years, but has been a gymnast since she was seven. She joined the Rotorua gym when her trainer moved away in Taupō.
“It worked out pretty well.”
She saw the fast-paced sport as unique and loved the challenge that came with it.
“Pretty much every competition has a lot of adrenaline.”
Tindale said she gravitates toward niche sports that are tougher.
People were always interested in knowing how it moved through the air.
“Not many people can do a backflip, not many people can cartwheel.”
The selection process for the world competition was long, but the final stage was when she competed in the NZ Gymnastics Championships in Invercargill in July.
Then, about a week ago, she got the message.
Awaiting a letter, it was a moment of surprise when her mother received an email informing her of the selection.
“Mum just got this email and she’s like, ‘Oh,’ and I was like, ‘What’s that?’
“And she’s like, ‘You got picked, yay’.”
Her enthusiasm for overseas competitions didn’t come from the start, she said.
Having had the opportunity to do so in recent years, Tindale was unwilling to leave due to the expense and lack of confidence.
She said she would give up the sport over the next few years.
“I just want to make the best of it while I can. I don’t think everyone gets this opportunity, so I might as well take advantage of it.”
While some categories had set routines, this was not the case with her. This meant she had the opportunity to be creative in creating the routine herself.
She wasn’t sure what that would entail, but she and her coach had ideas.
“My style is that I learn a skill a day or two beforehand and try it.”
The trip would cost between $5,000 and $8,000 and would be self-funded.
A Givealittle page was created to raise the money.