NINE determined students from St Mary's College, Ipswich, have defended their title at this year's FISAF National Sports Aerobics Championships, held at the Chandler Theatre,
Impressing judges with their stunning, highly energetic performances, the team were eager to retain their title after being crowned National Champions last year, the first-time they had entered such a competition.
And the team, Rebekah Ahrens, Lara Bell, Edyn Hutchinson, Elouise McDonald, Alexa Murrin, Regan Pike, Mackenzie Smith, Keira Smith and Kate Sotiriadis, did not disappoint.
At the beginning of 2017 they had a dream - to form a sports aerobics team within St Mary's College.
They approached Principal Judith Finan for backing.
Mrs Finan was incredibly supportive of the students establishing a team and helped source a coach, former St Mary's student Emily Heuer.
On their first attempt at the national finals the St Mary's team claimed top honours in the Secondary Schools Pre-Choreographed Team division with their quality performances.
This year the team returned to try and retain their national crown, training harder and perfecting their routines, under the watchful eyes of coach Emily and St Mary's College dance teacher Courtney Crack.
After a solid effort getting through regionals and states, it was time to defend their title at the National Finals.
However, this time they felt some added pressure.
They were no longer an unknown entity, but the defending champs.
With a six-hour delay before judging took place it was an anxious wait for the team.
But they were overwhelmed when they heard the words … “and the winning team is … St Mary's College".
They had reclaimed the coveted Secondary Schools Pre-Choreographed Team division title.
They had also narrowly missed out on being crowned national champions in the Secondary Schools Large Team division, coming second.
Team member Alexa Murrin said they all knew the other teams were watching them, so they needed to prove themselves.
The 15-year-old said with that added pressure in mind, the team members pulled together and performed harder than ever before.
“We really enjoyed the performance and knew we did all that we could," Alexa said.
Mrs Finan said she was delighted when she heard the news.
“It is humbling to see our girls chase a dream and reap the benefits of their hard work," she said.
“I want all girls to look at new opportunities and encourage them to continue to bring new programs to our college."
The team will enjoy a break before they get back into training for competitions in 2019.
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