Tuesday, 16 August, 2005 .........................Star Community Newspaper ..............................By Adrian Ceddia


VLADIMIR Shorinov has a plan for gymnasts in the Western Suburbs. Along with wife Yekaterina, both former Russian national coaches, they run Gymnastics Unlimited, a small but rapidly growing local club in Kealba. The gym is five years old and is still in the developmental phase, but is constantly on the lookout for new members in a bid to become one of the biggest centres in the western suburbs.

Originally from Russia, Vladimir and Yekaterina decided to remain in Australia after the 2000 Olympic Games, where they were involved as coaches, and have since worked tirelessly to provide a gymnastics facility for people of all ages to enjoy. Since the Olympics Shorimov and wife Yekaterina have been searching for a stable venue to accommodate their 100 students, having resorted to using school gymnasiums and community centres early on.

But last month Gymnastics Unlimited moved to its own venue, a factory in Kealba, which has all the space necessary to carry out the grand plan.

"We've always dreamed of having our own club and finally it's happened," he said. "For five years we've worked out of very limited facilities, and after looking for a permanent gymnasium we've now got it."

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The challenge now is to recruit another batch of gymnasts, until hopefully the gym has a strong enough team to take to major state and national competitions. A mark of the club's development was the result at a North West Region competition at Footscray YMCA recently, where five young members won gold medals.

The five competitiors, all girls aged between 10 and 14, went up against eight local gymnastics centres in one of the first competitive teams to come out of Gymnastics Unlimited. The result was the most encouraging to date, and was just reward for the preparation and dedication of the medallists.

"The girls were working very hard and we have good coaches," he said.

Vladimir says the future is bright now that it has secured a permanent facility, allowing them to enter stronger teams into competitions in the coming years.

"We've opened up many more competition groups because we have many more coaches and we have the opportunity to work every day," he said. "We've just started our competitive programs, and we will be applying for state and national competitions in the future."

Eventually Vladimir hopes to build the club up to a number of members above 400, but he admits it is a long-term proposition. Gymnastics Unlimited is located at factory four, 12 Malcolm Court, Kealba. For more information contact Vladimir on 8390 9089.