Aerobics hits national level

Teams competed in Geelong on Sunday 19 June. Photos: SUPPLIED

By Jamie Salter, Tess Gilbert and Shelby Brooks

Proving the ’80s never goes out of style, dancers from Pakenham’s John Henry Primary School are heading to the Australian School Aerobics Championships on the Gold Coast.

Five aerobics teams made it to the national finals following their success at the state competition held on Sunday 19 June, where the school took home a first place and two second places.

Coaches Adele Mepstead and Alice Robjant said they couldn’t be prouder.

“Sunday was very nerve-racking. It was amazing to see them commit to something that does take up their time and it’s been so great to see them improve – they just love it,“ Alice said.

Adele described aerobics as dance routine with high energy movements.

“Think of an ’80s dance class put into a routine,“ she said.

The school first formed its aerobics team in 2017 and has qualified for nationals every year since.

This year is the school’s most successful result, with 36 students and five coaches heading to the national competition in August.

“Last time we went to nationals we all cried because our team got in. It’s just so amazing,“ Adele said.

The students have been training five days a week at every recess since the start of the year.

“It’s a big commitment from the kids to give up their recess, but they love doing it,“ Alice said.

Throughout two years of Covid-19, the school filmed its aerobics routines and entered the competitions online, taking part in nationals in 2020 and 2021.

Alice said aerobics was a great way to promote healthy lifestyles for the students.

“It’s really encouraging students to be active in others ways that they may not normally be able to participate if they’re not into team sports,“ she said.

The students are now gearing up to attend the four day national competition.

“A lot of parents use the opportunity to go on a family holiday; the parents really love to support and come up,“ Alice said.

“Excitement is spreading across the whole school because there’s so many different opportunities for them.“