Young gymnast to represent SA

Merrifield Preparatory School pupil Emma Fray, 11, has been selected to the national side at the South African Gymnastics Games that were held from September 30 to October 9.

Emma has been training nine hours a week throughout 2022 to achieve this feat. She is the only local gymnast from her age group in her club to have been selected to the side.

She competed at the three district competitions during the year, two of which were qualifiers for the games in October.

The gymnasts were required to score 7 or higher out of 10 for each of the four apparatus (floor, beam, bar and vault).

Emma qualified in the first two competitions but competed in the third to try better her qualifying score.

She said competing in the district rounds in Gqeberha against gymnasts exposed to different equipment and skill levels had been tough.

“I used to watch Simone Biles in the Olympics on YouTube with my cousins, and they helped me to learn how to do a round-off,” Emma said.

“I taught myself a lot of gymnastics skills on my trampoline at home.

“I finally started gymnastics with my best friend when we were six and we just kept pushing each other in comps and also in learning new skills. I love gymnastics. It relaxes me, so I think it’s easy for me to stay committed, even though it is very hard work.”

Her parents, Dr Gareth and Veronica Fray, are immensely proud of Emm’s achievement.

“The whole experience was surreal.

“It felt like we were at the Olympics!” said Veronica.

“Getting to that level, we were just beyond proud and asked only that she enjoy it.

“She is dedicated and driven. She is as hard on herself as the sport is on her body. But she absolutely loves it.

“And we are immensely proud of her.”

DREAM REALISED: Emma Fray at the South African Gymnastics Games Picture: SUPPLIED


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