Francesca Daboul, 8, started gymnastics when she was three and has taken a liking to the uneven bars, vault and beam.
Francesca Daboul, 8, started gymnastics when she was three and has taken a liking to the uneven bars, vault and beam. Jake Jones

Cartwheels on the beam? No worries for young gymnast

GYMNASTICS: FRANCESCA Daboul's next gymnastics conquest is to perfect doing cartwheels on the beam; something which doesn't scare her at all.

The eight-year-old has no fear of trying anything on any apparatus at the Gladstone Gymnastics Club.

Even a fall from quite a height has not stopped Francesca's determination to improve.

"On the uneven bars I hurt myself once. I slipped and hit my head on the mat," she said.

A few incidents have been shaken off in the five years Francesca has been in the sport, which she began because she wanted to try a sport and it allowed kids so young to join.

She has tried swimming since, but decided to stop it to make all the training for gymnastics.

She trains three days a week, in addition to travelling for competitions.

Francesca has been to two meets outside of Gladstone so far, in Brisbane and Bundaberg.

The trips have added to her collection of achievements.

"I went really well, I was sixth on floor, third on vault, second on bars and fifth overall," she said.

"Here in Gladstone I once came second overall and first on beam and bars, but that was ages ago."

Next for Francesca is Yeppoon, where she is hopeful on continuing her improvement, and maybe show off the cartwheel on the beam.

She has two more weeks to get it ready.

The other part of her development is making sure she is flexible.

Francesca does a lot of that work at home on her days off the gym, with the help of her parents.

"I do heaps of stretches because my shoulders are not that flexible and I need to work on them a lot," she said.

"Mum and Dad help me with my bridge, getting me in the right position."



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