Russian coach aims to get gymnasts to the top
TO Gladstone locals, the past two months have been a bit cold but, for Max Barabach, the weather has been perfect.
Barabach is from Russia - Siberia to be exact - and has lived in Melbourne and Canberra for all of his many years in Australia.
The warmth of Queensland is therefore giving him a change.
It is not the only big change in the Russian's life though, after joining the Gladstone Gymnastics Club as one of many high-level coaches.
Having come from a high-performance centre where all gymnasts were hand-picked, the switch back to club level has increased his motivation.
"We didn't have as many numbers there; here are more different levels and more variety," Barabach said.
"I really like working with a large number of gymnasts."
The son of two gymnasts and with a sister coaching in Melbourne, Barabach comes to Gladstone well credentialed and as a highly sought-after coach.
Though he missed out on Olympic level, Barabach now wants to focus on getting Gladstone's hopefuls to the top level and beyond where his dreams reached.
"We are looking forward to better results at state and national level and the priority is to get medals," Barabach said.
"To get more gymnasts to level 10 would be great."
After two months in the Gladstone gym, Barabach knows he will be around for a lot longer.
He is even suggesting to his sister that Gladstone may be a good place to work, so the local club may soon have another Russian coach.