Gymnast Zhea is queen of the vault after winning gold

Zhea Patrick, 11, of Grassy Park, won gold at the South African Gym Games national championships earlier this month.

Zhea Patrick, 11, of Grassy Park, won gold at the South African Gym Games national championships earlier this month.

Zhea was 7 when she started discovering her love for gymnastics with the monkey bars and fireman’s pole at primary school and her trampoline at home, which she would spend hours on, trying out new stunts, says her mother, Rozette Patrick.

She describes her daughter as fearless, brave and motivated to succeed.

Zhea joined the Future Stars gymnastics club in Lansdowne in 2019 and at the Western Cape Gymnastics Association championships in Saldanha Bay last month she competed in the bar, beam, vault and floor disciplines and came first for her vault routine and was awarded her provincial colours for gymnastics.

Representing her province at the national champs in Gauteng earlier this month, she came first in the under-11 age group for her vault routine

“We are proud of Zhea and her achievements. All her hard work, perseverance, hours of training at the club and at home have all been a journey,” says Ms Patrick.

Zhea says gymnastics has made her more confident and she enjoys the challenge that comes with it. She hopes to compete internationally one day and represent her country.

“I would like to encourage all young people, girls and boys to follow your dreams, reach for the stars. Only your determination will allow you to achieve. Focus on the outcome, not the obstacle.”

Zhea’s coach, Enrico Marinus, says Zhea is hard-working and intent on improving her gymnastics.

“I couldn’t be more proud of her. She has shown us what perseverance and hard work can do. Well done, Zhea, and all our other kids who went to nationals and won medals.”