Gymnastics and Y11 is a real balancing act
Off to the Games: Amy Quinn. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

For Amy Quinn, balancing six demanding Year 11 subjects with the pressures of competing at the highest level in rhythmic gymnastics requires just as much flexibility as some of her routines.

The 16-year-old Penrhos College student is the youngest member of the Australian rhythmic gymnastics team competing at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next month - and one of the youngest ever after Kasumi Takahashi, who competed in 1994 aged 14.

As well as training 20 hours a week, Amy studies maths, English, chemistry, physics, human biology and Japanese.

"I've missed a lot of school," she said. "This term I've only been to school 12 days because I've been overseas in Amsterdam, then at nationals and then the training camp last week."

Amy said even though it was difficult to juggle training and competition with her studies, her teachers and friends helped her keep up by emailing what they did in class.

"I can catch up, though I have to work really hard when I get back and before I go away," she said.

Penrhos had also allowed her to skip the midyear exams.

On a normal day Amy attends school then goes straight to training from 4pm to 7pm, followed by dinner, homework and bed.

The Applecross teenager, who followed her elder sister into rhythmic gymnastics when she was 10, said she would not be able to work so hard at the sport if she didn't love it. "If you don't enjoy it, then you can't commit to this kind of level," she said.

Amy said the hoop was her favourite piece of equipment.

"It's one of the hardest apparatus because there are so many different things that you can do with it, like flicks and throws, and it always has to be moving, but I just find it the easiest," she said.

The West Australian

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