QGSSSA Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships Preview

The QGSSSA Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships will take place this Friday the 5th of August at Moreton Bay College.

Rhythmic Gymnastics is an annual, one-day QGSSSA Championship event held in Term 3 with six of the ten affiliated schools participating. Girls compete in Open Pairs, Open Groups, A Grade, B Grade, Year 8 and Year 7 competitions.

Competing schools and Rhythmic Gymnastics Captains for 2022 are:

BRISBANE GIRLS GRAMMAR SCHOOL: Katherine Chuang and Milly Maruoka

BRISBANE STATE HIGH SCHOOL: Grace Hampson and Taylah Hart Phillips

IPSWICH GIRLS’ GRAMMAR SCHOOL: Brooke Marshall and Gorji Turner

MORETON BAY COLLEGE: Aileen Chiang and Milana George


ST PETERS LUTHERAN COLLEGE: Jessica Logan and Matilda Bishop (C) and Karina Harrison (VC)

Last year’s QGSSSA Championships saw Brisbane Girls Grammar School perform particularly well with wins in the A Grade, B Grade, Year 7 and Year 8 (ii) Divisions. The team will be looking to build on these successful results in 2022, and have been finessing their routines under Coach Anya Tabolkina who has been working with BGGS for a decade, and is also a Head Coach at Aspire Gymnastics in Brisbane.

Host school Moreton Bay College is well versed in gymnastics and boasts an impressive lineage of Rhythmic Gymnasts, including past students and Tokyo Olympians Lidiia Lakovleva, Alannah Matthews and Himeka Onodo. Lidiia Lakoveleva is currently in Birmingham competing for Australia at her debut Commonwealth Games.

International Coach, Gina Peluso has been at MBC since 2006 and has trained and mentored countless young athletes to Rhythmic success. Gina is a passionate supporter of grass roots Rhythmic Gymnastics and enjoys coaching the school aged girls as well as being responsible for our stars at a top international level, including being an Australian Coach at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“The unique thing about Rhythmic Gymnastics is that it is one of very few female-only sports, it is also a very inclusive sport that attracts dancers due to the movements involved. Rhythmic is also popular with girls from other sports such as hockey or basketball who can work the hand-held apparatus skilfully due to their good hand-eye coordination” she said. This is evidenced by girls such as Athletics superstar Charlize Goody and AFL and RG Captain Gorji Turner from Ipswich Girls Grammar or national level Mountain Biker and competitive High Jumper, Swimmer and Basketballer, Ella Menigoz from St Margaret’s. Brisbane State High School will also have a myriad of high-level gymnasts and multi-sport athletes gearing up for this Friday.

Moreton Bay will have some stand-out Rhythmic Gymnasts performing including RG Captain Aileen Chiang and her sister Doreen who are in their final year of school. Both athletes have completed Level 10 in 2022 Aileen in Rhythmic Gymnastics and Doreen in Womens Artistic Gymnastics. Aileen
has achieved State Team representation for Rhythmic Gymnastics in the 2021-22 seasons, medalling in the teams events both years. The sisters are very excited to be performing as a pair in their final QGSSSA competition.
In addition to the Chiang sisters, expect to see spectacular displays from other MBC athletes such as Polina Leonova who is a Junior International Athlete. Polina will take to the floor in the Open Grade Pairs with Ball as her apparatus, and also Jasmine Reichhart who is a Senior International Athlete and will be competing in the Open Grade Pairs, Hoop. Joining these girls will be athletes to watch including Sophie Blackwell, Year 7, Abby Greenwood in Year 9 and Year 10 students Tillie Moyle and Jamie Cupitt.

St Margaret’s also enjoys a strong Rhythmic Gymnastics following at its Ascot campus, and the school is on the rise in terms of its success in this niche sport. Last year St Margaret’s picked up a pennant in the Year 8 (i) Division and the school will be hoping for another Pennant to display in the cabinet following this event.

The St Margaret’s programme is run by accomplished International Coach Heather Lane, who is well known in Australian Rhythmic Gymnastics circles and the owner of River City Rhythmic Gymnastics in Brisbane. Heather has been selected as an RG Team Future Coach at the AIS and assistant Team Coach for the RG Queensland State Team.

Ms Lane has two daughters who are also involved in the St Margaret’s programme. Brooke Lane is RG Captain and will be competing this Friday, and Alexis Lane is a Lead Coach at St Margaret’s and a very accomplished Rhythmic Gymnast in her spare time. Alexis has been participating in Rhythmic Gymnastics since she was six years old and has represented Australia four times. Both Alexis and Brooke have ambitions to continue to perform and compete on the world stage with their sights set on upcoming competitions in America and World Championships in 2024.

The QGSSSA competitors will have some incredibly experienced Judges overseeing the event, including Vanessa Polgase who is the Gym Queensland RG Gymsport Manager, and has worked closely with our schools in preparation for this Event. Joining Vanessa will be other accomplished Judges including Anya Tabolkina and Nikki Robbins of Premiere Gymnastics, and former Brisbane Girls Grammar teacher. Chris Ruston the CEO of Gym Queensland will also be in attendance.

Alongside our QGSSSA athletes the crowd will witness a performance from Ainsley Barker who graduated from Moreton Bay College in 2021. Ainsley is a successful Individual National Level 10 Australian Champion and this year, in tandem with her University studies, Ainsley has progressed her Rhythmic career to achieve an International ranking in “Group”. Ainsley and her team are current Australian Champions and have been selected for World Championships in September. The World Championships is the first-round Oceanic selection for 2024 Paris Olympics. Ainsley competed for six consecutive years in QGSSSA and is looking forward to returning to support the younger athletes in the sport she loves.

Rhythmic gymnastics makes for a fantastic spectator sport with routines full of precision and flair. To find out more about the QGSSSA Championships and how to witness the best of the best demonstrating their skills please visit www.qgsssa.com.au and follow “qgsssa” on Instagram and Facebook for updates during the Championships.

Susan Uhlmann
QGSSSA Content Coordinator
Wednesday, 3 August 2022