Published Wednesday 25 June 2014

The Gymnastics Team for Glasgow 2014 has been announced,  Brittany Robertson, David Bishop and Courtney McGregor talk to us about what it means to be selected to represent New Zealand.

1. How does wearing the Silver Fern give you strength?

Brittany:  Wearing the silver fern gives me strength knowing that I am going out to compete with the support of the nation behind me, it also gives me that extra push to perform to the very best of my abilities to make my country proud.  

David: Wearing the Silver Fern is a great motivator for me. It reminds me of all of the great New Zealand athletes that have achieved such amazing accomplishments under the same Fern. It pushes me to strive to become my absolute best.

Courtney: Wearing the Silver Fern gives you a lot of strength because it is a constant reminder that the whole country is behind you. No matter where you are competing in the world you know that back home everyone is cheering you on.

2. What does representing New Zealand mean for you?

Brittany: Representing New Zealand means that all my hard work and commitment to my sport has been worth it. It is such an honour knowing I'm not only competing for myself but also for my country and I get to show the rest of the world what New Zealand has to offer. 

David: I am very proud to be a New Zealander. Every time I compete for my country I have the opportunity to make my country proud and I also have the ability to inspire young New Zealanders to do the same.

Courtney: Representing New Zealand is a huge achievement for any sportsperson. It's an amazing feeling to go out there wearing the silver fern and represent the country with pride.

3. What are 3 attributes that every Gymnast needs?

Brittany: Hard working, mentally tough and confident. 

David: Mental toughness/resilience, a passion for the sport, and an ability to conquer your fears. (It also helps if you’re short!)

Courtney: From my personal experience the top three attributes a gymnast needs are determination, courage and mental toughness. You have to be determined. You can't give up, no matter how hard it seems. Courage is a necessity when it comes to gymnastics! At the end of the day there comes a time where you can't prep a skill anymore you just have to be brave and give it a go. The outcome isn't always as expected, but you never know unless you try! And perhaps the most important attribute of all; mental toughness. No matter how talented you are physically, if you can't cope with the mental and emotional stresses of the sport you won't be successful.

4. How did you get into the sport?

Brittany: I was a very active child so took any chance I could to get my body moving; gymnastics was the perfect sport for that! I started gym when I was about 4 years old. My sister and I went along with some friends to try it out and I absolutely loved it! After a few classes as a recreational the competitive coaches asked me to join their group and I’ve continued with the sport ever since.

David: I started gymnastics at my local YMCA when I was about 6 years old. The coaches told my parents that it was too easy for me and I would better be suited doing competitive gymnastics and Tri Star Gymnastic Club in Mt Roskill which is where I still train now, 17 years later.

Courtney: When I was in preschool did some gymnastics classes for fun. Then when I started school I enrolled in recreational classes. The instructors thought I might have a bit of natural talent so I started competing soon after.

4. My inspirational thought?

Brittany: Follow your dreams, work hard and don't give up!  It will get tough at times but you have got to believe in yourself and push through it!

David: Without hard work there is only work. It is the hard part that makes all of that work worth it. 

Courtney: I have always loved the quote "Train insane or remain the same" If you want to be successful you need to work hard in the gym everyday. There is no other way to be successful other than by working hard and persevering.