At a stretch, age isn't that important

By Anne-Marie Emerson

Theodora Gotz is proof that age is no barrier to competition.

The 67-year-old from Auckland competed in the floor, bar, and beam categories of gymsport at the Boys & Girls Gym Club in the weekend.

Even some of Mrs Gotz's fellow competitors - several decades her junior - are amazed when she slides into the splits as part of her warm-up.

Mrs Gotz is a member of Tri Star Gymnastics and has competed in the Masters Games four times.

She began competing in gymnastics in her youth, and as she got older, moved into coaching and judging.

"I picked up the Masters just for fun and to help keep me lean," she said. "And I really enjoy watching the other gymnasts compete."

Mrs Gotz trains twice a week, although she ups the training before competitions.

"At my age, I am very, very careful not to be injured. I make sure I stretch well."

She does not see her age as a hindrance, and hopes her presence might inspire other older people to take part in gymsports. "I would like to provide an incentive for older people to participate," she said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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