They've spent countless hours of hard work to prepare for the 2018 New Zealand Gymnastics Championships - and now it's up to each of the Bay of Plenty representative gymnasts to keep their mind clear and perform as they have practised.

The champs get under way at Mount Maunganui's ASB Arena today and will run until Saturday, with more than 1000 athletes from around the country competing across five sports over the four days.

Among those athletes are dozens of gymnasts from clubs around the Bay of Plenty who have been selected to represent the region at the national competition based on their results from competitions throughout the year. About 21 are artistic gymnasts.

Ebony Matenga from Impact Gymsport Academy is part of the Bay of Plenty's coaching team and will be on the floor with about 14 girls competing in the artistic gymnastics - 10 from her club.


However, Matenga says it's not about the clubs when it comes down to competing at nationals, it's about ensuring every athlete is prepared as a team.

"You coach everybody," Matenga says.

Artistic gymnastics is an all-around code requiring strength, precision, rhythm, flexibility concentration, expression and more using the vault, bars, beam and floor.

"It's a lot different to every other code," she says.

Matenga says all of the gymnasts she has been working with have put in the hard work and have what it takes to do well in the competition, but at the end of the day it comes down to each keeping their mind clear and staying focused.

"They're pretty excited, but they're nervous at the same time."

And Matenga is just as excited as the kids she coaches. Those young athletes spend at least 16 hours a week preparing for this week's competition, and she is looking forward to seeing all of the hard work and dedication they invest pay off.

"All I want them to feel is to feel proud."


Matenga, 25, who has been involved in gymnastics since the age of 8 and competing until she was 18, knows the pride a young gymnast can feel.

The former Tauranga Girls' College has represented the Bay of Plenty for many years, but her gymnastics highlight is having represented New Zealand twice in that time.

As a coach, her career highlight to date is having one of her athletes Charlise Bryne becoming a national champ.

Matenga, who travelled and coached in Perth for 18 months gaining experience before moving home in 2015, is the head coach at Impact Gymsport Academy. She now has a squad of 85 gymnasts training under her programme.

The artistic gymnasts Ebony Matenga has been coaching:
Maddison Brick, Amber Trusler, Tayla Hopkins, Kaley Rawson, Molly Matthews, Reece Cobb, Maya Reynal-O'Connor, Madeleine Ramsey, Charlise Bryne, Brooke Tomeleski, Jasmine Watene, Taliyah Carter, India Jarden, Medea Jones