Gymnastics Australia 2021 Award Winners

Gymnastics Australia would like to honour the achievements of Dr Kathy Yu, who has been elevated to Life Member status of Gymnastics Australia. 

Dr Kathy has been involved with gymnastics since the 1980’s, her involvement beginning as an athlete in the sport. She then went on to become the Co-Chief Medical Officer at Gymnastics Australia for 9 years and then Chief Medical Officer from 2016-2021. 

During her time in these roles, Dr Kathy was an advocate for the education and awareness of gymnastics throughout the medical community. She identified many learning opportunities for medical professionals to help athletes perform at their best. Her endless want to educate her fellow health professionals was seen through her daily tutorials at Australian Gymnastics Championships to help upskill the other physiotherapists and doctors within the network.

She also provided leadership to the network of medical professionals and staff working with the recognised Gymnastics Australia High Performance programs. 
Through 2020 and 2021, Dr Kathy held conferences, participated in webinars, and wrote informative documents helping athletes get back into the gym after long periods away from the sport due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside national physiotherapists and the AIS Sports Strength and Conditioning team, Dr Kathy assisted in the development of The Gymnastics Australia Return to Training Guidelines.

Gymnastics Australia would also like to highlight and applaud the achievements of three members of our community, who have been elevated to the Gymnastics Australia Hall of Fame.

Janice Bedford
is known throughout the gymnastics community as a legend, due to her contributions and achievements throughout the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s in which she won four consecutive National All-Around titles, as well as several apparatus gold medals. 

Janice represented Australia at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and was the captain of the women’s team who competed at a World Championships in 1970. This appointment was a reflection of the respect and trust in her given by the Australian Women’s Artistic Gymnastics community.

She was included as a Roll of Honour Australian athlete by the Australia Gymnastics Federation (AGF) in 1989. Following her retirement from the sport, Janice continued to be actively involved from contributing as a Judge, Coach and Women’s Technical Committee member for 11 years. 

Dominic Clarke has represented Australia since he was 12 years old at both Senior World Championships and World Age Championships where he has been a finalist on three occasions.

At his first senior World Championship in 2015, Dominic competed in the final in the Synchronised Trampoline event with his partner Matt Weal placing 4th.
In 2019, Dominic represented his country yet again in the all-around teams final where Australia placed 5th.

Dominic competed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics placing 4th after the preliminary round, being the 1st Australian to make the final since Ji Wallace in 2000. He then finished the final in 8th place. 

Dominic is also an ambassador for the rights of the LGBTQI community, raising awareness and respect.

Belinda Cox has been highly involved in Trampoline Gymnastics as a coach at the National level since 1990 and has been on World Age Teams from 1990 – 2008. During her career, Belinda has successfully coached many athletes to World Age Championships and World Championships including coaching 6 Gold Medals at World Age.

Other major achievements for Belinda as a coach have been coaching Abbie Watts to the final and placing 5th in Nanjing at the Youth Olympic Games and most recently, coaching Dominic Clarke to the Tokyo Olympics final where he finished in 8th place.

Belinda has not only been involved with coaching at a national level she is also the NSW High Performance Head Coach and has been Head Coach for the NSW State Team at Australian Championships for a number of years.

As a well-respected member of the community, she spends time mentoring younger coaches and judges so they can improve their skills.

Gymnastics Australia would also like to highlight the work of John Hart, who has been awarded the Award of Merit
John Hart has been a Women’s Artistic Gymnastics coach since 1995. In recent years John has been a significant contributor to High Performance gymnastics for both Victoria and Australia. 

As one of the most highly regarded coaches in the country, John has been heavily involved in National Squad Camps, trips and leadership groups and is willing to provide advice, consultation and guidance to other coaches, staff, and athletes. 

Throughout his highly regarded and exceptional coaching John has assisted Australia to have consistent representation at Benchmark events and notably he is the only Australian WAG Coach to have had representatives at the four most recent Olympic Games.

We also wish to highlight the achievements of Emily Whitehead, who has won the Gymnasts Choice award for 2021. 
Emily’s outstanding contribution to gymnastics in Australia has been as both an Olympian and community role-model. Her determination, resilience and commitment are well respected, but it is her commitment to give back to the gymnastics community which is equally admired. She is extremely generous and passionate in volunteering her time, attending numerous events to promote gymnastics for up-and-coming gymnasts. 

Gymnastics Australia would like to congratulate the work of Michelle Mason, who has been awarded the Special Recognition Award. 
Playing an integral role in the creation of the 2020-2023 Acrobatics Australian Levels Program, Michelle went above and beyond to ensure the successful implementation of the program. Furthermore, Michelle in her role as National Judging Coordinator has also played an important role in ensuring all judges have been mentored and are confident in the new program. Michelle has also judged at 20 Australian Gymnastics Championships.

Furthermore, we wish to congratulate the a number of our athletes, who have been selected as award winners in their given Gymsports. The full list of Gymsport winners can be found here