Alannah is a cheeky and confident 3-year old girl who is the heart and glue of the Gilbert family. Born with three congenital limb deficiencies, people in the community could be forgiven for thinking that Alannah may not be as active as other kids her age. But in fact, the reality is quite the opposite.
Alannah loves to swim and try new gymnastics skills and she is one of many children whose physical development is thriving under the watchful eye of inclusive coaches at Peninsula Gymnastics.
Like most young children her age, Alannah gets bored staying at home too often, so gymnastics is a great sport for Alannah to develop different ways of using her body in a safe environment.
Missing a hand and half a leg can be challenging for Alannah, but she never ceases to amaze her parents, gymnastics coaches and her KinderGym classmates.
Full of spunk and determination, Alannah is treated like every other child in the gym.
According to Alannah’s mother Michelle, the coaches at Peninsula Gymnastics encourage Alannah to figure out different ways of accomplishing the activities, such as monkey bars, with other parts of her body.
“Alannah loves jumping on the trampoline, and it’s been great for her confidence to learn how to keep her balance and stay on her feet, as it’s a lot harder for her than whole-bodied children,” said Michelle.
With experience in exercise and sports science, Michelle is an advocator of gymnastics for young children and believes it’s one of the best sports for physical development, especially for young children with disability.
Michelle’s view is supported by Director of Peninsula Gymnastics, Tim Robertson.
“Gymnastics is a sport for everybody of all ages and abilities,” said Tim.
“When we first met Michelle and her daughter Alannah, we knew that with her confidence and determination to give everything a go, we would be able to teach Alannah different ways to use her body despite having limited use of her legs and hands.”
“Alannah is a remarkable example of what a child can achieve with support, a positive attitude and confidence to give sport a go, despite a disability.”
Gymnastics is the foundation for all sport development in young children.
Click here to find out more about Peninsula Gymnastics and the services they offer as an inclusive club for people of all ages and abilities.
For more information about inclusive gymnastics, click here.