Carter’s gymnast guru

2011-10-18 00:00

THE 15-year-old Carter High School Grade 9 pupil, Ryan Harrison, was recently named the Male Gymnast of the Year at the Carter Sports awards.

The Pietermaritzburg-born and bred Ryan won the gold medal for pommel and the bronze medal overall in his age category in South Africa, at the SA Gymnastics Games at the Belville Velodrome in Cape Town.

Ryan was also hoping for a medal in an apparatus. Last year he won gold for pommel at the same event in Pretoria. He has been awarded his KZN colours every year since 2008.

He trains at the Pieter-maritzburg Gymnastics Academy four days a week. His coaches are James Lawson and Sherry Pegler He also enjoys mountain biking and swimming.

Ryan became interested in gymnastics at the age of 10. After initially taking part in judo, he was watching gymnasts one day and felt that it was fun, so he took up the sport.

He gets his inspiration from his fellow­ club gymnasts and also in the greater gymnast community, all the way down to Pinetown. Gymnasts are a very close-knit group who spur each other on. The youngsters also get trained by experienced gymnasts who already have their sights set on Olympic Game participation.

Ryan’s biggest influences are his grandparents, Kelson­ and Moira Camp, and his uncle, Lloyd Camp, who support him and are positive influences in all he does.

Ryan would love to enter the Olympic Games one day, but in the meantime, aside from his busy training schedule, he is also a gymnastics coach at the club.

He also judged at the Junior­ Gymnastics Nationals in Bloemfontein in June.

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