Gymnast goes for gold in Dubai

Crystal Viljoen at the SA Gym Games 2019.PHOTO: ONSITE IMAGE
Crystal Viljoen at the SA Gym Games 2019.PHOTO: ONSITE IMAGE

LADDSWORTH Primary School Grade 5 pupil Crystal Viljoen, who is a rhythmic gymnastic and ballet star, will be competing at the DuGymCup 2019 being held in Dubai next month.

Her participation at the event follows after Crystal won gold [Level 10/U15] at the SA Gym Games in September.

The prestigious DuGym Cup will be held from December 5 to December 7 and will feature world-class rhythmic gymnasts.

Speaking of Crystal’s love for gymnastics and ballet, her mother, Sonja Viljoen, said the teen started doing rhythmic gymnastics at the age of five.

“At this time she was attending only one-hour classes a week,” said Viljoen, who went on to say that Crystal started ballet in 2014 and was instructed in both Cecchetti and Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) ballet.

Listing Crystal’s achievements so far, Viljoen said in 2014 she won the Gauteng Championships for Level 1 and Level 2. She passed the High Performance test and received senior Gauteng colours and a bronze medal.

“Crystal also formed part of the KZN Rhythmic Gymnastics team that performed at the World Gymnaestrada , which was held in Dornbirn, Austria earlier this year. This was an amazing opportunity for her to meet gymnasts from all over the world,” said Viljoen.

Furthermore, Viljoen said another magical time for Crystal was when she formed part of the dance troupe from Art of Motion for the Sleeping Beauty pantomime in 2015, directed by Janice Honeyman, at the tender age of nine.

“This spectacular production ran to sold-out performances over seven weeks in the Mandela Theatre in Johannesburg. She performed alongside Chris Jaftha, who played the very handsome Prince; Michelle Botha: Timothy Moloi; Nicole Fortuin; and Tobie Cronjé,” said a proud Viljoen.

In order for Crystal to attend the Summer School of the American Academy of Ballet in New York in 2020, she had to perform at the American Performance Awards held at Epworth School recently.

She was awarded a gold medal and the Mignon Furman Award by the adjudicator.

In speaking about the upcoming event, Crystal said: “I was very excited to hear of the invitation to compete in Dubai and it is a great honour.

“I don’t know what to expect but I am hoping to achieve my personal best scores. I will be competing with ball and clubs, which are both my favourite apparatus,” said Crystal, adding that it will be a huge honour to compete on the same stage as the Olympians and world champions.

Crystal said she hopes to return with lots of experience and believes that the competition will make her stronger.

She also highlighted her brother Magnus’ support, saying he is equally deserving of her achievements.

Crystal does rhythmic training four times a week between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, ballet two to three times a week, as well as fitness and strength training.

The teen will travel to Dubai with her Durban-based head coach and owner of Ocean Rhythmic Gymnastics, Robyn Múeller.

Laddsworth Primary School public relations officer Addy Tilbury said the school is very proud of Crystal’s achievements and wishes her all the best for the Dubai event.

Continue to aim high Crystal!

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