In the lead up to his Australian Championships Tumbling debut, Nick Caruso has attended one of the best gymnastics clinics in the country.
Nick travelled to Sydney with his Deniliquin gymnastics coach Rachel Bucholtz to train at the Kachan School of Tumbling and Performance for a four day coaching/gymnast clinic from January 8-11.
At the school, Nick trained alongside some of Australia’s best gymnasts, led by Australian Tumbling team head coach Dima Kachan.
Bucholtz said it was a tremendous experience for both Nick and herself.
‘‘Dima was formerly in the Moscow circus before moving to Australia,’’ she said.
‘‘Two of his gymnasts were world champions with plenty more of his elite gymnasts competing at world championship events.
‘‘It was an eye-opening experience to be surrounded by such elite talent.
‘‘We witnessed athletes performing tricks such as double twisting double layouts within their tumbling passes and triple back saltos as their end skills.’’
The first day of the trip was for coach education only, with Bucholtz learning from the best.
The following three days saw the athletes train, with Bucholtz saying the Nick showed vast improvement throughout the week.
‘‘My goal for Nick was to work on his whips and twisting skills,’’ she said.
‘‘Nick also wanted to try a double back salto, which he got to try using their bungee and trampoline equipment.
‘‘I was extremely pleased with the progress he made by the end of the three training days.
‘‘In the end he was performing a full eight skill pass containing a round off, five whips and back handspring into a full twisting layout.’’
Nick also had the opportunity to meet young gymnast Alexa Kachan, who was featured on Channel 7’s Little Big Shots last year.
‘‘Nick got along really well with Alexa,’’ Bucholtz said.
‘‘It was a fantastic experience for both of us.
‘‘I was inspired by the owners who started out their business 10 years ago with 12 gymnasts in a shed with one tumble track.
‘‘Now they have world champions!’’
Nick also attended a second clinic at Palmer’s Gym in Bendigo from Monday to Thursday last week.
His mother Kylee Caruso said he learned some new skills at the clinic.
‘‘There’s another Australia Championships qualifier coming up later this month that he’s going to compete at despite already qualifying,’’ she said.
‘‘We also travel to Palmer’s Gym every Monday to train, where he gets one on one time with coaches.’’
Nick will attend a state training session at CYC Gymnastics in Melbourne on April 29 before competing at the Australian Gymnastics Championships at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, held from Monday, May 21 to Sunday, June 3.