Two more secondary school-aged athletes will be representing New Zealand at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in April, with the selection of gymnasts Stella Ashcroft and Stella Ebert.
15-year-old women’s artistic athlete Stella Ashcroft from Christchurch School of Gymnastics has been selected to the team for her strengths in vault and beam.
Though going into her first senior year Stella is no stranger to podiums. 2016 saw her take bronze at the Pacific Rim Championships, before collecting a gold, silver, and a team bronze at the Junior Commonwealth Championships.
Last year Stella medalled at the Houston Invitational in the US, Australian Championships and Classic competitions and at the NZ Championships. Stella’s first competition as senior will be at the World Cup in Melbourne this month.
15-year-old Rhythmic gymnastics athlete Stella Ebert is also selected to the team. Stella’s junior career has gone from strength to strength, with the young athlete making finals in all her 2016 international competitions. She won three bronze medals at the Junior Commonwealth Championships and placed first overall in all her domestic competitions.
Last year was Stella’s first taste of senior competition and she placed first in all domestic senior competitions she attended.
The pair are the youngest athletes selected to the New Zealand team so far.
Ashcroft and Ebert add to the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics team to make a total of 7 athletes in the gymnastics contingent.
The naming takes the total number of selected athletes to 92.
Gold Coast 2018 will be Stella’s first Commonwealth Games and first senior international competition. Stella’s hometown is Auckland where she trains at Xtreme Rhythmix under coaches Marnie Sterner and Erica Thorby.
The last two years saw Stella take first place overall in all of her domestic competitions, including competing senior whilst junior in 2017. 8th place at the Pacific Rim Championships (USA) and Emeralds Cup (Greece) and three bronze medals at the Junior Commonwealth Championships. Stella is the current New Zealand Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion.
When Stella is not training or competing, she enjoys photography, baking healthy snacks and watching her favourite YouTubers.
Gold Coast 2018 will be Stella’s first Commonwealth Games. Born and bred Cantabrian, she trains at the Christchurch School of Gymnastics under coaches Terry and Tamara Walker.
The last two years saw Stella take a gold, silver and bronze at the Junior Commonwealth Championships, a bronze at the Pacific Rim Championships and more than a dozen other medals at competitions in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Stella is the current NZ Junior Women’s Artistic Champion going into her first senior year.
When she is not doing gymnastics, Stella enjoys drawing, baking and surfing.
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