Peluso family continue to inspire
For Rhythmic Gymnastics in Australia, one family stands out above the rest. The Peluso family.
Gina Peluso, daughter of rhythmic pioneer, Edith, is the current mastermind of this generation of rhythmic gymnasts across the country.
So much so, she has just made history with Australia’s first Rhythmic Gymnastics Group to compete at the Olympic level.
Gina’s contribution to the sport has been immense; not only has her 36-year tenure inspired thousands of budding gymnasts, she has also played a pivotal role in the journeys of Olympians, Naazmi Johnston and Danielle Prince.
Reflecting on her changing involvement in the sport; moving from individual to group, Gina touched on the impact her late mother has had.
“It has been a 25-year coaching ambition for both my late mum, Edith, and myself.
“To be at an Olympic Games with a group is very special to me,” Gina said.
The group setting comes with its challenges however, as Gina continued explaining.
“I love working with a team, trying to bring five individuals together as one is very challenging, but so exciting.
“Australia is only taking baby steps in the group Rhythmic Gymnastics, so we have a lot to learn and everything to gain from this years’ experience.
“It’s trying to get 5 minds working as a single organism,” Gina said as she quoted her mother.
The journey and formation of Australia’s first-ever Rhythmic Gymnastics Group to compete at the Olympics has been unique, however Gina notes none of it would be possible without the unwavering support of the group’s club, family and friends.
“To have five rhythmic gymnasts who started as individuals in the National Levels stream, to then be presented with an idea of a possible Olympics berth as a Group is a credit to them.
“To focus on this goal for the last five years, have the support of our club, Premier Gymnastics and the families who were all driven and financed this ambition has been amazing.”
Team captain, Alannah Mathews praised Gina and the Peluso family for their continued support and dedication to the growth of their Group.
“Gina and Edith began coaching me when I was only 10 years old and made sure I learned the fundamental basics needed for any gymnast.
“As I got older, they showed belief that I could one day represent Australia on an international floor and that is what initially lit the fire in my belly.
“Continuous years of support from these two women has given my team and I the confidence to reach for the goal of competing at the Olympic Games,” Mathews said.
On Saturday, the Australian rhythmic community watched in awe as Alannah, Felicity, Himeka, Alexia and Emily took to the Olympic floor for the first time.
”To have the whole Australian Rhythmic Gymnastics community supporting, pushing, and cheering for us with clubs, coaches, judges, with State and National Commissions behind us as we stand here on this stage, it’s truly amazing.
“It’s an honour to represent Australia at this event on behalf of our community and for our families, living and passed.
“We hope to perform our best for you,” Gina concluded.