NDGC ADMINISTRATION TEAM
NDGC COACHING TEAM
Anushke Van Niekerk
Zophia Di Prinzio
Brenton has been part of the WA gymnastics community since 1988 when his family moved to Perth from Brisbane at age 4. He started his gymnastics career at the Connie Burch Gymnastic Academy in Wangara as a KinderGymer, after a couple of years he was picked up by their competitive program and then transitioned to the WAIS Men’s Artistic Gymnastics program in 1993. Brenton went on to compete at the Senior level for Western Australia until he was 28 years old. Brenton has been an integral part of the NDGC Men’s coaching team since 2001 and currently co-coaches the Level 7 – 10 Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Teams. He holds a High Performance coaching accreditation, the highest level possible within the Gymnastics Australia accreditation framework.
Brenton has a decade long background in business, owning his own Dental Laboratory from 2007 – 2017 whilst maintaining his coaching career at NDGC. Brenton entered into a management rights agreement with the Board of NDGC in 2018 following the unsuccessful attempt to privatise the club. Brenton exercised his option under the management agreement to purchase the club from the parent run NDGC Board from the 1st Jan 2021 following a year of 21% membership growth in 2020. Brenton values a fun and inclusive gymnastics environment with a focus on participation and longevity within the sport. He is very approachable and happy to share his knowledge and experience with anyone who walks through the NDGC doors.
Director of Coaching
Ben is the Competitive Programs Manager at Northern Districts Gymnastic Club. He is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2011. For seven years he was the Manager of a Rehabilitation Gym specialising in musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation before stepping into his current position at NDGC.
Ben has been involved in Gymnastics for over 20 years in many roles, firstly as an athlete, before moving into the world of coaching at age 15. Ben became a part of the NDGC Coaching Team in 2016 and currently coaches the WAG Level 6 to Senior International athletes. He holds a WAG High Performance Coaching Accreditation as well as an Advanced Judging Accreditation. Ben is also the WAG Technical Director for Gymnastics WA and is a Gymnastics Australia Presenter and Assessor. Ben is passionate about coaching and developing children into the best people they can be and applies a holistic approach to athlete development.
A national taekwando champion (3rd Dan Black Belt, Australian University Games silver medalist 2009), Ashleigh joined NDGC in 2007. Already qualified as physical education teacher she added to that Certificate IV Presenter and Assessor, Advanced Silver WAG Gymnastics Coach (FIG Level 2), Advanced WAG Judge, and International Levels WAG Judge.
She was awarded GWA Community Coach of the Year (2016), selected as WAG Border Challenge Team head coach (2016) and travelled throughout regional communities to run coaching workshops as well as the National Club Championships. In August (2017) Ashleigh will head to the USA Gymnastics Congress. Outside the gym Ashleigh is a social butterfly, enjoying the beach and music concerts.
Ruan Minnaar has been involved with Gymnastics his entire life. Starting his own training from age 4, he progressed to competing in gymnastics for 9 years. While competing, he managed to achieve the title of MAG state champion 3 years in a row in the junior competitions. Following his training, Ruan started coaching at NDGC and has been apart of the coaching team for over 9 years now.
Ruan has been the MAG programs manager at NDGC for the last year and a half, while coaching as part of the MAG coaching team. During this time, he has coached a wide variety of levels, ranging from development to level 7.
Ruan Has been a part of the NDGC judging community for the last 5 years, including being the NDGC MAG judging coordinator for the last 3 years. During this time he has attended several courses and managed to achieve the Advanced silver judging accreditation following his time judging national championships.
Olena was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and she started my gymnastics journey at the age of 4. Since then she has been involved in the sport of gymnastics her whole life – initially for 9 years of artistic gymnastics then a further 9 years of acrobatic gymnastics which Olena declares this her true passion.
Olena spent 8 years touring the world with Cirque du Soleil as both an artist and acrobatics coach, and eventually settled here in Australia.
Olena is now focussed on her coaching career and development of athletes in the acrobatic gymnastics stream to reach their potential . Outside of coaching acro she is also a Pilates instructor and super-mum of 2 beautiful girls.
Sue has been involved in gymnastics for many years, as a competitive gymnast, a coach and as a mother of children who were competitive gymnasts. She comes from a sporting family who were heavily involved in swimming, tennis and golf at a high level, so it took her a while to convince them to let her do gymnastics.
She started gymnastics at the late age of 10 after being a competitive swimmer. She reached National Level 8 and was the Club Captain at her gym. After having a break from Gymnastics during which she worked as a Cartographer, followed by an epic backpacking trip which lasted 5 years. After working and living in various countries around the world, she returned home and started a family.
Sue has worked for clubs in Victoria, (where she grew up), Queensland and Western Australia coaching National Level as well as Recreational Gymnasts. She has set up Kindergym programs in numerous clubs and was awarded Kindergym Coach of the Year in WA in 2012. She firmly believes that gymnastics should be available to all children given the benefits they gain both developmental and physical.
In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, snorkeling, hiking and painting.
Cairo’s ascent to World Championship triumphs comes accompanied by titles including: Gymnastics Australia Junior Athlete of the Year (AERO 2011, 2012, 2013); French Aquae Open gold medalist (2008); ANAC international championships (in USA) silver medalist (2009, 2010); Suzuki World Cup, 4th (Japan 2012); Junior World Championships 14th (2010), 12th (2012); and Senior World Championships 27th (2016). Cairo has been an Australian team member since 2008 and ranked number one in Australia during her world placings. Since commencing coaching at NDGC AERO in 2015, she has grown the program by 300% and has produced three national champions.
In addition to her love of mentoring young gymnasts, Cairo is her fourth year into a double degree at Curtin University (Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts) and on a Curtin Business School Excellence Scholarship. As an AERO prodigy she has travelled since 10-years-old. Later this year (2017), Cairo will complete a component of her law degree, specialising in international topics, in Belgium. Cairo relishes self-expression through music and rhythm, and has a flair for incorporating her creativity with dance and movement styles into AERO routines.
WAG State Level Coordinator & Schools Co-ordinator
Rachel is the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics State Levels Coordinator and Schools Program Coordinator at NDGC. Rachel has been involved in gymnastics for most of her life and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the club. Rachel started her gymnastics career as an athlete, and after retiring she commenced working as a Trainee Junior Coach and progressed to becoming a Senior Coach, gaining her WAG Advanced Silver Accreditation and FIG 2 certification.
Whilst developing herself as a coach, Rachel has completed two university degrees that have been of great benefit to her career in many aspects. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts and Communication, as well as an Exercise and Sport Science degree, and is an Accredited Exercise and Sport Scientist.
Rachel works with a wide variety of athletes, from Recreational athletes and Schools program participants to competitive State and National Levels athletes. She has been successful in placing athletes on various WA State Teams and has previously been selected as a coach for WA. In 2014 Rachel was the Gymnastics WA WAG Coach of the Year Award recipient.
Rachel loves the opportunities and life lessons gymnastics creates for children and adolescents. Her focus is to deliver high-quality coaching, develop and grow NDGC’s Schools program that inspires children to develop a lifelong interest in sport, and support our coaches in the design and implementation of our State Level program to provide exceptional experiences for NDGC members.