Elysha Chua began training at Waverley Gymnastics Centre when she was just seven years old. Today, she’s the mother of four children enrolled in our Educational and Junior gymnastics programs.
It was back in 1993 when Elysha first started gymnastics at our Mount Waverley campus, with her parents looking for a well-rounded activity that was close to home.
As the granddaughter of a Dutch gymnast, it was no surprise Elysha took to the sport quickly, enjoying the skills she was learning and the friendships she formed.
She progressed through Waverley’s competitive gymnastics program over six-years, before transitioning to the sport of diving.
“I had recently started high school and decided to try some new activities. My school had a diving program which I was keen to join,” Elysha said.
“Gymnastics gave me a strong foundation for diving as I was not afraid of heights, I had confidence to control my body in space and knew how to somersault. It was a smooth transition.”
When Elysha was sixteen, she lost her mother to a five-year battle with breast cancer – something she describes as a defining moment that drove a passion for health and prevention. She went on to study Health Science, achieving her Honours in Public Health Nutrition at Deakin University. Over the past 12 years she has worked on a variety of projects in research and teaching at Deakin University, currently working for the Institute of Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) as Project Manager for the Food Move Sleep (FOMOS) trial, a home-based program for mums to deliver the latest evidence-based guidelines for postpartum health in a motivating and practical way.
Elysha and her husband Wil have been married 11 years and have four children together: Eloise (9), Evelyn (7), Chloe (4) and Christian (2). Like their mother, Eloise and Evelyn, took an interest in gymnastics from a young age and began taking classes at a program closer to home.
“As a parent, I do have a bit of bias towards gymnastics. I feel it gives kids a strong foundation for a lot of different sports. It has given me confidence for many different things,” Elysha said.
“I wanted that for my kids too. It's important to learn to land safely and not injure yourself. Even just having the confidence to do the monkey bars at school is a great outcome. It really is a fun activity.”
It wasn’t until two years later, when Elysha enrolled Eloise in a Waverley Gymnastics Centre Holiday Program at our Mount Waverley campus, that she returned to for the first time since leaving the club herself all those years ago.
“When I walked through the doors it was like I was going back in time – it looked exactly the same as it did when I was a kid – it was pretty nostalgic walking through there,” Elysha said.
The family joined the Oakleigh Campus in 2021.
“We have been really happy that we made the move. We are very impressed with how the program is run, and the quality of the coaching in particular,” Elysha said.
“The assessment and feedback the gymnasts receive is a real point of difference. As a parent, I appreciate that my kids clearly know what skills they are learning, where they are at and what their next step in progression is.”
Elysha’s eldest, Eloise and Evelyn, are now thriving in the Educational Program – both achieving Level 5 in the most recent GymSkills Level Testing period. Chloe and Christian take Junior Gymnastics classes and are constantly improving their body control, spatial awareness, strength and flexibility.