Heathdale flower 26th April 2024

Eli Suster's Journey Vaulting to Victory

Discover Year 11 student Eli Suster's inspiring gymnastics journey as she shares her experiences leading up to her recent gold win at the Victorian State Championships and her upcoming participation in the Australian Gymnastics Championship.

Heathdale flower

Eli Suster is a Year 11 student at our Werribee campus who recently won gold at the Victorian State Championships for Gymnastics and will be heading to the Australian Gymnastics Championship in May! Eli shares about her gymnastics journey below.

What inspired you to start gymnastics, and how long have you been involved in the sport?

I have been doing gymnastics since I was six. I started training because as a child, my parents couldn’t keep me from climbing on everything from trees to the timber framing of our house, so they thought gymnastics would be a perfect hobby. After 11 years, it has become my life.

Can you share a bit about your journey leading up to winning the State Championship? What were some of the challenges you faced along the way?

This competition season leading up to states has been especially challenging for me, not just physically, but mentally. Mental health has been such a big struggle for me this year, I’ve found it (and still do) extremely hard to get back up after tough days, even weeks, and so many times I told myself that I just cannot do this anymore and that after this season I will quit. But I’ve found that you need to have the tough days to enjoy the good days even more, and that you will not always feel motivated and determined, and that’s okay. Pushing through times like these has made me more resilient, and stronger in faith, knowing that God always holds me in His hands.

What does it mean to you to represent your state at the national level?

I am truly honoured to be selected to compete at Nationals again, especially as someone from a small club in the West with a still growing reputation. I am proud of myself for my achievements. It also means that I am grateful to all the people who have helped along the way to get to where I am. To my family, my coach, my friends and my school, it wouldn’t be possible without you all.

How do you handle the pressure and nerves associated with competing at such a high level?

The truth is that I’m still learning how to handle the nerves and pressure! They are a huge part of competing and many times they have gotten the better of me, including during State championships this year. In these situations, I try to rely on God, and the peace of knowing that what is supposed to happen will happen, because I know that I cannot change God’s plan for my life.

What are your goals or aspirations for your gymnastics career in the future?

In the future, I aspire to continue to get new skills and never stop learning. I also hope to represent Victoria again in Level 10 next year and hopefully one day, become a senior international gymnast, as well as just having fun doing the sport I love so much!