PAIGE Sutterby has won gold at the twenty fifth International Aerobic Championship held in Las Vegas.
The 15 year old granddaughter of Stawell’s Rob and Meg Blake competed in the championships from July 28 to August 1, where she and her five teammates took on the world’s best.
With 35 countries competing and 15 in Sutterby’s division, it was never going to be a walk in the park.
The Australians took gold ahead of Germany who finished second and the Argentines who took home bronze.
The Australian team consisted of six girls, including Sutterby who hails from Torquay.
In Torquay, Sutterby trains with Aero Sport All Stars for approximately 15 hours each week, while also trying to keep up with her school work.
Sutterby’s mother Amanda couldn’t be more proud of her teenage daughter.
“I’m bursting with pride,” Mrs Sutterby said
“Most children start to cause mischief at her age. Paige goes to school and then she dances.”
While the sport is almost unknown in rural and regional Victoria, it is growing at a rapid rate throughout the world.
Aerobic gymnastics is a competitive sport, originating from traditional aerobics with a bit of a twist.
It involves high intensity, complex movement patterns, all of which are performed to music.
“I guess it is most popular in Europe and America, but it is getting bigger and bigger in Australia,” Amanda Sutterby said.
“It is probably bigger than calisthenics in our area.”
Paige has been involved with the sport since she was nine years old, having participated in elite gymnastics since she was three.
She has a strong association with Stawell, with her grandparents well known within the community and her mum Amanda having grown up here.
“We don’t get back to Stawell nearly as often as we should,” Amanda said.
Paige is enjoying an extended holiday with her father Simon in America before she returns home tomorrow.
“I’m so excited to see her walk in with her gold medal,” Amanda said.
“These girls are all so dedicated and I’m just so happy for them.”