KNOX Gymnastics Club in Ferntree Gully has a new edition to its coaching staff in the form of former world champion gymnast Dong Zhen.
Dong Zhen is an event specialist on still rings and pommel horse and won first place on still rings at the 1999 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
The 38-year-old gymnast from Tianjin in China has worked all over the world coaching and passing on his skills but has found working at Knox Gymnastic Club a real pleasure.
“A friend introduced me to this club and I am really enjoying working with these students,” he said.
“Working with the younger children is a lot of fun, they are just so cute.”
Mr Dong has taken on the responsibility of coaching the level four and higher students at the club and preparing them for competition.
Manager of the gymnastics club Rebecca Tilley said it was very exciting to have such a high calibre athlete coaching at the club.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” she said.
“Having an athlete of his calibre choose the join the club is a great honour.”
Ms Tilley said the students are working very hard under Mr Dong’s direction but they said they also have a lot of respect and admiration for him.
“Many of our students haven’t stopped smiling since he arrived here,” she said.
Knox Gymnastics Club has been operating for about 25 years and has had many competition successes but Ms Tilley is hoping Mr Dong can take the club to the next level.
“I’m sure he will be a great help for competitions and attracting new talent to the club but, most importantly, he’s really boosted our students’ confidence,” she said.
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