Strength and determination has led a Shepparton aerobics team to qualify for the national championships.
Shepparton Peak Physique Sport Aerobics will travel to the Gold Coast in August to compete at the School Aerobics Nationals Championships.
Head coach Emma O’Keeffe said it was the first time that the entire club had qualified for the national competition.
‘‘We have been striving for nationals for so long and it’s been our goal in training and also when we write our goals down’’ Miss O’Keeffe said.
The team of 18 people will take part in single, duo and group routines that have been individually choreographed by the three coaches at the club.
Miss O’Keeffe described the sport as similar to gymnastics, but without flips and flexibility, and said fitness was essential.
‘‘Each routine is two minutes long and it’s of the highest intensity you can possibly think of ’’ she said.
The team have stepped up its training ahead of the competition and is training a minimum of three days a week.
Miss O’Keeffe said she had given her team meal plans and fitness routines to take home to ensure they were covering all bases.
‘‘I’m competing at nationals as well, so I’ve incorporated myself in training, so it’s really motivating to train as a team,’’ she said.
With school holidays approaching, the young squad will have the opportunity to train even harder and will start to include hill sprints into their training.
The team is in experienced hands as Miss O’Keeffe has 17 years in the sport and travels to the Netherlands every year to reclaim her title as a world champion.
Miss O’Keeffe found her love for aerobics during a school event in 2002.
‘‘Aerobics is one of those sports that once you start you don’t stop’’ she said.