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WRGC Gymnast Sofiia Chalbash and Coaches interviewed at Athlone Community Radio after Belgium Competition

Sports Hub presenter Robbie Mulvey interviews Athlone Wings gymnastics club secretary James Walsh, club competitor Sofiia Chalbash and club coach Enya Tierney on the Spotlight show, highlighting non-mainstream sports in Athlone.




The interview emphasized the importance of promoting lesser-known sports like gymnastics, which offer unique benefits to participants. "In terms of female dominated sports, there isn't that many options in the midlands. I think that is something worth pushing and working towards" noted Enya Tierney.


Radio host Robbie Mulvey began by speaking with James Walsh, the secretary of Athlone Wings Gymnastics Club, who provided insights into the club's inclusion efforts and its impact on the local community. "We cater to gymnasts three and up, there is no age limit" explained James. "There is a wide range of classes, and we cater to all ability levels"


Sofiia Chalbash, a competitor from the club, shared her personal journey and passion for gymnastics. "I'm originally from Ukraine, and when I was six years-old my parents took me to gymnastics class. When I moved to Ireland a year and a half ago I started training with Wings so my gymnastics journey continues until now." said Sofia. Talking about the Forza Cup, she said this: "Every international tournament is different. There are different girls and the atmosphere is always completely different". The young gymnast also talked about her main take aways from the events "I know my mistakes. I know what I have to work on".

"I know my mistakes. I know what I have to work on"

Coach Enya Tierney highlighted the dedication required from both athletes and coaches in non-mainstream sports.

"I do acknowledge [the preparation for the event] was hard. It was Easter break, which was really good because we had lots of time. But I do know it was hard, training 6 hour a day, five days a week. Especially for the little ones. " explained Enya, referring for the 8-year old gymnasts in the mini category Charlie Weck and Aoibheann Milton "Fair play to them, I have to say I'm really proud"


"I do acknowledge [the preparation for the event] was hard. It was Easter break, which was really good because we had lots of time. But I do know it was hard, training 6 hour a day, five days a week. Especially for the little ones. "

Athlone Wings Gymnastics Club, although operating outside the mainstream, plays a vital role in the local sports scene by providing an avenue for young athletes to excel and find fulfillment in their athletic pursuits.


Sofiia Chalbash's story serves as inspiration for aspiring gymnasts in Athlone and beyond, demonstrating that dedication and passion can lead to remarkable achievements.


The Sports Hub is a two hour programme covering all sports big and small, from local leagues to international tournaments with a variety of guests on the show each week, including players, coaches, fans and other journalists from Westmeath and Roscommon.


Athlone Community Radio was formed in 2006 as a not for profit station to serve the interests of clients and the general public of Athlone. ACR was granted a temporary Broadcasting Licence on 15th March 2008 and received 10 year Broadcasting Community Radio Sound Licence on the 14th of January, 2011.


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