By Justin Flynn
Mila Blyth is serious about gymnastics.
The 13-year-old trains for more than 30 hours each week from her base in Prahran, lives in St Kilda during the week and only gets to spend weekends back home in Ocean Grove. She doesn’t go to school, but studies distance education for the core subjects of Year 8. She is also studying Spanish.
Mila is competing in the Australian Gymnastics Championships at Hisense Arena, which kicked off on 22 May and continues through to 4 June.
The former St Ignatius student has known she wanted to be a gymnast since the age of four, even though her schedule is jam packed.
“It’s hard to motivate yourself to do it sometimes, but I’m hoping eventually it will be a pathway to international competition,” she said.
Mila came third in the Victorian Championships last year and sixth in the Australian Championships.
This year she is hoping to do better.
“I’m aiming to do better than last year and get some solid returns from my efforts,” she said.
“I’m hoping to get a place on some aparatus.”
Gymnastics hs traditionally been dominated on the world stage by the USA, Russia and China, but Mila said the sport is growing in Australia.
“After we got our new coach, the whole country should start to prgress a lot more,” she said.
“The new generation is coming.”
Mila said she has learned a lot from training with Olympians and Commonwealth Games athletes.
“Just getting to watch their skills has been great,” she said.
“Not many girls choose to do elite gymnastics, but we’re getting a few more girls into the international mainstream now.”