Hunter athletes take on world: GALLERY

Hunter athletes take on world: GALLERY

WATCH out world, Newcastle is coming.
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Hunter representatives make up almost half of the Australian team that leaves on Friday for the World Sport Aerobics and Fitness Championships at Belgrade in Serbia from October 15.

Juniors Taylah Savage, Isaac Leadbeatter, Zane Ellison, Tully Barton and Siennah Pirona, as well as defending open world champion and coach Allira Bull, qualified after winning medals at the Australian Sport Aerobic Championships in Melbourne in July.

The six are part of a 13-strong team of individual qualifiers from Australia.

Leadbeatter won the junior male division at nationals and is the defending world champion. He now trains under world aerobics champion Anthony Ikin, the younger brother of former NRL player Ben Ikin, on the Gold Coast.

Pirona, who trains under Bull, is in the cadet female category and is also a defending world champion.

Savage (third in junior female), Ellison (winner in cadet male) and Barton (third in cadet female) will be competing at worlds for the first time after their medals at nationals.

The region is also well represented in the teams component. Thirteen combinations are travelling to Serbia from Australia and five of those hail from the Hunter.

Savage is part of ‘‘Unleashed’’, from Nicole Maslowski’s The Ultimate Beat at Jewells, and will compete alongside Jessica Andrew, Emma Dixon, Sophie Duncan, Alayna Gay, Demi Gordon, Olivia Hodgson and Karla Verschelden in the junior fitness category after finishing second at nationals.

The Ultimate Beat ‘A Team’ side of Duncan, Gay and Gordon are also off to Serbia to perform in the junior sport teams division. They came fourth at nationals but have secured a berth after a higher-placed side withdrew.

‘‘Something New’’ from Bull’s Newcastle Sport Aerobics and Fitness also came fourth and benefited from a withdrawal. The team of Anika Butler, Breanna Ellison and Jade Sansom will compete in the senior teams section in Serbia.

Ellison and Barton, who train with Bull, qualified for the mixed pairs event in the cadet section with victory at nationals.

Newcastle Grammar School’s ‘‘Moulin Rouge’’ line-up of Sophie Bowman, Abby Bush, Lena Ingram, Bethany Lee, Dominique Murphy, Dominique Oakley, Mackenzie Smith and Verity Webb are in the junior step aerobics division.

Maslowski will travel with the squad, along with fellow coaches Bull, Newcastle Grammar School’s Corey Rowntree and Australian team coach Kristy de Lore, who is also a Novocastrian.

Maslowski said the sport had gone from strength to strength in the region over the past decade.

‘‘When I came into it about 10 years ago there was only one club in Newcastle. Now there’s three,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s become a lot stronger and it’s nice to see so many kids from the area going over to worlds.’’

Maslowski believed the sport appealed to many people because of its many elements.

Junior Fitness team ‘Unleashed’ who are competing at the World Sport Aerobics Championships in Serbia. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

Tully Barton and Zane Ellison flying high watched by Taylah Savage, Isaac Leadbeatter and Siennah Pirona who are all competing at the World Sport Aerobics Championships in Serbia. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

Tully Barton and Zane Ellison flying high are competing at the World Sport Aerobics Championships in Serbia. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

AEROBICS COMPETITORS: Siennah Pirona, Tully Barton, Taylah Savage, Zane Ellison and Isaac Leadbeatter. Picture: Phil Hearne

16 y.o. Breanna Ellison, 17 y.o. Anika Butler and 16 y.o. Jade Sansom who are in the Senior Trio ‘Something New’ who are competing at the World Sport Aerobics Championships in Serbia. Photo by PHIL HEARNE