Back in 1991, two of Australia’s finest elite gymnasts, Suzette Johnson and Grant Carlyon, finished competing on the world stage. Thankfully, Suzette and Grant were not lost to their beloved sport, with the pair opening a gymnastics academy in North Perth and also designing an in-schools gymnastics program, EdGym. They were also GymNut comedians, providing the entertainment at local and international sporting competitions, including the Perth Wildcats’ (National Basketball League) half-time entertainment and the 1994 World Gymnastics Championships held in Brisbane. Grant’s GymNuts’ character was named Norm, in “honour” of the main character in the Federal Government’s former “Life Be in it” campaign aimed at boosting people’s physical activity.
However, it was three years later that Suzette and Grant were to make their greatest mark on the gymnastics world. They were involved in the creation of a Double-Decker GymBus, the first of five, which took six months to design and build. An exciting new venture had begun and since that long-ago day in 1994, more than 1.5 million children in Australia have experienced the magic of GymBus.
The first two double-decker buses came from Northern New South Wales and travelled 4000km across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth. The trip lasted 11 days at a laborious 60km/hr. Two years later, three more double-decker buses were moved from Queensland, taking 14 days to reach Perth. Many argued that camels moved quicker! GymBus’s expansion from west to east started in 2000, with the buses put on trains for the return trip across the Nullarbor. Melbourne was GymBus’s first stop, followed by its introduction to the youngsters of Sutherland Shire in Sydney’s south.
GymBus has entertained and fostered a love of gymnastics among two generations of children. Indeed, it has inspired some to reach great heights, notably Perth’s Lauren Mitchell. Lauren fell in love with gymnastics at the age of six when she had a GymBus birthday party in a double-decker bus fitted with gym equipment and balloons. She went on to become the 2010 World Gymnastics Champion on the floor and the 2009 World Championships’ silver medallist on balance beam and floor. Lauren competed at both the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games. The Qantas Lauren Mitchell GymBus Event was held at Perth’s Langley Park leading up to London 2012.
Our Ethos is to Explore, Discover and Grow. Exploring the endless ways we can move our bodies, discovering the sensations and excitement that movement presents, and growing the confidence and ability of the kids, and setting them the challenge to want to explore and discover more on their own.
The following are a selection of blog posts about GymBus and how we got started.
By submitting an entry into this competition, entrants consent to receive promotional and other marketing messages from the Promoter (including messages sent electronically for an unlimited period of time). Open to WA, NSW and VIC residents over the age of 18. One entry per Eligible Product Purchase, defined in full terms. Competition opens 23/05/16 at 06:00 AM and closes 26/03/17 at 11:00 PM. Winner drawn 02/04/17 at 4 PM at Whitfords Lions Fair, MacDonalds Reserve Padbury, Perth. Once the winner is called, they will be given 5 minutes to identify themselves. If the winner doesn’t present themselves a proxy will do the draw on behalf of the winner from the first draw. The winner or proxy will then be asked to draw one envelope out of a possible 250 within a barrel. The winner will only get one chance to pick one envelope. Barrel #2 contains 250 envelopes… 249 of these contain the 2nd prize of $5,000 tax-free cash and 1 envelope contains the 1st prize of the trip to Disneyland to the value of $50,000 (or $50,000 TAX FREE CASH – you get to choose), detailed in the full terms. Maximum potential prize pool is up to $50,000. Winner confirmed by email and published online at https://www.watoday.com.au/ from 02/04/17 for 28 days. The Promoter is GymBus (ABN 6336 9006 246) of 74 Beriman Dr Wangara WA 6065