Local gymnast, Connor De-Campo has earned himself a spot at nationals after his strong performance at the Queensland Gymnastics State Championships in Brisbane in March.
De-Campo the only level 10 (highest national level) gymnast outside of Brisbane, impressed judges as the “cleanest gymnast”, gaining top six in all six apparatus and placing fourth overall.
The former Ingham High student competed in the all-around event involving six apparatus, including floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar.
De-Campo qualified for the State Championships after placing top six in North Queensland and scoring above 65 as the only level 10 athlete.
De-Campo said: ‘I was happy with my result at states, especially after I had two falls on day one of competition.
‘There was only a 0.3 points difference between second and fourth place.
‘I was nervous going into competition but also really excited as it was the first state competition I had done after a two-year break, due to COVID and knee surgery.’
Prior to the two-year break, De-Campo had competed at state and national championships making three out of three state teams.
Out of 12 gymnasts in the highly competitive division, De-Campo secured one of the six spots up for grabs in the Queensland team for level 10.
He is now training hard in the lead up to the national event which is taking place on the Gold Coast next week.
He said: ‘It’s taken a lot of blood, sweat and hard work to get to this point.
‘My current training schedule consists of 20 plus hours a week and has increased leading into nationals.’
From a young age De-Campo had a desire to be a gymnast, but it was not until he was 12 that his older sister, who was a coach at Ingham Gymnastics, encouraged him to get involved and since then he has not looked back.
He said: ‘I started competing at the age of 12, which is considered very late in the sport of gymnastics.
‘It is a very demanding sport but I’m willing to keep at it as far as my body takes me.’
Starting later in the sport has certainly not hinder his progress and at 21, De-Campo has already won national medals for the sport, with an impressive list of achievements under his belt.
‘My greatest achievements so far are making level 10 with a score of 70, which is the first time anyone had ever done this as a gymnast outside of Brisbane.
‘Also, placing first multiple times in single events at nationals in 2017, 2018 and 2019.’
The talented young gymnast has big dreams for his future in the sport, including working towards Senior International Elite Level which is world and Olympic standard.
“I would like to place at nationals, make the Australian team and in one to three years qualify for the Senior International Elite Team.
‘I would also like to teach and perform around the world.’
Along with his intense training schedule, De-Campo is currently studying a Bachelor of Primary Education at JCU in Townsville.
And when you think he could not fit any more on his plate, he still manages to coach gymnastics both in Townsville and at his home club in Ingham.
‘It’s a very crazy schedule, although the reward of helping others and achieving my dreams are so worth it.’
Ingham Gymnastics is where it all began for De-Campo and through his commitment, passion and drive for the sport is encouraging other young gymnasts like him to follow their dreams.
‘My hope and dream for Ingham Gymnastics is for it to grow and continue to provide a quality and positive sporting environment and home for all its students, as it has done for me.
‘Along with helping to inspire and lead the way for other athletes to do their best as my coaches and family have done for me.
‘As a male from Ingham in North Queensland, doing gymnastics was very different from the normal pathway boys took, although it showed me that it is possible to go down my own path and achieve my own dreams.
‘I hope other students are inspired and motivated to do their best in their chosen path.’
When asked if we will see him at the Olympics one day, he said ‘that’s the goal’.
I reckon there is a good chance we will.
Watch this space…
All the best Connor.
The Ingham Community is cheering you on.