SHE’S much taller than your average woman, but when gymnast Sonja Dominik is on the beam, uneven bar, vault or mini-tramp, she doesn’t look out of place.
Ms Dominik, from Invergowrie, is one of five regional athletes at the Australian Masters Games at Geelong, along with Boggabri’s Ken Crawford, Helen Dugdale from Narrabri and Armidale’s Roger Mills.
At 180cm, or 5 foot 11 inches on the old scale, Ms Dominik’s taller than the other women and most of the men.
This is the 41-year-old’s second Masters, after taking up the sport three years ago after a 20-year break.
Originally from Germany, Ms Dominik is a geneticist, working in animal breeding with the CSIRO at Armidale.
“I did gymnastics as a teenager,” she said.
“When I started I had to take it slowly, but it’s quite surprising how much skill you retain.”
Ms Dominik began training once a week to stay fit at the Armidale Gymnastics Club, but after a while she had three coaches in Wally, Carol, and Bec O’Hara.
“I like to be active but I find it difficult to motivate myself, so having an actual sport to train for is much more motivating. It’s nice to have a goal and have something to keep you on track,” she said.
Her oldest gymnastics rival is over 60.
“That means I still have another 20 years in me,” she said.
The Masters games started last Saturday and run until Saturday.