Campbelltown girls shine at Special Olympics

Champions: Samantha Whylie and Imogen Campbell made their coaches, friends and family proud with their efforts at the Special Olympics. Picture: Chris Lane
Champions: Samantha Whylie and Imogen Campbell made their coaches, friends and family proud with their efforts at the Special Olympics. Picture: Chris Lane

Two Campbelltown teens have flipped their way to success in the recent Special Olympics Australian National Games.

Imogen Campbell and Samantha Whylie, from Glenfield and Ingleburn respectively, competed in gymnastics at the event, for people with intellectual disabilities, in Adelaide last month.

The year 8 students came home with a host of medals from their events.

The pair train with Yotala Gymnastics out of Campbelltown every week.

Their coach, Helen Turnbull, said both girls had worked extremely hard to reach the Special Olympics.

“They have put everything into this,” she said.

“The Special Olympics only come around every four years, so they’ve been training with one thing in mind.

“Five years of hard work have gone into this result.”

James Meehan High School student Imogen came home with four gold medals and one silver medal in level one women’s artistic gymnastics, a result her coach said was incredible.

“Imogen was just over the moon,” Turnbull said.

Fellow James Meehan student Samantha came fourth overall, including first in floor, second in beam, third in bars and fourth in vault.

Turnbull said she was immensely proud of the girls, not just for their results but also their tenacity.

“Even getting on the plane without their parents was a big step for them,” she said.

“They’ve definitely come back from Adelaide more grown up than when they left Sydney.

“They’ve gained so much more confidence in themselves.

“They were two of the youngest competitors at the games.

“The socialisation and development they’ve picked up is excellent.”

Imogen and Samantha are now in the running to be selected to represent Australia in the international Special Olympics event, which will be held in Dubai.

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