It is the first time in 10 years that New Zealand has made the finals in this competition.
The Clarks Beach local, who is in Year 11 at ACG Strathallan, said her favourite apparatus is ball: “You need a lot of balance and control so it’s one of the more graceful apparatus,” she explains.
Grace, who trains five times a week with Counties Manukau Gymnastics, came ninth overall in the competition. The experience was not about winning, she says. “Seeing a variety of different gymnasts and learning new skills helps with my training. It’s also about being able to achieve your goals and learning things about yourself. I’ve learnt how to juggle school work, sport and my social life.”
Grace’s Dean at ACG Strathallan, Gill Ayliffe, said Grace is a motivated student as well as a talented gymnast. “She works hard to keep up with school commitments as well as her heavy training schedule. Her level of commitment to her studies and to her sport is amazing. We are delighted to see her succeeding at such a high level. She always has a smile and deserves every success.”
This week Grace is heading to Bulgaria to compete in the Sofia Cup, followed by the Emerald Cup in Greece a week later. Ultimately she hopes to represent New Zealand at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.