Esther Craig competes in National Calisthenics Championships

ALL SMILES: Esther Craig, 14, competed with the Victorian intermediates calisthenics team at the National Calisthenics Championships in Melbourne. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

ALL SMILES: Esther Craig, 14, competed with the Victorian intermediates calisthenics team at the National Calisthenics Championships in Melbourne. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

HORSHAM teenager Esther Craig has helped Victoria claim third place at the National Calisthenics Championships in Melbourne.

The team competed in six categories on Friday.

Esther, 14, described the experience as amazing.

"I loved everything about it," she said.

"I made lots of new friends and got to meet other girls who loved calisthenics as much as I do."

Esther was selected as part of the Victorian intermediates team in November last year.

She was required to attend classes each Sunday in Melbourne in the lead-up to the championships.

She said classes were usually between five and eight hours long.

Esther was the only regional-based member of the team.

The Victorian intermediates team came third in the march, clubs, freearm and aesthetic categories, second in the rods category and first in the rhythmic category.

They were against teams from Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The championships were in Hamer Hall at the Arts Centre in Melbourne.

"I was so nervous in the weeks leading up to it," Esther said.

"The theatre was so amazing - as soon as I stepped on the stage, I could see the thousands of people watching.

"It was incredible."

She said she was happy with her performance.

"I'm sad it's all over now, it was such a good experience," she said.

Horsham Calisthenics College principal coach Kylie Hermans said she was honoured to watch Esther perform with an elite group of athletes on the national stage.

"Words cannot express the emotion I felt when I saw her on stage," she said.

"She has improved greatly since training began last year and has grown as a performer."

Mrs Hermans said Esther had been in love with calisthenics since before she officially started.

"She used to come to class and copy what her big sisters were doing," she said.

"She was always a delightful little girl, who has now become a mature and confident young lady."

Esther said she would like to be involved in the Victorian team again and was thinking about auditioning for the 2015 team.

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