Spirit Gym Sports Western Australia

Club Background

Spirit Gym Sports was founded in 2002 by Debbs van Hagen & Caroline Wright. The club started with 27 members and has continued to grow and prosper.

Spirit Gym Sports is a Gymnastics Australia registered club and has a Star 4 (out of 5) rating. All of our coaches are accredited or are in the registered training schemes and have extensive experience at State, National and International level. 

about the spirit gymsports team

What makes us special

Spirit has a long history of competitive success with Aerobic Gymnastics athletes such as World Champion Kieran Gorman and World Silver medalists Chris Behan and Sarah Saleno also training at our club.  Spirit Gym Sports is the most successful Aerobic Gymnastics club in Australia in this discipline.

Our competitive programs have had many successes over the years with numerous gymnasts winning the title of State Champion in their age group and level. Our Sports Acrobatics squad have also produced a number of State Champions National level medalists.

We are one of the only clubs in Perth offering classes to children with Special Needs, both as a school based program and a club program.

We make every effort to find the right class for you or your child.

Spirit Gym Sports launchpad


Club Motto

“A Talent for Life”

Mission Statement

To create happy childhood memories of sport participation.

Club Philosophy

To provide programs of the highest quality in a safe and fun environment enabling children and adults to experience the benefits of health and physical education through the use of the gymnastics disciplines.

Club Objectives

  • To provide a safe environment for athletes to participate in gymnastic activities.
  • To offer experienced and qualified staff and coaches in the sport of gymnastics.
  • Allow children and adults to enjoy their gymnastics as best they can.
  • Gymnastics for all.
  • To ensure that Spirit Gym Sports is a highly respected and reputable club throughout Australia.
  • To provide up to date and exciting programs across all disciplines.
  • To create happy childhood memories of participation in the sport of gymnastics.
  • To help develop self confidence and self esteem.
  • To aid in the development of fine & gross motor skills, physical fitness, balance through gym activities in all participants.
  • Helping in the development of children everywhere.

Your Spirit Team

Debbs van Hagen (Director)

Debbs is an accredited gymnastics coach in Aerobic Gymnastics, Sports Acrobatics, Competitive Mens &  Womens gymnastics and General Gymnastics with over 30 years of coaching experience. Debbs started gymnastics in the UK at the age of 4 years and moved to Perth in 1998 and coached at WAIS and Subiaco PCYC before founding Spirit with Caroline Wright. Debbs is also an International level accredited Judge in all gymnastics disciplines and has been Head Coach on the State team for Sports Acrobatics for a number of years. Debbs is also a former board member of Gymnastics WA and is the current Technical Director of the WA Sports Acro technical committee.

Caroline Wright (Director)

Caroline started gymnastics as a 6yr old at Subiaco PCYC and then went on to be a WAIS gymnast for a number of years. After finishing at WAIS, Caroline started coaching at Subiaco PCYC where she met Debbs van Hagen, and together they founded Spirit Gym Sports. Caroline is the Senior womens coach with extensive experience in womens gymnastics and in school based gymnastics programs. Caroline also coaches Elite Women’s gymnastics at WA Institute of Sport.

Richard Elkington (Director)

Richard is a former board member of Gymnastics WA and the founder of the Chetkovich Cup, which was designed to bring all aspects of Gymnastics together. Rick was the founding member of e Gymnastics (trading as Spirit Gym Sports) with the purpose of re-invigorating the club and developing it into a centre of excellence for Gymnastics in Australia.

Lauren Mitchell (Director)

Lauren has been part of Gymnastics for the last 17 years, having started in the sport when she was 7. She has represented Australia in numerous international competitions, including 2 Olympics, 2 Commonwealth Games and 4 World Championships. Lauren was crowned Australia's first female World Champion when she won the title on Floor Exercise in 2010. She is currently part of the Australian Olympic Committees - Athletes Commission and is studying Medical Imaging at Curtin University. To be able to contribute to the sport of gymnastics in a different and unique way is an amazing opportunity, and a fantastic challenge proving that gymnastics and life is achievable simultaneously.

Rosemary Hartley (Director)

Born and bred in Perth Rose started coaching in 1991 in Townsville when her daughter started gymnastics. Rose began her career as a Recreation/Kindergym coach and later moved on to coaching both children and adults with special needs.  In 1999, Rose moved to Brisbane and coached at Pine Rivers PCYC as Head Coach and received "Instructor of the Year" award for outstanding contributions to gymnastics and special needs in the community. Rose has been coaching at Spirit Gym Sports as a recreation Gymfun coach and special needs coach since 2002. In 2009, Rose was awarded the Gymnastics for All (GFA) Coach award by Gymnastics Australia and in the 2010 the GFA outstanding service award by Gymnastics WA. Rose is very involved with Special Olympics WA as Gymnastics Head Coach and has been part of the selection panel representing WA for Junior Nationals, National Games and the Asia Pacific team.  

Nicole Colev (Programme Manager)

Nicole has been involved in the sport for over 30 years and represented Australia in 2011 in Cheerleading and more recently at the 2015 World Gymnaestrada .  She also has a passion for early learning and childhood development.  Nicole also holds a Bachelor of Human Movement and is involved in the development of programs at a National level through her involvement on the Gymnastics for All Technical Commission.  Nicole also has a particular interest in working with people with disabilities.

Huia McFarland (Competitive Men's coach)

Huia is the head coach for Men's artistic gymnastics. After moving to Perth in 2005 Huia joined Spirit Gym Sports as a WAG, Tramp and Acro athlete. She joined the coaching staff soon after and has been heading our Men's program since 2009. Coaching boys of all ages in recreational, club level and national level programs. Huia is an accredited MAG, WAG and TRP coach. 

 Samantha Elkington (Aerobics Head coach)

Sam started coaching in 2007 at Spirit Gym Sports, whilst still training as an Elite Aerobics athlete.  Sam gained her coaching accreditation in 2009 and took athletes to National Championships. Sam continued her journey with her athletes taking on new routines and new challenges, with many of her athletes placing medal positions at National Championships from 2009 onwards. In 2013 Sam started to slowly take over the role at Spirit Gym Sports as Head Coach. In 2013 Sam retired from competing as an Elite aerobics athlete after World Games in Columbia, where she competed as part of the Aerodance team that came 6th.  In 2014 Sam was appointed full time head coach of Spirit Gym Sports  and attended National Championships as a State coach.