Carolyn Au Yong may have long hung up her sequinned leotard after her triumphs at the 1998 Commonwealth Games (where she won Gold and Bronze) but her passion in sharing the art of the sport and produce new generations of champions still burns bright. Since 2003, she has coached waves of disciplined gymnasts, and has established her own training centre, CSRG in 2010.
Here, the former champion reveals how the values of a sport like rhythmic gymnastics has moulded students with the determination and courage they need to succeed at anything.
What makes rhythmic gymnastics so special?
It is such a precise sport — it combines the dynamics and flexibility of gymnastics, the technical knowledge of ballet as well as the self-expression and rhythm of modern dance. You must have the co-ordination and skills to be able to master this sport, and you must be extremely hardworking.
How has the sport been elevated since you competed?
Winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal in 1998 was an eye-opener for many in Malaysia and sparked a lot of interest amongst parents and children. Kids now have more
opportunities to try the sport and exposure to understand the sport better, whether it’s recreational or competitive.
How does training help the children at CSRG?
This sport can teach you self-discipline and to be physically and mentally strong. That any goal you set for yourself is possible to achieve.
What sort of values does CSRG give its trainees?
An element of fun must always be woven into the learning process. Keeping the kids on their toes and retaining that eagerness to learn are important because it is then that they
What makes a good coach?
Be determined and driven, and never shy away from challenges. CSRG is the result of my passion for the sport and being able to share my knowledge with the younger generations has been a very fulfilling journey.
If you could give your 12-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
As Walt Disney quoted: all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
Learn more about CSRG and the work they do at csrg.my