Fourth in the World from the lounge

Of the many strange ways people passed time during Covid lockdowns, surely one of the most bizzare was  Elle Kane practising aerobics on a golf course.

“There’s a course across the road from my house. I’m not sure I was even allowed there but I needed the space,” Kane laughed.

“Aerobics is a high intensity sport. We do jumps, push-ups, static strength skills, and plyometrics. We are tested for flexibility, fitness and choreography. Those things are hard to do in the lounge.”

Add Elizabeth Hewitt to the mix and ornaments might have gone flying in the Kane living room. The pair were preparing for the National championships in September 2021. A serious duo, they’ve been together for over a decade.

“We started in Year 7 at Chilton St James and competed in the same team in our first year. We became really good friends and it never stopped. In our second year we got second in a New Zealand championship,” Hewitt said.

“A lot of work goes into preparing an aerobics routine which lasts 100 seconds. There are two technical judges who judge specific skills. The aerobic judges look at how bouncy we are while the artistic judges look at the overall performance and how well it fits to the music.”

Unfortunately Wellington was unable to fit an in-person Nationals in September because of yet another Covid disruption. However, technology allowed the event to still proceed.

“In each region of New Zealand teams filmed their routines and the videos were sent to the judging panel in Wellington,” Kane explained.

“We won the National title and that video was submitted to a panel in Paris judging the World’s.

They played them all together like a live show. We didn’t even think that we were in contention but when we got fourth in the World it was insane.”

Kane and Hewitt were fourth in the senior duo event, the highest ranked of the three competitions contested. Germany took first prize.

“The German’s did a sailors theme routine which was really cool and unusual. They definitely deserved to win,” Hewitt said.

“Our inspiration was taken from the movie Burlesque. It was a really fun routine that Ella and I are proud of.”

On Thursday, May 26 the pair were crowned Young Sports Team of the Year at the Hutt City Sports Awards. They beat stiff competition like the Taita College Premier boys volleyball team for the prize.

Both girls are in their first year out of school. Ella is at Victoria University studying commerce and communication. Elizabeth is taking a gap year to concentrate on sport and work. Together they hope to appear at this year’s World Championships in the Czech Republic.

“Just give it a go. Aerobics is so diverse, you might be good at jumping or strength or dancing. Once you find your strengths you’ll have so much fun,” Hewitt concluded.

Former World Champion and Hewitt’s mother Arlene coaches the team.