Physie draws a big crowd
PHYSICAL culture may be less well known than gymnastics but it is gaining members fast, with 400 girls entering a competition in Ballina on Saturday.
Physical culture is a female-only sport which incorporates jazz dance, aerobics, ballet, floor routines and yoga.
"People often don't know what physie is," Ballina on Richmond Physical Culture Club teacher Katy Taylor said.
"It's very popular in Sydney and Brisbane but the country areas are starting to take off now."
Approximately 800 people travelled from NSW and Queensland to attend the Physical Culture Interclub competition, held at Southern Cross K-12 School on Saturday.
Girls up to the age of 16 were not allowed to wear make-up or fake tan during the competition because organisers said they did not want the public perceiving the sport as a beauty pag- eant.
Australia's national physical culture champion, Brooke Davey travelled from Mt Ousley, near Wollongong to judge the competition.
"They're judged on their positions, posture, the pointing of their toes, their grace and dancing ability," Ms Taylor said.
Peri Crawford, 16, was excited about performing in front of Australia's physical culture champion.
"It's a little bit intimidating but a good experience. I'll know what she thinks of my performance and it will be good to learn," she said.
Ms Taylor claimed physical culture had a range of health benefits for girls and young women.
"It teaches them to focus, because they can't look around when they're doing their work. It teaches them rhythm and timing and I think the most important thing is they learn good posture."
After Saturday's large turnout, organisers decided to make it an annual event.