In 1966, Val competed at the 1st World Championships for Women’s Gymnastics in Dortmund, Germany. In fact, Val was the only West Australian gymnast to be selected to attend that event. In 1966, Val Buffham married cyclist Ken Norris OAM.
Val is a four-times Australian National Gymnastic Champion (1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969) and even won the North Holland Gymnastics Championships in 1967, while training overseas.
She is listed as a Life Member with Gymnastic WA, an All Time Great with the WA Sports Federation and the City of Cockburn’s Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1978 Val started a gymnastics club. Back then it was called the ‘Val Norris Christian College of Gymnastics Inc’.
In 1985 the club was renamed the ‘Olympic Gymnastic Academy’ and focused on recreational and advanced competitive gymnastics.
Numerous state, national and even Olympic athletes started their career at ‘the Academy’.
While coaching Val saw how gymnastics could benefit all shapes and sizes and not just the bodies that were ‘made’ for gymnastics.
This experience led Val to create a range of programs that had a foundation in gymnastics but focused on training young people for participation in a wide variety of sports.
In 2001 ‘Olympic Fun & Fitness’ was formed to focus exclusively on promoting young people’s participation in gymnastics and all sport.
With these beginnings, the culture at Olympic remains committed to promoting participation and sporting excellence in young people.
Olympic continues to provide innovative programs that maximize participation.
Damien is a former Australian gymnastic champion and Australian team member with a long history of service to gymnastics in Western Australia.
Despite retiring from the sport of gymnastics many years ago, Damien never stopped exploring movement! He continued to explore gymnastics on his own terms and started practicing parkour and natural movement: two disciplines he now brings to Olympic with his business The Wilding Project.