Raising the Bar: Alene Hata’s Gymnastics Career


Photo by Aaron Sha

Junior Alene Hata coaches preschoolers at Wildfire Gymnastics Tustin every Saturday from 9:30 until 12:10, patiently introducing children to gymnastics for the first time.

Aaron Sha, Business Team

Soaring through the air, junior Alene Hata traces an invisible path to the next step in her routine and her career. Outside of her everyday academic life, Hata spends her free time following her passion in the field of gymnastics through not just learning, but also teaching the sport to children of various ages as a part-time coach.

Hata began her gymnastics career in third grade when her parents gave her motivation to pursue a sport. After she set her eyes on gymnastics, Hata continued and improved her gymnastic skills, mastering several complex moves and transitions in uneven bars and floor events. As proof of her prowess in the field, she took part in a variety of gymnastics tournaments with a team at Wildfire Gymnastics geared toward competitions, in which the team placed first numerous times.

Throughout her career, Hata has faced many hardships in addition to her achievements, but she was able to persevere through the obstacles.

“The most memorable part of gymnastics was probably the actual competitions,” Hata said. “My team would have little cheers for each event, and we would say them for each person. It was so nerve-racking at times, but it was also when we could show off and see how our practices lead us up to this point.”

More recently, Hata began a brand new chapter of her gymnastics career. In September 2017, she decided to complete her experience as a student and give back to her community as well as express her love of gymnastics by taking up part-time coaching.

Beginning as a floater, a coach that works with more than one specific class, Hata initially helped out with classes that needed extra assistance at Wildfire Gymnastics, where she herself learned. Hata soon discovered that teaching proves to be a drastically different experience than learning, motivating her to quickly acquire new skills.

“She started off as very shy, helping me with my classes to coaching her own classes and leading stretches at the beginning of class,” Wildfire Gymnastics coach Lori Coleman said. “She has come out of her shell and become a true coach.”

Over time, Hata eventually found her place teaching preschooler gymnastics with Coleman. Hata devotes three hours of her time every Saturday to help her young students take their first steps in their gymnastics career like Hata did many years ago.