Circus Ipswich performers Matilda Matthews (left) with Katelyn Dewar.
Circus Ipswich performers Matilda Matthews (left) with Katelyn Dewar.

Kids learn a trick or two for big show date

WHEN a young Ipswich mum found herself looking for something more from life while raising two children, working and completing her PhD, she stumbled across a trick or two.

Meg Hooper hasn’t looked back since she joined a circus group about a decade ago, and after also getting her children involved she started looking at ways to start her own group up in Ipswich.

The result was Circus Ipswich, formed in 2017, which has provided a much needed creative and physical outlet for children with autism and other physical and intellectual disabilities.

“I fell in love with the circus, and knowing what it did for my sense of wellbeing and that of my children, it was something I wanted to bring closer to home,” Dr Hooper said.

Circus Ipswich takes on children who don’t necessarily fit into mainstream sports or performing arts, including those with autism and other physical or intellectual disabilities.

Riley Aspinall is preparing to perform with Circus Ipswich at this week's Ipswich Show.
Riley Aspinall is preparing to perform with Circus Ipswich at this week's Ipswich Show.

It was only this year that the group started turning its regular training sessions into an actual live performance, which will feature at this year’s Ipswich Show.

Dr Hooper said she and her troupe of young performers could not wait to show off their skills to a big audience next weekend.

“The show features 18 Circus Ipswich students alongside dancers from Ipswich High and older circus performers that work alongside artistic director Chelsea McGoffin,” she said.

“The kids in Circus Ipswich surprise themselves and us with what they can do.

“The main thing they get out of it is confidence. We see young people who couldn’t jump off the ground with two feet starting to jump rope and get on a mini trampoline. We see kids who rarely speak become chatter boxes.

“We don’t force them to do anything, we encourage them to be daring.”

The Circus Ipswich group will be putting on smaller performances throughout this weekend’s Ipswich Show, however, the main parade and show will be staged from 1pm Saturday in the plaza between the exhibition centre and the sports centre.

For more information on how to get involved in Circus Ipswich, click here.

The Ipswich Show starts this Friday from 8am and continue through to Sunday.

Click here for a full list of events.



Shocking stats: Major hospitals’ performance data revealed

Premium Content Shocking stats: Major hospitals’ performance data revealed

Patients with lives on the line: See how your hospital performed

Is it time we shut down crime and corruption watchdog?

Premium Content Is it time we shut down crime and corruption watchdog?

Has Queensland’s crime watchdog become a mangy mongrel?

Ipswich jockey in exciting home track finish

Premium Content Ipswich jockey in exciting home track finish

A crowd of about 15,000 has cheered Happy Go Plucky home in the Ipswich Cup.