Entries Tagged 'recreation' ↓

gymnastics in Africa?

I attended the 12th African Championships to gain better perspective on the potential of FIG gymnastics disciplines in Africa.

I’ve led coaching clinics in Senegal, Nigeria, Mozambique and South Africa and need a better answer to this question:

Bread, not circuses?

Should international sport truly be a priority for African nations?

Shouldn’t resources be spent on health and education?

Martin Luther King

South Africa and Egypt have proved they can compete with the rest of the world. The Algerian men are world class, too. What about the other African nations?

I’m not willing to deny any African the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

young gymnasts

If sport is your passion, I’m willing to volunteer to help.

My hope is that sport and arts can bring the nations, religions and tribes of Africa together. Indeed, I cannot report a single incident of racism at this competition. Athletes were judged only on their gymnastics, so far as I can see.

Gymnastics in Africa!



In 1986 a football team that lived on a small island in Thailand called “Koh Panyee“. It’s a floating village in the sea that has not an inch of soil. The kids here loved to watch football but had nowhere to play or practice. But they didn’t let that stop them. …

Click PLAY or watch a reenactment on YouTube.

That was put together by Thai Military Bank. :-)

Inspired by the 1986 FIFA World Cup, children built the pitch from old scraps of wood and fishing rafts. After making it to the Semi-final on an inland tournament, all the village were inspired to take up the sport. They Built a brand new pitch, although the wooden one still remains and is popular among tourists. As of 2011, Panyee FC is one of the most successful youth soccer clubs in Southern Thailand, and the boys who built the pitch back in 1986 are now grown men.

(via Jamie Ellacott)


• Angolan Youth and Sports minister, Gonçalves Muandumba, met the Rhythmic Team on return from the airport. Wants to prioritize basic training in gymnastics.

12th African Gymnastics Championships a great success!

South African gymnastsHold Their Breath” awaiting decisions of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee. Are their scores good enough for approval to Commonwealth Games and/or Youth Olympic Games.

World Autism Day

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 is World Autism Day. One of only four official health-specific United Nations Days, this annual day focuses on bringing the world’s attention to autism.

One in 88 children are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). And the number of children with autism continues to grow. Between 2007 and 2012 there was a 78 percent increase in reported diagnoses. …

Traditional therapy options include behaviour and communication therapies, educational therapies, family therapies and medications.

Another option is gymnastics. Yes, gymnastics!

forward roll

Gymnastics BC PLAY

(via Rec Gymnastics)

inner city JoBurg gymnastics

I was pleased to be invited to assist with one of coach Daniel’s recreational gymnastics classes at MES Johannesburg in the notorious Hillbrow district of Johannesburg


The kids love gymnastics. Equipment is pretty good. But there are long line-ups.


The organization hopes to hire one more coach soon.

Check the playground. :-)




more of my MES photos

kid’s book – Tina Tumbles

Danielle Soucy Mills is getting close to the $8000 she needs to publish and distribute a new children’s gymnastics book.

But she needs people to preorder over the next few days.

Click PLAY or watch the promo on kickstarter.

Details on kickstarter.

Inspire Sports, China

The Chinese Minister of Sport visited the new international school / gymnastics club. Kind of a big deal in China. :-)

It’s a model for the future of private gymnastics clubs in that nation.


more photos

The coaching staff is Canadian trained. Instruction is in English.

Check the video on this page.

Thanks Jeff.

Gymnastics Club collisions

Arabian Punch Front linked to this set-up video.

It’s a good reminder, though.

We must plan traffic flow in our facilities. Get the competitive kids out of the way during the busiest Rec class times.

Masters Gymnastics Survey

You are invited to participate in a research study of participation motivations and online media usage of masters gymnastics participants (Adult gymnasts). The study is being conducted by Andrea N. Eagleman, Ph.D., a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Exercise at Massey University in New Zealand. …


It takes about 15min to complete.

(via Rec Gymnastics)

Kyle Shewfelt’s new club

I dropped in to see the space that will soon be Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics in Calgary.

Looks great.

Kyle’s launched a Beta version of the website. Very classy, as is everything Kyle does.

Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics

test it out here


You will find tons of information about us, our programs, our schedules, our pricing, our Gold Medal Memberships, our partnership with Springfree Trampolines, our superhero mascot Super Cooper and more!

Mark your calendars:

Session 1 begins October 28th and runs for 8 weeks until December 21st.
Online registration opens Monday September 9th at 9am.

October Drop In Awesomeness:

We are in the midst of turning our space from a boring warehouse into a giant gymnastics playground. We will be ready to go with plenty of time before our first session. Once the renovation is complete, we will open our doors for an open house/drop in during the later part of October. Stay tuned for details and dates.

Teach good habits

With permission of Tumbl Trak, I’m reprinting one of their posts published Aug 27th, 2013.

This report represents what we were trying to accomplish over a series of clinics. Best practice for instructing non-competitive children as young as age-5.

Our last Choose Your Habits coaching clinic was hosted by Arizona Sunrays. Ambassador Rick McCharles and (former Arizona Wildcat star) Sunrays Competitive Team Director Nikki Beyschau co-taught.


26 coaches from 6 clubs attended. The diverse group included instructors in Trampoline & Tumbling, dance, Rhythmic, Cheer, CrossFit and Mobile Gymnastics. We were thrilled to find that preschool guru Jeannie McCarthy is now at Sunrays. :-)

Themes of the day included:

• positive coaching
• alternatives to spotting
• safer, faster, easier, FUN learning
• teaching good shapes … and avoiding mis-shapes
• motor & physical fitness
• life skills (e.g. discipline, respect, listening)
• positive coaching

demo girl

Sunrays has one of our new Laser Beams. Drop by and see it if you get the chance. It’s going to be the favourite low beam for learning new skills and combinations.

There will be FUN. :-)

bug game

Click PLAY or watch Nikki teaching Floor & Bar on YouTube.

(via Rec Gymnastics)

Cheer program with preschool

Is this common in Cheer clubs?

Prairie Fire Cheerleading is really excited to introduce our newest programming!

This Fall we will begin an exciting adventure with our Preschool Play and Learn Gym Classes! We will also be offering a preschool drop in class for kids to have some fun and burn up some energy while working on body awareness and motor skills in a controlled, coach led environment!



One of the owners is a former Artistic Gymnast and coach, expert in running preschool gym.

Note that the blurb is posted on kijiji. That’s a free online classified ad site (owned by Ebay), something like Craig’s List.

(via Rec Gymnastics)

Smart Moves online lesson plans

One of the best products I saw at U.S. Congress was demonstrated to me by Mike Fitzgerald from New Zealand.

His company — Smart Moves — offers a platform where any sport, any organization, any club can create a database of lesson plans.

Click PLAY or watch how it works on YouTube. (5min)

Everything is stored in the cloud. Everything can be viewed from any browser: tablets, smart phones, Mac, PC, etc.

Pretty slick.

Very customizable.

You can add images and videos.

Jeff Lulla, for example, has already put together a video series of Gymnastics drills for Smart Moves.

Click PLAY or watch a sample on YouTube.

Videos are easily linked to lessons.

If you might be interested, watch another more detailed video on how it works – Smart Planner (quick start videos combined)

Cost for most people is between US$29 – $99 / month.

Contact Smart Moves with more questions. Or sign up for a free 10 day trial.

Clubs and organizations are jumping on this RIGHT NOW. :-)

Smart Moves assumes you will be printing the lesson plans week-to-week.

In the future, instead, we’ll wirelessly display the lessons on monitors around the Gym using something like Google Chromecast ($35 / monitor).

Leave a comment if you’ve tried Smart Moves.

synchro giants on a truck

George Thomas:

Each summer the community of Woodinville, Washington hosts a parade featuring local businesses and civic organizations.

On Saturday, August 10, Eastside Gymnastics Academy showed up with a number of their recreational and high school team athletes marching in front of a giant flatbed truck, donated for the event by Boise Cascade, upon which coach Jason Farr mounted two strap bars and some mushrooms.

Several coaches and athletes swung giants down the Main Street parade route, which resulted in the club’s promotional brochures being snapped up by the greatly entertained curbside parents and kids.

truck giants

USAG and Right to Play

USA Gymnastics and Right To Play, a global organization that uses sport and play programs to educate and empower children facing adversity, recently joined forces to bring gymnastics and the opportunity to play to children across the United States.

National Gymnastics Day is a natural vehicle to provide outreach to disadvantaged youth.

With this year’s National Gymnastics Day less than two months away, USA Gymnastics is offering grants to USA Gymnastics member clubs that are creating special events to celebrate National Gymnastics Day and provide opportunities to children who currently do not have access to gymnastics. …

… three of the USA’s well-known gymnasts – 2012 Olympic all-around champion Gabrielle Douglas, 2008 Olympic horizontal bar silver-medalist Jonathan Horton and 2008 Olympic team silver-medalist Alicia Sacramone – will serve as Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors and co-chairs of National Gymnastics Day. …

Up to 25 $1,000 grants are available to USA Gymnastics Member Clubs.

Right to Play


(via Rec Gymnastics)

related – Right to Play USA