Dave Tilley on Athlete A


Dave is pissed at bad coaches. 

Quit coaching if you can’t do it safely. 

He points out there are many excellent, ethical, safe coaches too.  We don’t hear about them.

He calls for mandatory sport science coach education in the USA.  The States is the only major western nation where coach education is not required.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

new book – Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

 Socio-cultural Perspectives

Published April 22, 2020

Edited by Roslyn Kerr, Natalie Barker-Ruchti, Carly Stewart, and Gretchen Kerr.

This book lifts the lid on the high pressured, complex world of women’s artistic gymnastics. By adopting a socio-cultural lens incorporating historical, sociological and psychological perspectives, it takes the reader through the story and workings of women’s artistic gymnastics.

Beginning with its early history as a ‘feminine appropriate’ sport, the book follows the sport through its transition to a modern sports form. Including global cases and innovative narrative methods, it explores the way gymnasts have experienced its intense challenges, the complexities of the coach-athlete relationship, and how others involved in the sport, such as parents and medical personnel, have contributed to the reproduction of a highly demanding and potentially abusive sporting culture.

With the focus on a unique women’s sport, the book is an important read for researchers and students studying sport sociology, sport coaching, and physical education, but it is also a valuable resource for anyone interested in the development of sporting talent.



It’s available through Amazon.com.

Professor Barker-Ruchti contends that coaches should plan for Gymnastics peak performance as adults, rather than trying to teach as much difficulty as possible when girls are small:

Gym is not child’s play: study

44% of campers test positive for COVID-19

Of 597 campers and staff at a YMCA sleep away camp in Georgia, 44% — 263 people — tested positive.

Of course games, singing and cheering together were encouraged, mostly without masks.

The camp followed disinfecting rules and required staff to wear masks, but campers did not have to wear face coverings.

Campers ranged in age from 6 to 19, and many of the staffers were teenagers. Cabins had between 16 to 26 people.

51% of positive cases were in 6-to-10-year-olds.

Staff at the camp had all tested negative in the previous 12 days.

related – YMCA says they regret opening summer camp where COVID-19 infections occurred

following the #GymnastAlliance allegations

If you are having trouble keeping up with the ongoing series of gymnasts brave enough to come forward with incidents of past abuse, catch up on the GymCastic podcast.

432: #GymnastAlliance

434: Svetlana Khorcanceled

Svetlana Khorkina was a fantastic gymnast. But she’s clearly an egomaniac with no empathy. Literally the last person in the Gymnastics world who should be commenting on safety and ethics.

Dutch team enjoys a ‘healthy sports climate’?


The Dutch Federation has taken allegations very seriously.  And especially the admissions of Gerrit Beltman, now coaching in Singapore. 

Last week, the KNGU announced an independent investigation into all Gym Sports.  And urged athletes to report abuses to the Center for Safe Sports in the Netherlands. 

And now they’ve stopped the coaches of the current National Team from working with those athletes while the investigation is underway.  Gymnasts can still train, but not with their personal coaches. 

‘The stories are coming from all sides,’ KNGU chairwoman Monique Kempff told a news conference. ‘And if you want to make a cultural shift, you cannot take half measures.’

Read more at DutchNews.nl

___ original post from July 28, 2020 below:

Good news.  Things have changed for the better.

The current Team Netherlands supports their coaching system.

The statement can be read on the Instagram pages of Sanne Wevers, Lieke Wevers, Eythora Thorsdottir, Vera van Pol, Laura de Witt, Tisha Volleman, Sara van Disseldorp, Naomi Visser, Kirsten Polderman and Sanna Veerman. Céline van Gerner, who stopped last August, also shared the statement. …

“The past period has been an accumulation of sad news from the world of gymnastics. First internationally, but now also nationally. Our condolences go to everyone who has had negative experiences in our sport.”

“We do not recognize ourselves in the image that is now sketched of Dutch gymnastics with regard to the stories of the past. Where in the past there was room for physical and mental flogging, this is a thing of the past … 

National gymnastics team responds: ‘We do not recognize ourselves in the sketched image’

Netherlands at Doha 2018

Female FIG MAG judges


… Where are all the female judges in Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG)?

With 852 MAG Brevet level judges worldwide, only 13 are female. …

… It wasn’t until 2013 when Great Britian’s Nikki Hanley became the first woman to judge men’s gymnastics at the World Championships …

While Nikki was the first female MAG Brevet judge to judge at a world championships, Australia’s Kath Graham was the first known woman to pass the MAG Brevet exam. After passing the exam in 1989, and each successive 4 years after that, she was repeatedly denied accreditation by the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG). The FIG was contacted for comment and noted that they had no records regarding the first female Brevet judges.

Finally, in 2001, Kath was approved to begin judging, however, it wasn’t until 2005 that she became the first Brevet-level female to judge MAG internationally. Kath’s first assignment was the University Games in Izmir. The following year, she became the first female to judge the Commonwealth Games. …

History of Female Brevet Judges in Men’s Artistic Gymnastics

In my experience in Canada, females have always been welcome to judge boys.

I recall writing the FIG exam with Joanie Fortin from Quebec, one of the best judges in the room. Joanie got lots of respect from the old boys club there, most of whom scored lower.

Nikki Hanley

statement from FIG President Watanabe

You have opportunity to report incidents to FIG alongside National reporting systems.


In the wake of this (Nassar) affair, the FIG has established the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to encourage anyone to report any form of rules violation, abuse and harassment, and to provide a safe, confidential mechanism to do so. www.gymnasticsethicsfoundation.org/safeguarding

The task was not easy, but today the Foundation is fully operational and is investigating several cases.

As well as any form of physical violence clearly being intolerable, insults and threats have no place in any training hall. …

Message from the FIG President

interview with one of Nassar’s victims

Sara Teristi … “first met Larry Nassar–the most prolific known sex criminal in American sports history–at a gym in Michigan in late 1988.

She was a young gymnast in a vulnerable state, she says, having been emotionally trampled by her hard-driving coach, John Geddert, a man who made her feel worthless.

Nassar, who was volunteering as team doctor, zoomed in on her right away. …

Today, she says she wrestles more with the psychological abuse of her coach than the sexual abuse of the doctor. …

An Early Survivor of Larry Nassar’s Abuse Speaks Out For the First Time

This piece is adapted from her new book The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down, by Abigail Pesta. 

worldwide coaching culture in Gymnastics

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has been urged to hold a worldwide symposium “as soon as possible” to address the coaching culture within the sport in the wake of several abuse scandals.

In an open letter to the FIG, the Royal Dutch Gymnastics Federation (KNGU) expressed concern the culture portrayed in the Netflix documentary Athlete A is “not isolated but constitutes a risk for the entire world of gymnastics around the globe”. …

FIG urged to hold worldwide symposium to address coaching culture in gymnastics