Inaugural Team Future Advance Camp held in Canberra

Friday, 18 July 2014

Representing five different training gyms from around the country, 15 gymnasts aged 12-13 years earned the right to attend the first ever Team Future Advance Camp.

Having been selected as a result of their outstanding results on the IDEAL skills test recorded in the first half of 2014, the camp was a mixture of training and other fun and educational activities. The gymnasts were also fortunate enough to observe our Commonwealth Games team training whilst at camp.

Led by Gymnastics Australia's National Pathways Team of Jo Richards and Alexis Lebedew, each of the gymnasts' personal coaches were also in attendance. The athletes and coaches had many great experiences during the four day camp including:
• Six action packed training sessions where the girls worked really hard on their targeted skills; 
• National Coach Peggy Liddick hosted a gymnastics video session. The girls and coaches studied the performance standards for various different skills – figuring out why different skills get ‘paid’ while others don’t;
• Senior National Team gymnasts Georgia Godwin, Lauren Mitchell and Olivia Vivian came into the gym and trained alongside the girls and gave them a few helpful tips to assist their training – we have a few budding coaches there! In the evening the girls had a great session where the campers asked the three seniors ’20 questions’ about their gymnastics journey. The session culminated in Olivia and Lauren delivering fabulous talks about ‘What would I tell my teenage self’ – a terrific learning opportunity for the young gymnasts;
• Educational group activities to help their training – they studied self-regulation techniques, communication strategies and learnt tips to help deal with frustration;
• Peggy led a discussion with the girls regarding ‘Let’s get organised - behaviours of a high level gymnast’;
• The girls relaxed in the AIS recovery centre and received some injury prevention information from Australian team Physio Wendy Braybon. All of the girls performed very well in their physical testing. Well done to Lily Gresele (WAIS) who was the most physically prepared athlete at the camp;
• The girls performed a show of all the skills they are learning in the ‘National Direction’ – please watch and enjoy the video; and
• When the coaches were not busy with their gymnasts they used every spare moment in workshops with GA WAG High Performance Manager Liz Chetkovich working on their Individual Athlete Plans and Tracking.

Also held in parallel was a Gymnastics Choreographers workshop which was facilitated by gymnastics artistic preparation specialists Lisa Bradley and Stacey Umeh. The group of choreographers studied the art or choreography, building dance skills, basics for ballet barre and beam dance and much more. Special thanks to Grace, Katherine, Kate and Jude for taking the time and interest to further their knowledge.

Thanks very much to all the staff who helped out during the camp, including GA staff Liz Chetkovich, Peggy Liddick; Choreographers Lisa and Stacey; the AIS pathways team Juanita and Daniel, WAIS sports psych Shayne Hantz and physio Wendy Braybon.

The next Team Future Advance Camp will be held at the AIS December 12-16, 2014.

For more information regarding this area in the Women’s High Performance Program please contact Jo Richards, jrichards@gymnastics.org.au.