Curtin still open after 10 years

Long-time Men’s Artistic Gymnastics coach, John Curtin has notched up 10 years working for Gymnastics Australia.

Appointed the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG) National Coach in 2011, Curtin has seen a generation of gymnasts pass through his doors, some taking home gold at Commonwealth Games, some qualifying for World Championship finals, and some earning the right to take part in the pinnacle of gymnastics – the Olympic Games.

Prior to his current 10-year involvement in the sport, Curtin previously headed the role of National Elite Development Coordinator and Men’s National Program Manager for Gymnastics Australia between 1999 and 2003.

“I’m proud of the progress we have made in the men’s program over the past 10 years,” Curtin noted.

“Re-establishing the National Training Centre (NTC) at the AIS has been significant, not only in regard to results, but also the incredible support provided to resident NTC squad members and National Squad members during training camps.

“In recent years we have seen some impressive results on the international stage, most notably Tyson Bull placing 7th at the 2019 Stuttgart World Championships and earning himself a quota spot for the Tokyo Games, James Bacueti placing 11th at the same event; and who can forget Chris Remkes winning gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.”

Although Curtin believes the development and improvement of the Junior MAG program has been a highlight, particularly in recent times.

“In the inaugural Junior World Championships, our team placed 12th, with Jesse Moore and James Hardy both qualifying for apparatus finals.

“It has been great to see the development of some of these young men, the quality and standard of Junior Squad gymnasts has improved considerably and puts men’s gymnastics in a great position looking forward.”

Despite an array of success and proud moments through recent years, one moment stands above the rest.

“I was sitting in the stands at O2 Arena at the 2012 London Olympic Games with Alison and Bill Jefferis.

“Their son, Josh Jefferis placed 19th All-Around, the highest ranked Australian male gymnast at an Olympic Games.

“Josh was talent identified in 1992 and was introduced to the Queensland High Performance program. It was an incredibly proud moment to sit there with his parents, reflect on all the hard work he put in, and see him not only compete, but perform so well, on the highest stage.

“It was a special moment, something I will never forget.”

As Curtin reflects on his incredible involvement within the sport of gymnastics, 54 years of involvement to be exact, he hopes he has left a positive impact on the sport and all those involved.

“It has been an amazing opportunity to work with such a motivated group of athletes and coaches from around Australia, to contribute to the direction of their gymnastics and most importantly, contributing to the progress of the men’s program.

“The achievements and success of the MAG program would not have been seen without the determination, hard-work and commitment from all the athletes, coaches, support and administration staff along the way – without them, none of this would have been possible.”