Ecuador hosts its first FIG Academy03/06/2015
Ecuador hosted the overall fourth Spanish language FIG Academy for Acrobatic Gymnastics in the capital city of Guayaquil during the last week of May 2015. This was a Level 1 Academy, the 11th Academy for that discipline and the 199th overall. Six of these eleven Acrobatic Academies have been hosted by countries of the Pan American Gymnastics Union (PAGU) and this bodes for a good future for that discipline on that continent. With this event, Ecuador becomes the 63rd FIG member federation to host an Academy.
Nineteen coaches representing six countries – Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico – participated in this Academy.
This Academy was partially funded by the FIG Development Fund for the Pan-American Gymnastics Union and all Spanish speaking FIG member federations were invited. PAGU has used a significant portion of the money from the FIG Development Fund annually to subsidize the attendance of coaches at Academies and that policy has been enormously successful. Twenty-one PAGU countries have now hosted 70 Academies and more than one-third of all Academy participants have come from 26 PAGU countries.
The course leader was Lilia Ortiz Lopez of Mexico who has served frequently as FIG expert at Academies and Age Group programme sessions. She taught most of the theory lectures and artistic preparation. Two other experts came from Europe to teach at this Academy. Lourenço França of Portugal who coaches the Portuguese National Team taught technical lectures and biomechanics. He was joined by Jorge Mendez, one of Spain’s national coaches and who served as a FIG expert for the first time.
The three-part examination proved quite challenging because not many participants were very familiar with this discipline. The examination includes a theory examination and a two-part practical examination where the candidates must demonstrate the ability to teach an individual element and a group element. However, most achieved satisfactory results and some received excellent results. Viviana Vargas of Ecuador received the highest mark of 88%. She was followed by Christian Del Valle Castillo of Puerto Rico and a three-way tie for third place by the other three Puerto Rico candidates – Yarimel Casillas, Ishyra Garcia and Joseph Gonzalez.
We thank the Ecuador Gymnastics Federation and especially the President, Jorge Portalanza Miranda, for providing everything necessary to host this Academy successfully. We need to give a special thanks to Rosendo Verdesoto, of the Guayas Gymnastics Federation and Gustavo Portalanza the son of the president for the day-to-day work to assure everything ran smoothly.
This Academy finishes an incredibly busy two-month period for the FIG Academy programme that held twelve Age Group camps and six Academies during this period. The next Academies will go to South Africa for a Rhythmic and an Artistic Academy and then to Europe for Level 2 Academies for Acrobatics in Belgium and for Artistic Gymnastics in Norway and Belgium and Trampoline in Netherlands and also one for Trampoline in the Americas in Bolivia.