Gymnastics Australia hosts final FIG Academies of 201505/01/2016
Australia receives the license to use the FIG Level 1 and 2 Academy curriculum for its own education of Acrobatic Gymnastics coaches.
Gymnastics Australia hosted a “three-discipline” FIG Level 2 Academy in the capital city of Canberra on December 13-20, 2015. The three disciplines of Men’s (MAG), Women’s (WAG), and Acrobatic Gymnastics were held simultaneously. The theory lectures were shared by all and held at the Australian Institute for Sport (AIS) and the technical lectures were held in different parts of the excellent Gymnastics-training hall at AIS.
Because Australia has had a good level of coach education and good international competition results it was eligible to apply for the license to teach the FIG Level 1 and Level 2 Academy content within its own country to its own coaches and with its own experts. The first and only license for the FIG MAG and WAG Level 1 and 2 Academy curriculum was awarded to South Africa in 2005 as a test of the concept. South Africa has run nine such Academies for hundreds of its coaches. It would be impossible for the FIG to travel there so often and to teach so many Academies. It was not until the end of 2013 that the FIG Executive Committee established the licensing principles for the future. Australia is the first member federation to avail itself of this opportunity.
In order to receive the license, the Australian experts had to learn and co-teach the Academy curriculum with FIG experts to assure consistency in all aspects of the course delivery and the examination process.
A total of thirty coaches attended this three-discipline Academy. All of them coach and live in Australia but some were citizens of Great Britain, Russia and New Zealand. They were taught by thirteen theory and technical experts - ten were Australian experts and three experts were sent by the FIG. As many as twenty-five demonstrator gymnasts were available for the entire week of the Academy.
Artistic Gymnastics Academy report
The technical lectures for Men's and Women's Artistic Gymnastics were held at the magnificent facilities of the Australian Institute for Sport.
Twenty-two coaches participated (14 for MAG and 8 for WAG) from four FIG member federations – Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, and Russia.
Eleven experts taught and co-taught the various theory and technical lectures. The course leader from the FIG was Hardy Fink (CAN), the director of FIG Education & Academy Programmes. He was joined by Dr. Keith Russell (CAN) who is the President of the FIG Scientific Commission and certainly the most renowned Gymnastics coach educator in the world. Australia provided four experts for the men’s technical lectures: Sergei Chinkar coach of multiple Olympic champion Vitaly Scherbo, Vladimir Vatkin, coach of two time world All-around champion Ivan Ivankov, John Curtin, Australia’s head coach and Sean Wilson head coach of the national training centre in Brisbane. The WAG technical lectures were taught by Stacey Umeh for music, dance and choreography, Peggy Liddick the senior national coach and junior national coach Dr. Joanne Richards. Peggy and Joanne also taught some of the theory lectures and were joined by Dr. Denise Jennings and Michelle De Highden for some of them.
The examination results for the participants averaged the highest of any previous Academy. This was in part to good preparatory education by Gymnastics Australia and the very stringent internal passing requirements of 80% on each of the theory and practical portions of the two-part examination. All of the participants worked hard all week and late into every night to prepare for the examinations. The highest result for MAG and for the course overall was achieved by 2012 Olympian Joshua Jefferis of Australia who achieved an amazing score of 97% on the combined theory and practical examinations. MAG coach Rhys Keirle of Australia placed second and a female MAG coach Shanna Farenden placed third with 93%. The top WAG result was shared by Nastashia Buck Shoo and Jade Guerin both of Australia. Fully eighteen of the twenty-two participants achieved the high score required by Gymnastics Australia. An amazing accomplishment and, since most of the coaches were quite young, it bodes well for the future of Australian Gymnastics.
Acrobatic Gymnastics Academy report
The technical lectures for Acrobatic Gymnastics were held at the magnificent facilities of the Australian Institute for Sport.
Only eight coaches participated from two FIG member federations – Australia and Great Britain.
Eight experts taught and co-taught the various theory and technical lectures. As for the Artistic Gymnastics Academy the course leaders from the FIG were Hardy Fink and Dr. Keith Russell. Lourenço França who is the National Acrobatics coach of Portugal and a frequent Academy expert for this discipline was also sent by the FIG to present the Acrobatic Gymnastics curriculum. Australia provided Yuriy Stepchenkov as its technical expert. He was the first President of the FIG Acrobatics Technical Committee when that discipline joined the FIG in 1996 and has lived in Australia for fifteen years. The theory lectures were shared with MAG and WAG. Stacey Umeh taught music, dance and choreography. Peggy Liddick, Dr. Joanne Richards, Dr. Denise Jennings and Michelle De Highden taught and co-taught these theory lectures with the FIG Experts.
The examination results for the participants were mostly very high. The highest result for Acrobatics was achieved by former World Games participant Ingrid Dunkerley of Australia who achieved an amazing score of 97% on the combined theory and practical examinations. She was followed by Jasmine Meaker and Rebecca Buffrey, both also of Australia. They were the only three that achieved the high score required by Gymnastics Australia.
We thank and congratulate the Gymnastics Australia and its President Jacqui Briggs-Weatherill for hosting this event so successfully. Adrienne Glancy and Michelle De Highden worked for many months to make this Academy a reality. They were joined at the Academy by Elizabeth Freeth. Among the three of them they worked tirelessly to assure all needs were met for experts and participants. They are already preparing for the first use of the FIG Academy license for a Level 2 Academy for WAG in January.
This three-discipline Academy ends an extraordinary and incredibly busy year for the FIG Coach Education Programmes. Thirty-one Academies added six new host countries – Puerto Rico, Nepal, New Zealand, Jamaica, Ecuador and Benin – to make a total of sixty-six and increased the number of participating member federations to one hundred and twenty-two. Over 3.200 different coaches have now participated with 5.800 attendances at 218 Academies. The FIG Age Group Development and Competition Programmes added fifteen training camps around the world and introduced the Rhythmic Age Group Programme in three regional camps to twenty-five countries. The MAG and WAG Age Group Programme is now fully online in three languages and linked to relevant videos for each part of the programmes. These programmes have also reached impressive numbers with sixty-one training sessions attended by over 1.400 different coaches from eighty-eight federations. The FIG Education Programmes also organised three Continental Union Training Camps, a Music Education Seminar for Academy experts; two World Championship Workshops and a number of Olympic Solidarity Courses as well as other special projects requested by the FIG President for well over one coach education event per week throughout 2015.
We thank the many participants and federations and wish all of them and all readers of this report a wonderful, healthy, and successful New Year.