FIG Artistic Gymnastics Age Group Programme
Kuala Lumpur (MAS) and Amman (JOR), January 26 – 31, 2013
LAUSANNE (SUI), FIG Office, February 6, 2013: Forty-seven more coaches from eight countries attended the two FIG Age Group Camps that were held thousands of kilometers apart during the last five days of January.
One of the camps was held at the National Sports Council Gymnastics centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Thirty-six coaches attended this five-day training camp. They represented seven countries – Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Ukraine, USA and Uzbekistan. Some of them were visiting coaches currently coaching in Malaysia. Twenty-three of the coaches were there for Men’s (MAG) and thirteen for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG).
The FIG expert and course leader for this camp was Jeff Thomson who has now completed a three-country tour of such camps – Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. He is the former Men’s Programme Director of Canada and Education Director of New Zealand. He was joined by Tim Lees a former Australian Olympian, one of the Academy Programme’s first experts form 2002 and a high performance men’s and women’s coach.
At exactly the same time, an identical FIG Age Group camp was held in Amman, Jordan at the Princess Rahma Centre for Gymnastics that is adjacent to the offices of the Jordan Gymnastics Federation. Eleven coaches attended that camp and all of them were from Jordan – five for Men’s and six for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics.
The FIG expert and course leader for the Jordan camp was Chris Evans who is a British WAG coach and has been an FIG expert at 16 FIG Academies and is an Osteopath by profession. The MAG expert was Pedro Almeida, the Technical Director and national men’s coach of Portugal and also a frequent expert for the FIG Academy programme.
These camps are intended to expose as many coaches as possible from the host country to the FIG Age Group Programme so that it will be implemented and understood uniformly.
The Age Group programme includes a testing and monitoring programme for MAG and WAG physical abilities and technical skills as well as a complete competition programme with modified optional rules for age-group gymnasts and compulsory exercises for all ages. It also includes a variety of additional information related to developing a systematic Gymnastics programme that can lead to high performance. The programme was developed by Hardy Fink (CAN) for the competition programme, Dieter Hofmann (GER) for the testing program and Carol-Angela Orchard for the dance and choreographic content. The just completed second edition of the published programme and manual was used at this camp.
The five-day camps focused primarily on practical work in the gymnasium with coaches and their gymnasts on the various technical and physical tests, the compulsory exercises and the modified optional rules. Some theory background was provided to promote the FIG philosophy of protecting gymnasts during the growth years.
We thank the Jordan and Malaysia Gymnastics federations for hosting these camps and for the enthusiastic interest and participation of their coaches. Special thanks to Wan Foong Lum and Onn Kwang Tuy for their assistance at the Malaysia camp and to Jad Mazahreh for his assistance in Jordan.
The introduction of the Age Group Programme continues in February with camps in El Salvador, Bangladesh and Dominican Republic. A training camp planned for Nepal was postponed because of safety concerns over the political unrest in that country.