Best young talent impress in Melbourne

Friday, 6 December 2013

Highlights from the IDP Clinic held in Melbourne

99 of Australia's best young gymnasts aged between 9-12 years and their personal coaches recently attended the International Development Program (IDP) Clinic, in total representing 15 different High Performance programs from around the country.

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The clinic was led by Gymnastics Australia's National Pathways Manager, Jo Richards, along with experienced coaches:
–  Women's Artistic Gymnastics National Coach: Peggy Liddick
–  VWHPC VIS Gymnastics Coaches: Misha Barabach and Tracey Penaluna
–  Choreographer: Stacey Umeh

Liz Chetkovich, the newly appointed Women’s Artistic Gymnastics High Performance Manager was also on hand to advise and network with the coaches and managers present. It was very nice to see so many coaches observing during the clinic. Coaches travelled from as far away as Darwin to observe the clinic – a wonderful way to attain professional development experience and witness the latest coaching techniques. GA staff from our Industry Training and Development team were also at the clinic observing the latest spotting techniques and body lines required for High Performance gymnastics.

All of the participating gymnasts actively compete in the IDP and were selected from their performances and ranking on the National IDEAL Skills test. The focus of the clinic was refining the girl’s basic techniques whilst also extending them in appropriate areas of advanced skill development.

The clinic was divided into two groups: Clinic 1 and 2, both clinics trained 5 full training sessions over the 3 days – so it was a busy schedule for their coaches!

In between training sessions many of the girls were involved in the final testing session of the research study - “A Multi-factorial risk analysis of Australian elite female gymnasts”. Gymnastics Australia, the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Australian Catholic University are working together on a nationwide research project on injuries in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics. The project aims to identify the “at risk” development stages for elite female gymnasts and, secondly, the risk factors associated with elite gymnastics. We are looking forward to some helpful and interesting research findings in the future.

Physical testing of all the gymnasts was conducted during the clinic. Congratulations to the following girls who excelled to be named the best physically prepared gymnasts for each age group:
• 12 years: 1st Lily Gresele (WAIS), 2nd Alyssa Chau (WGC), 3rd Sarah Melson (WGC)
• 11 years: 1st Georgia Fragiadakis (SWGS), 2nd Dayna Sulaiman (WAIS), 3rd Nina Phan (WGC)
• 10 years: 1st Sidney Stephens (WAIS), 2nd Jaime Clarke (QHPC), 3rd Isla Ross (QHPC)
• 9 years: 1st Jasmine Weeks (SWGS), 2nd Charlie Ivey (QHPC), 3rd Clara Kolm (WAIS)

The overall physical test champion was Lily Gresele (WAIS). Sidney Stephens (WAIS) was the only gymnast who was able to perform a minimum of 10 kip to handstands and cast to handstands in a row (not easy with a sponge held between the feet!) and 10 press to handstands – well done Sidney! (Sidney actually performed 40 press to handstands!). I would love to see more girls able to achieve this standard during our physical testing session at camp.

Well done to the following girls who excelled in the individual tests:
• 20m sprint – new comer Elly Beyes in a speedie time of 3.408 seconds
• Alyssa Chau, Amanda Cordeiro (both WGC) and Jaime Clarke (QHPC) performed 22 chin ups in 30 seconds
• Rebecca Chen performed 17 beautiful cast to handstands in a row – with perfectly straight arms
• Grace Whitfield (MW) with 25 leg lifts in 30 seconds
• Alexa Yu (YHPP) did the most press to handstands in a row – 41 – up 10 from last camp! (Sidney and Alexa have a great rivalry going!)
• Alyssa Chau (WGC) jumped 68 cm longer than her standing height in the standing broad jump
• Madison Moore (WGC) sprinted up the rope in the time of 11.22 seconds 
• Sidney Stephens (WAIS) swung 15 kip to handstands – 3 more than last camp
• Nadine Araujo (YHPP) balanced on her hands for the incredible time of 4 minutes 30 seconds – bettering her own camp record by 13 seconds!

To see which gymnasts were announced as members of the 'IDEAL Skills 1000 point club' and 'IDEAL Skills 1500 point club' as well as videos from the Camp, visit the Gymnastics Australia website.