Thursday, January 29, 2009

Goin' Down to C-Town.

If GA are to be believed, Canberra (or "Canbags" as I have heard it affectionately named) is where it's at this month. Talk of the AIS gymnastics program shutting down is certainly dispelled in their latest update. For now, at least.

All's well that ends well for AIS alum Hollie Dykes who has taken up a coaching position with the International Development Program. What a pleasant gymnastics world it would be if EVERYONE mastered the immaculate execution inherent in prima ballerina Hollie...

And yes, the Senior WAG team is there too. Including WAIS newbie Kayleigh Cooke from the UK. Fear not, AshleighAfficianados who thought Ms Brennan had up and left the squad altogether - she is, "still on holidays with her parents and assessing her competitive future". So there's still some hope there. Right?

*shakes you by the shoulders*

This is the bit where you slap me and say "Get a holda yourself, woman!".
Go on.
I'll wait.

Emily Little was specifically named as one to get a new floor routine, where all of the others will have their choreography worked on (Go Stacey, Go!)

In terms of assignments, there will be no Australian representative at the WOGA Classic or Nadia Comaneci invitational this year. That looks to be about it so far, with another verification camp in April to determine participation (if any) in a May "Pre-Olympic Youth Cup" in Germany. Lauren Mitchell is thus far confirmed to head to Doha.

P-Liddy (we tight, yo) confirms that Nationals this year in July WILL be an international 'friendly' (pleaseChinaorGBpleaseChinaorGBpleaseChinaorGB) and act as a determiner for European events such as the Grand Prix events in France and Germany. Hopefully it won't just be a case of same-old-same-old, sending girls who've been before and whatnot. This is a new year and a chance to capitalise on the Olympic experience of others in the squad.

Apparently there are a few "surprise" skills and upgrades to expect among the group.

I call consistent DTYs from Dennis and Morgan, a full-in final floor pass as well as, at the very least, good foundations for an Amanar from Joura. Oh, and let us not forget that the latter is also slated for a new floor routine.

I've had the traffic counter up on the blog for less than a week, and already you wonderful readers have clocked up over 900(!) visits to this page. If it weren't so socially frowned-upon or lamely overwrought by blazer-clad beardy weirdies in YouTube videoclips for crappy Sydney emo bands... I'd run up and hug you all.


Nic said...

Wow Hollie looks so different would have never even recognised her!

Anonymous said...

China would be great .. also love to see Japan, or even Brasil!!


Nic said...

was there really talk of closing down the AIS gymnastics program?

Mez said...

Yes, there has been word floating around. Simply because of all the retirees/leavers (Blount, Dykes, Hernandez, McDonnell...) not to mention injuries cropping up, and the fact that results from their gymnasts are getting poorer and poorer at national events. Melissa Munro's article probably didn't help for PR either.

Still, Mary-Anne M could change all that and be the shining beacon of the program into the new quadrennium, we just don't know.

Anonymous said...

Was there actual talk of it amongst TPTB or was it just discussions on the message boards??

Mez said...

That's a blurry line, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Is there anywhere on the net where I can read Melissa Munro's article? What was in it? Maybe I have been sleeping under a log (well who can blame me with this hot weather)

Anonymous said...

For MUNRO'S article.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mez,
You do a great job on your blog and we all get the benefit of your sleuthing. The problem is that as you are not in the inner circle, there is often a lot of speculation... some accurate, some not. That is not a criticism but I have a suggestion. Why don't you phone the gymnasts, coaches and parents from time to time to see where they are at. It should not be too hard. Perhaps start by calling the programmes concerned too. If you are up front that you are effectively a reporter for your blog, then people will only say what they are happy to say. I think you have established yourself well and truly as being someone of good character and good intentions and will not distort the facts. You will just tell it as you see it, just like you always have. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should harass people, you would just be talking to people who would be happy to talk to you. I really think you could be the missing link because I bet there are plenty of people out there directly involved in Aust elite WAG who would be willing to say plenty either on or off the record but cannot because there is no forum. The Message board does not work because anyone giving specific information is quickly identified and they have to go to ground.

Anyway, go forth, be bold, make yourself known and talk to ANYONE you want to as you definately have the street "cred". I would look forward to an even better blog, even growing into an e-zine.. go for it girl, the Australian gymnastics community is counting on you.

Sorry to end on a dramatic note!!

Cidlover said...

"Canbags" sounds like a pejorative term.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mez, i have been thinking about this for quite a while and some of the comments that have come up recently have got me to thinking that maybe an online magazine might not be such a bad idea. I don't think it is necessarily GA's role to give editorials about individual gymnasts and the like but i think the gymnastics community really needs some sort of national magazine and the web seems more likely the go these days. i think gymnasts would like information and reports and profiles on international gymnasts and national gymnasts. perhaps some of us can get together and discuss this. Would Froggy be interested???

I think it would be easier to get people to comment and interview in a magazine style format that is impartial as opposed to the message boards and blogs which can become emotional at times.