Monday, April 27, 2009

Pop Quiz, HotShot.

General question, just throwing it out there:

Would YOU pursue the reading of, or the subscription to, Australian Gymnast magazine (or something running with such a titular theme but perhaps under a different...titular...) if it were resurrected?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Assignments FAILED.

GA weren't kidding when they said there would be no international assignments for Senior WAGs prior to Nationals - Lauren Mitchell is now out of May's Glasgow Grand Prix.

The team to the Germany "Pre-Olympic" Youth Cup is yet to be named.

Prashanth Sellathurai and Matthew Curtis to attend Alexander Dityatin Cup and Moscow World Stars events in Russia.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

One Hundred and One

Thanks and congratulations to E. Baldwin and K. Edgerton who have today become, respectively, the 100th and 101st members of Supporters of Australian Gymnastics!!!

By joining this group you are showing a commitment to the belief that gymsports are beneficial to people in Australia, and that our country's representatives in said sports are worthy of support and encouragement. You are also joining one less group on Facebook dedicated to Twilight.

And lo, there was rejoicing at this news and this blogger saw that it was good.


On another note, I'd love to hear from anyone attending the VWHPC Invitational on Sunday. I'm unfortunately unable to attend myself but wouldn't mind hearing from anyone who manages to attend the sessions. I'm particularly interested in what the Level 10s have on show.

You know the email address by now. You do your bit, I'll do my bit, and let's have ourselves a polite conversation.

Do iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

Would you like to become the 100th member of the Supporters of Australian Gymnastics group at Facebook?

We're at lucky 99, you could be the special one to tick it over to 100 members. Look for the group under my 'useful links' section on the lower right, click your way through, show our gymnasts you care and you could get a special mention here at the Australian Gymnastics Blog!

Happy Little Campers

Junior camp has come to a close. Come to think of it... so has Senior camp.

Front Row: (Left to Right) Angela Donald, Alexandra Eade, Naomi Lee, Zoe Lorenzin, Amelia McGrath, Mary-anne Monckton.
2nd Row: Ebonie Boucher, Isobel Looker, Jamison Ruscoe, Simone Williams, Natalia Joura, Grace Claringbold
3rd Row: Rachel Collister, Georgia Wheeler, Laura Hingston, Britt Greeley, Svetlana Sanders, Clare O'Donnell, Nikola Chung.
4th Row: Ashley Cooney, Tierra Exum, Emma Collister, Sophie Budack, Georgia-Rose Brown, Alexandra Byers-Armstrong, Georgia Simpson

Note - Britt was there to trial for the Pre-Olympic Youth Cup.

Note also - BOTH Collister sisters were present.

Note in addition - Isn't Stacey soooo adorable and smiley in her national tracksuit?

Hope you all have a safe and happy (sombre?) Anzac Day, marking the occasion in your own special ways. Olivia has a bit to say about Australian and American cultures here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another Aussie for NCAA!


Victorian/AIS elite Melanie Jones has been recruited to compete at Oregon State University where, as we all know, fellow Aussie Olivia Vivian is making a name for herself. Melanie will most likely join the Beavers roster after Worlds this year and work towards the 2010 collegiate season.

Very best of luck, Mel! Hope to eventually see you in the orange and black!

Thanks Richard for keeping me posted.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Queensland in, Utah Out.

Looks like Chloe Sims is not headed for collegiate gymnastics after all. From the Salt Lake Tribune:

The Utes have just two freshmen coming in next season, Meg Whitney and Katelyn Mohr. The third member of their signing class, Australian Chloe Sims, passed the SAT and had solid grades but didn't have all the necessary core classes to get through the NCAA Clearinghouse and won't join the Utes.

(Thanks to Swoop for the heads-up)

In addition to learning that piece of news, I was contacted by a Queensland source yesterday who told me Chloe was spotted at a Level 1 coaching course in Brisbane over the weekend and is looking like taking up a coaching position in Toowoomba, where I'm told she has recently moved (from Brisbane). She was there representing a particular club and did some skills for demonstration. She remarked that she had been out of training for some time and 'out of practise' but still performed diligently for the gathered coaches-in-training.

Best of luck to her, good to see she's still sticking close to gymnastics.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Stayin' Plucky

Good on Olivia V for keeping a positive mindset despite all her setbacks.

FYI Oregon State finished fifth yesterday in a tense second preliminary session of the National Championships, just keeping them out of the Super Six (see: team final).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beaver Gets a Fever

Bad news.

Olivia Vivian is out of the NCAA National Championships after being diagnosed with mononucleosis (or 'mono'). A nasty little virus, it is characterised by symptoms described here. She has not even been able to travel with her Oregon State team to Nebraska to cheer them on at the competition. She'll be out of action for several weeks.

This is quite sad news as we know how much Olivia was looking forward to representing her team and having fun with her OSU friends.

We wish her a speedy recovery and hope the team does their best in her absence.

Would you like to send a 'get well' message to our feverish freshman? Contact and I'll forward your good wishes on to Liv.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Camp News is Good News!

Training camp has apparently resulted in several missing digits.

In attendance:
Lauren, Dasha, Emily for WA
Shona, Georgia, Britt, Emma, Chloe Turko for Victoria
Mel J for AIS/Victoria
and Amber for Queensland

Victoria Williams, Crystal Yeo, Natasha Hamman (Hammond?), Larissa Miller, Fiona Coley, Karina Brooks.

I found this bit rather alarming:

"There will be no plans for any Seniors to attend international events prior to Nationals".

Ash Brennan still pondering retirement but nothing permanent has been decided. No retirements spoken for from anyone else. Fiona Coley back in the mix after planning a comeback. Glad I got to catch her in action at VWHPC.

Britt and Emily, along with 16 juniors, will attend a trial for an upcoming "Pre-Olympic" youth competition in Germany. Amber was slated to attend this trial but is recovering from a hamstring injury,


Attention Advertisers

This is just a short message to all advertisers, marketers, PR people, store owners and sales plebs who keep contacting me at the Blog's email address.

The rest of you can just sit for a moment and hum The Girl from Ipanema to yourselves. I'm talking to the suited and booted types.

Dear aforementioned sellers,

Please do not contact me asking if I can link to your sports magazine/fitness centre/social networking site/exercise product. Please do not contact me asking if I can place advertisements for your business or product on the Blog page. I have a strict policy of not willingly placing advertising on the site (whatever Blogger sticks on here is out of my control) because I hate seeing it myself and wouldn't inflict it on others who come here. I am sure they get enough of it on the other sites they visit. Banner ads, pop-ups, fake links, flashing little graphics, I will not have a bar of it. Furthermore I see no need to advertise your product if it has little or nothing to do with gymnastics at all, let alone the Australian national gymsport program.

And please do not think I will accept your offer of payment. I have reason to believe Blogger, who allow me to host this site, do not allow blogs to run for cash profit in the first place. Using Blogger is free, anyway, so I don't really require something to help with upkeep. Regardless, I wouldn't accept cash payment if it meant my readers had to put up with annoying advertisements or unecessary links. My "Useful Links" section is there for a reason, and the links there are not only useful but relevant, and don't require any financial transaction from the casual reader.

Really, just save your precious typing time and PLEASE DON'T ASK ME.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dear Gymnastics Australia (again)

I know you guys work hard.

I know you're a respected organisation.

I know you're made of more than just athletes.

This shorty ain't got no beef with that (y'all).

But let's be honest here.



The gymnasts?
The ones who worked their butts off at training camp?
The ones at the bottom of this picture?:


Can we pleeeeeeeeease get an update from training camp? Just a teeny weeny one? Even from the work experience kid who hardly gets to see the training hall because he's too busy making coffee and mental notes of everybody's names? Or even the cleaner???

In my email inbox...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Bunny, Easter Bilby, Easter... Beaver!?

Olivia Vivian talks about celebrating Easter Oregon-style in this latest blog entry.

Er... by "donna", I believe she means "doona". Damn typos!

Next week I will learn what it's like to go to a college gymnastics National Championships. I've already been exposed to new gymnastics experiences here at OSU and I hear this will be by far the best.

Happy Easter!

Mitchell Missing from Maribor

Looks like Lauren Mitchell won't be making the journey to Slovenia for the Maribor World Cup/Salamunov Memorial which takes place later in the coming week.

She does not appear listed in IG's latest article about the competition, nor does she appear on the definitive competitor list at the event's website.

One commenter has told us that she and Dasha were back in Canberra recently, performing routines for coaches doing a course. So we can presume she'll just be staying at home, perhaps making sure she's truly competition ready, if we are indeed going to see a new-look beam routine from her this season.

Intrigue and suspense ensue...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hoppy Easter

I hope you all enjoy a nice long weekend with your friends and/or families.

Have a relaxing, safe and happy Easter - or, for any atheists/agnostics out there (come on now, the Blog welcomes all), a joyous Improbable Resurrection Festival - with the ones you love... or at least grudgingly tolerate.

O hai. Dun worry, is ok. Is chawklit meddle.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

No News Is... Not Good.

*Twiddling thumbs*

Well this is eleven kinds of fun. No news, no goss, no discussion, no nuthin'.

Nobody even had comments on the new national tracksuits?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No Nerves for Nationals

Now bound for the National Collegiate Championships, Olivia Vivian and her fellow OSU freshman discussed their expectations for the regional championships, which qualified them for the Nationals, here.

“In between our byes [at the Pac-10 Championships] we’d go inside our locker room, we’d dance around, we’d play games. It was so much fun. The environment was so amazing and then when we got out there, we got out there to do our jobs. We didn’t care what had happened before, we just attacked every apparatus as a fresh start kind of thing.”
You can see Olivia's bars routine from the regional championships, including an unfortunate fall but a fantastic stuck dismount, here. She is the lead-off bars performer. It's nice to see that the coach is allowed to approach the gymnast after they fall and give them a quick pep-talk there and then instead of the girl just having a sorrowful walk back to the chalk bucket...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Go the O

Congratulations to Olivia Vivian and her Oregon State team-mates who are through to the National NCAA Gymnastics Championships after a good showing at the regional championship! What a coup for them, and a great recovery after Livvy apparently suffered a fall on bars. You can read a pre-meet article about the Beavers' bars lineup (which of course includes Olivia) here.

Thanks everyone for your feedback on yesterday's post. Keep it coming. I hope that a more public notice of the submissions helps the cause. I didn't realise the situation was so dire with some of my favourite members of the squad.

Late news... GA has revealed there is to be a new uniform for the 2009-2012 Olympic cycle (apparently the green-and-gold is for Levels?), provided by Adidas. Somebody got their stimulus package, methinks.

You can also read about our gymnastics representatives at today's Run for the Kids here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Show Me the Money

Not too long ago I found a submission by GA to the Independent Sport Panel outlining issues facing the the Australian gymnastics program (notably funding and publicity) and potential solutions. Little did I know that submissions by actual members of our squad (primarily our Olympic representatives from Waverley), and their parents, had also been forwarded to the panel before and after Beijing.

Thanks to Nade for the heads-up on these.

They make for insightful, but also rather sad, reading. For a long time we've wanted to hear the opinions of the gymnasts and gym parents themselves, but to finally get them is like asking someone how their day was, then sitting down, taking their hand and saying, "No, REALLY how was your day?" and getting the woeful response.

The primary issues at stake are those of funding, and Waverley's limited use of VWHPC facilities, as well as the fact that the girls didn't have their personal coach on the floor with them in Beijing.

Read Georgia's take here.

Australia's media coverage of international gymnastics has been appalling... In the US, college gymnastics fills stadiums and provides universities with the revenue to offer full scholarships to many athletes. I have been offered two positions already with US colleges, providing me with 4 years tuition, accommodation and living allowance. This kind of revenue could not be achieved without media support. Australia could really benefit if some effort was directed towards media coverage.

Read Mama and Papa Shona's take here.

Our girls train 32 plus hours a week and also attend school. They have no time to earn money in a part time job. This severely restricts their lifestyle; particularly when they reach 18 (and older) when they need money for living expenses - running a car etc. This lack of financial support is a major factor contributing to the excessively high drop out rate at this point. It seems a waste that all of the valuable years of training are not continued.

Read Mama and Papa Emma's take here.

Funding needs to be directed into helping and supporting the gymnast, coaches and clubs that are achieving results, not as it currently does, where the funding is used primarily to run the state institutes based gymnastics, paying for rent, coaching, equipment and administration.

Good on you, gym families. Fight the good fight. It's high time we heard from you as well as the staff and fans connected to training centres.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Give It Up For Marvellous Mia

Lacking some interesting TV now that the well-scripted, dramatic paragons of Yasmin's Getting Married and Are You Smarter than a Fifth-Grader are no longer with us?

Fear not.

I'm a little late to advertise it, but I've cracked onto a great show on Foxtel that has been earning good reviews here and overseas.

In Treatment is an American drama series starring Gabriel Byrne and Melissa George (to name a few), with Byrne as Paul, a psychiatrist addressing a series of weekly patients. One such patient is Sophie, a gymnast with Olympic aspirations played by engaging young Aussie actress Mia Wasikowska. Her story begins with a suspicious injury sustained as the road to the Olympics appears closer and closer. Sophie is serious, self-loathing, cynical, smart and sincerely watchable. 18-year-old Mia fills the character with electricity and emotion, a girl who tries to find out what makes Paul tick while trying to avoid the questions that would reveal the same of her.

In real life, Wasikowska devoted much of her teen years to an athletic passion, just like an elite gymnast - in her native Canberra, she was undertaking daily training to be a professional ballet dancer before pursuing acting on a whim. It's fair to say she can relate to her character.

It really is a fantastic show with fascinating portrayals. Check it out on Showcase if you're with Foxtel/Austar or hang out for the season 1 DVD.