Sunday, September 22, 2013

Parent Meeting September 2013 Info Post

Communication from the September 2013 Acrobatic Gymnastics Program Parent Meeting at the Oakville Gymnastics Club

Congratulations to all the Acrobatic Gymnasts who were offered spots in the Oakville Gymnastics Club Acrobatic Gymnastics Program for the 2013/2014 season. We do appreciate your dedication, commitment and loyalty towards the acro program.

Don Holmes – Head Coach/Director of the Acrobatic Gymnastics Program – Coach Interclub Boys Acro Group
Jane Kirwan – Overseeing Coach of Elite A & B Acro Groups
David Scott – Assistant Coach Elite A & B, Coach Provincial Acro Group
Siarhei Sharapayeu – Assistant Coach Elite A & B, Coach Interclub Girls Acro Group
Staff Biographies to be posted on the OGC website.

The One Year Contract Policy:  As you know the Acrobatic Gymnastics program offers your child a space in the program for one year and at the end of each season we do ask all of our athletes to “ReTryout”.  By implementing the ‘Re-Tryout’ and ‘Tryout’ protocols we are not trying to be mean or unsupportive of those athletes that we have been working with and developing over the previous year (or years). Our program is a competitive program with a limited number of spaces. We are simply trying to ensure that those athletes who are the most deserving of a spot on the team are receiving those spots. If at some point we do ask your child to leave the program this may be thought of as a good thing allowing the athlete the opportunity to explore other sports where he/she may be more suited physically, mentally or socially. Also at that time we may invite them to try an alternative gymnastics discipline or program in the gym as we do believe that gymnastics is for all and we wish to keep everyone in the gym in some capacity.  Remember that Competitive Programs at the OGC are a privilege and an opportunity not a right.  We need to keep in mind Competitive Wants vs Recreational Needs.

Summer Attendance: During the summer session we expect 50% attendance as a minimum. We would prefer that your child attends 100% of their scheduled classes but we understand summer schedules are far more diverse and we would hope that kids take the time to enjoy summer camps, weeks at the cottage and time with family. Please send an e-mail to your athlete’s coach with the dates that your child will not be at gymnastics. Low attendance in some groups on specific weeks may allow us to accommodate other athletes who have summer training conflicts and permit them to make the minimum number of training hours.

Fall/Winter/Spring Attendance: During the school year we expect 80% attendance as a minimum. Obviously the less your athlete trains the less they will progress and the less they will be prepared for competition. It is in your best interest to have your athlete at the gym as much as possible.

Note:  Attendance in Acrobatic Gymnastics is very important as when one of a pair or group is not at the gym the entire group cannot work on the specific skills that make acro what it is.  Please make sure that your athlete and family are accountable to the other group members.  Share phone numbers and emails so that you can communicate before a practice whether or not you are sick or going to be absent for some reason.  Also look to plan family vacations at the same time or after major competitions so that time is not lost prior to a competition or training camp.

Pair / Group Parent Meetings: In the summer, fall and winter we plan to have Parent Meetings for the pairs / groups so that the families can meet, share contact information and give the coaches an opportunity to discuss the long term plan for the pair group.  Notice of these meetings will be sent to you via email.

Violation of Attendance Minimums and Removal from the Program: We cannot hold spots for athletes who do not attend the program. If you have schedule conflicts that will prevent your athlete from reaching the minimum attendance requirement but wish to remain as part of the acrobatic gymnastics program please e-mail the Acrobatic Gymnastics Program Director outlining your situation.

OGC Code of Conduct:  We have created a specific code of conduct for our athletes while part of the team, mostly for traveling with us while not with a parent.  As we travel to competitions you will see this document and if you have any concerns with it at that time we can address them then.

Schedules: Summer Schedules and Fall/Winter/Spring schedules have been distributed. We understand the logistical difficulties that families encounter by receiving these schedules in June as summer camp registration and vacations need to be booked several months in advance. Please note that we create our schedule with careful consideration. We realize that there will be conflicts and we have outlined how we are attempting to provide concessions for these conflicts.  Also note that due to the ever evolving space usage of the gym we may find it necessary to change a scheduled class temporarily or permanently depending on the situation.  We cannot foresee these situations but we will try to provide you with as much notice as possible prior to changes.

Increased Hours and Extra Training:  This year we have increased the training hours for all groups: Interclub Boys Group is new and only 4hours, Interclub Girls remains a 6 hours, Provincial to 8 and Elite B is 12 and Elite A is 16.  As the level of skill and competition progress the program will continue to increase the number of hours trained over the course of a week.  Expect an increase in the 2014/2015 season.  Day time training is now part of the Elite A and B groups fall schedule.  This will be the first year for this.  It is necessary for us to train one day time so that we can get floor time for routine work and belt work. Space is at a premium in our gym so this is a must for our highest level athletes.  We put the day time training on Tuesday afternoons so that athletes can receive homework for the day before they leave and catch up early in the week so they do not fall behind in their studies.

Extra Tumbling Classes:  The Interclub Acro classes are strongly encouraged to pick up a Recreational Trampoline & Tumbling class once a week over the fall/winter/spring.  The recreational Trampoline & Tumbling classes can be registered for through the main office. The Provincial Group group will have one extra tumbling and individual elements class for those who did not cross over from tumbling or artistic.  The athletes who are to be part of this extra tumbling class will be invited.  Elite A & B athletes did do this last year some of them but we are not offering the extra to them this year as we feel they should be able to get all necessary training in during the allotted time.

Extra Tops and Base Classes:  An Extra two hour class for tops will be offered to the Interclub Girls Group and Provincial group as the tops require some very specific flexibility and handstand skills we are asking that they get on the pegs for this extra class.  As well all tops should purchase their own handstand pegs to practice on at home every day.  An extra bases class is also on the schedule for those bases in the Interclub Girl group and Provincial Group.  This class will focus on the special skills that a base requires for supporting, throwing and catching their tops.

Peak Performance: Dance and Performing Extra work:  The Elite A & B groups will have an additional bit of training included in their fall training schedule where they will work on dance basics, learning choreography, and polishing the essentials of how to deliver a peak performance for competitions.

Choreography and Routine Creation:  We are requesting that routines for the Provincial and Elite group be created during a daytime training session as the gym is very full in the evenings when we are training.  As the coaches dictate for each group you may be asked to sign up for one or two, 2 hour daytime sessions to learn a routine (this could be more for Elite routines as they are more complete).  The cost will be $50 per hour (divided across the athletes in the pair or group).  i.e.  If your pair/group only needs two hours to learn the routine the cost will be $100 for the routine.  If they require the additional 2 hour session the cost will be $200.  Once the routine is created the coaches will be provided with a video of the routine and will continue to polish and refine the routine during the regular training sessions.  Routines may be recycled from year to year.  Additional choreographers may be used other than the coaches.  These expenses will only be for athletes performing Levels 6 and higher.  Levels 4 and 5 will be choreographed during the classes and kept very simple as there is no score for artistry.  The Interclub Boy and Interclub Girl groups will not be required to come in for extra choreography sessions to create a routine.  They may be invited in to work on a routine closer to a competition if the routine is in desperate need of work though.  Clean, tidy, and simple routines will score better but choreography will be introduced.

Acrobatic Gymnastics Program Weeks Off during the Summer: Note that these change each year as we need to address the competition schedule that is also ever changing.  We will try to let you know well in advance so that you can plan vacations/camps/etc.  We plan to have the last week of August and one other week over the course of the summer in 2014.  We will post which weeks those are in April or May 2014.

Active Rest: During the rest periods we expect athletes to remain active. We give the acrobatic gymnasts a checklist of activities to do during their off time in order to keep them fit.

Nutrition: We will post some nutrition information on the blog at some point to assist you with meal planning for effective trainings and competitions so keep you eye on the blog.

Viewing Area Closure: During the summer months and on some holidays the viewing area may be closed in the evening.  On these days there will be no parent viewing. Your child will be let in at the sliding glass doors at the front of the club and be ushered out at the end of their session. When the viewing area is closed no one is permitted in the gym lobby for safety and liability reasons. Our apologies for the inconvenience that this might cause.  If there is an emergency and you need to contact us inside the gym we ask that you bang on the back door of the gym to try and get our attention. 

Individual Parent Meetings: We offer individual parent meetings as we or you feel they are necessary. If you have individual questions that pertain to your specific situation we ask that you not address these in a public forum but leave it to an e-mail or individual meeting.

Chain of Command:  Speak to your child’s coach(es) directly for anything you may have questions about.  Then you may speak to Don.  If he is not able to help you then you can speak to Wayne Hussey the COO.  If you have a question about an event/competition DO NOT contact Gymnastics Ontario directly.  DO NOT contact the host club of an event directly.  If you have a question address it through the coach(es) and we will ask GO or the event host for you as your question is likely one that other’s have.

Sponsorship: Athletes are able to search for sponsors to offset the costs of training and competitions. The OGC has created a sponsorship package for all competitive athletes. Please enquire if you are interested in sponsorship.

Fundraisers: Currently the Acro Program is planning to run a Family Fun Night fundraiser in January.  The date is to be determined.   We may run another fundraiser at some point during the season. 

Event and Competition Schedule:  To be posted on the blog in the early fall.

Competitive Structure Provincial and National – See attachment, previous post

The Competitions – see attachment

Travel:  It is possible that we will travel outside of Ontario for competitions as acro is still growing and we may need to travel to find competitions to attend.  These events are not on our regular schedule of Gymnastics Ontario Qualification events so you will have to cover the cost for coaches to attend these events as well as pay for registrations.  Your registration fees for the GO qualification competitions are included in your OGC fees.  The cost for coach’s expenses will be divided up and shared across the athletes that attend.  Money from fundraisers may fully or partially offset the coach’s costs.

Training Wear:  For acro we prefer that athletes wear a leotard and shorts.  Athletes with long hair are expected to keep it in a high bun so that it is out of the way while performing skills.  Boys shorts should be above the knee as you may be doing elements where another athlete need to stand on your thighs.  Please not wear long board shorts.  Gymnastics shoes are optional.

Competitive Wear
We have a warm up leotard/shorts or singlet/shorts combo for the Provincial and Elite Group that they need to have when we go to competitions.  This Warm Up clothing if for the stretching and warming up portion of a competition.  Usually the suit you will wear for competition is more elaborate and we don’t want to cause damage to the competition suits by doing too much activity in them.  More information to be circulated in the fall.  You will receive information shortly about the warm up leos soon.  If you are in the Interclub groups you are expected to purchase the warm up leos as it may be your competition suit for the year depending on the pair or group you will be competing with.  An additional competition suit may be required.

Competition suits:  Each pair or group will have a matching leotard or singlet/sorts/pants for each competitive routine they perform.  We will generally keep the same suit for the season.  Athletes going to larger competitions or higher levels may have three competitive outfits.  Plan for this cost as competitive suits usually cost between $100 and $600 dollars per athletes.

Tracksuits and OGC apparel:  We have the royal OGC Acrobatic Gymnastics program t-shirt that will be for sale on the rack across from the office.  There are OGC Tracksuits that will be available through the main office.  We will also have OGC fitted women’s tracksuit in a Lululemon style available to purchase in the fall.  Stay tuned for more information on these items.  What do you need? The t-shirt (parents and family members are welcome to buy the royal acro t-shirt as well).  If you are on the Elite or Provincial Team women should have either the general OGC tracksuit or the fitted tracksuit.  Boys we prefer that you have the general OGC tracksuit for competitions.  Interclub athletes all tracksuit and OGC apparel is optional for you.  I suggest getting the royal blue t-shirt if you plan to attend a training camp or competition this year.

Other OGC Apparel:  We will have a navy or white hooded sweat shirt avail and navy or white OGC sweatpants available to purchase in the fall.  These additional items are optional and make great Christmas presents.

Therapy Clinic:  The Glen Abby Massage Therapy and Sports Injury Therapy Clinic located inside of the OGC is open to all.  It is not restricted to the athletes of the OGC.  All Oakville Community members are welcome to use the OGC clinic.   

Sport Psych:  We have a new therapist working in the clinic who deals with Sport Psychology.  Her name is Sarah Dybka and was herself a power tumbler coached by Don and Niki.  She is available for one on one sessions and will be starting regular additional work with the OGC National tumbling group in order to give them the competitive psychological edge in the 2013/2014 season.

Car Pooling:  If you are looking for Car Pooling options please create a simple classified advertisement and email it to Don.  Please include your Name, closest intersection or school for pick up location, your phone number or email address.  Don will then distribute this advertisement to the athletes in your child’s group or if you wish, to the greater competitive gymnastics community within the OGC.  

Any Financial questions please direct to Agnes Jankura in the main office.

Check your e-mails regularly for OGC info.

READ THE BLOG REGULARLY: It is VERY IMPORTANT that YOU keep up-to-date on the blog. It is the online bulletin board for our program. Everything is archived there so you can go back and pull any information that you might need.


Any questions can be directed to:

Don Holmes
Jane Kirwan
David Scott
Serg Sharapayeu

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