FIG Artistic Gymnastics Age Group Development Camp in MAS
Doha (QAT), March 06, 2011: FIG Artistic Gymnastics Age Group Development Camp held in Kuala Lumpur (MAS), February 25 – 27, 2011. At the request of FIG President Prof. Bruno Grandi, the FIG Education & Academy Programme developed an Artistic Gymnastics age group programme for developing nations or those nations that are seldom seen at the World Championship level. With the funding support by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), this age group project will be presented in a series of introductory seminars and camps in four identified regions in the world – the South and South-East Asian area, the Western Asia area, North and Central Africa, and Central America and the Caribbean. Altogether this will expose as many as forty or fifty developing nations to the programme.
The Age Group programme includes a testing and monitoring programme for physical abilities and technical skills for Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics as well as a complete competition programme with modified 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 well known coach and clinician Dieter Hofmann (GER) and FIG Director of Education and Academy Programmes Hardy Fink (CAN) and, for the choreographic and artistic elements, many time Olympic-coach Carol Angela Orchard (CAN).
The first such introductory seminar and camp was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from February 25 – 27, 2011 at the facilities of the National Sport Council. Disappointing was that the “super-gym” that was ready for completion over 18-months ago is still only minimally equipped, especially with the sort of training equipment and landing pits required for age group gymnast development.
On the basis of a proposal submitted by the FIG two years ago, the IOC provided funding for the experts and for a MAG and WAG coach from each of the South and South-East Asian countries and will do the same for the other such events planned in other parts of the world.
In attendance were twenty-nine coaches from Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia. The experts were Hardy Fink as the course leader, Dieter Hofmann of Germany and Dr. Joanne Richard – a sport scientist and a national team choreographer and coach from Australia. Each of them presented different components of the age group project and presented additional theory and practical lectures to enhance the understanding and education of the participating coaches.
The participating federations will now study the components of this new project offered by the FIG with their federation leaders and decide if they wish to adopt and implement it within their countries and regions. If the decision is positive, then each federation will be offered an annual monitoring and updating camp in their own countries so that more coaches and gymnasts can be exposed to the information and their progress monitored. The FIG will incorporate the learning and observations from these introductory seminars to make small modifications to the programme if deemed necessary.
A second such seminar and camp will be introduced in Guatemala from March 10 – 12, 2011 for the countries of Central America and the Caribbean. The ones planned for North Africa and Western Asia will be postponed until the political unrest in those regions has settled.