Welcome to the new AAAsports Blog! Each week we will have a coach providing an update for the site, detailing what they’ve been doing this week and their highlights for the week. Obviously some weeks will be more extensive than others depending on what’s happening, but let’s see how it goes! If you want to comment on anything that’s mentioned here, don’t forget to visit our Twitter or Facebook pages and leave a post!
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AAA ups and downs and ups!
17th May 2013
HIt has been another busy week at AAA! Unfortunately my husband had to go away this week on Monday, but fortunately that provided me the opportunity to attend Monday's bouncing sessions at Sandhill! Its amazing how busy and productive these sessions seem to be. The atmosphere was fantastic!
I really enjoyed working with Alex, Jenny and her mom. Alex had lost his feel for crash dives but with a few very minor tweaks they were looking superb! Hopefully he now also understands them a little better so he can fine tune them himself. Jenny and her mom are both working hard on their routines for the club championships. Jenny has now learned how to feel tall and tight to bounce higher and her mom has perfected her seat landings. The straight legs especially, making all the difference. It was a real pleasure to work with all of you! (I'm hoping I will have a similar opportunity next Monday as sadly my husband will be away again....)
At the beginning of the conditioning session, Andi had a chat with all the elite members as to a clash of really important competitions. Unfortunately there is a conflict between the Northern Closed comp and the Spartacus Invitational Cup in Greece (and a further clash with the Welsh Cup). After weighing up all the benefits for our members and the club as a whole, we have decided to support the Spartacus Cup in Greece! This was a really, really difficult decision to make so we are now looking for a lot of hard work from the elite squad members to make that competition an absolute success! Let's see.... sunshine, warmth versus cold, snow and rain - - actually the weather wasn't even a factor but will be a nice a perk!
The conditioning session was also brilliant going through the grid conditioning at a quick pace without stopping gives a nice burn of the muscles that make you feel like you've worked a bit! Its a great feeling! The second session was also very busy with excellent routine work going on! I think we are going to see performances of an extremely high standard at club champs this year. I am getting excited already!!!!
Tuesday was also a great day for me! Although I'm not at AAA Tuesdays :-( I am at South Durham. It is always a pleasure for me when the adult session starts and I see familiar AAA faces coming through the door! This week we had the elite cheer squad and Emily. The cheerleaders have been getting some extra training in for their upcoming competition this weekend. I have to say I am really impressed with how much progress they have made from last week (when they also came for some extra work). I was impressed with how hard they worked and the progress made on each iteration! Good luck, girls! Hope you do well! My highlight - of the week no doubt! - however, was Emily working on trampoline. Emily is committed to meeting the tough requirements to compete in Greece this year and her single minded determination has made her a woman possessed! Nothing is going to stop her. She not only did her first cody, but went on to do several - ditching support and mat by the end! This from someone who struggled for months just to do a lazy back! I was so pleased to be there for her first one! Thanks and WELL DONE, Emily!!!! Keep up this determined spirit. I love seeing it.
Wednesday's elite session was focused on the upcoming graded on Sunday and gala in early June. It's really nice that all of our squad members are able to complete their routines with absolute brilliance. Now it is just a matter of keeping the nerves at bay and performing them to their best on Sunday! I was particularly amazed by the difference in Ethan's routines when he focused on keeping his legs tight and straight from his kickouts all the way down to contact with the bed. Sweet! I was also really pleased with Ewan's progress when he kept his arms stretched and straight providing some body tension. We timed several of his routines and through this type of focus improved his time by almost a full second! Well done to both of you!
During DMT Thursday, I had a good look at some of the tramp and gymnastics going on. They also looked like really productive sessions with everyone working on club champ routines. It's so nice to see our members doing routines rather than just learning skills as it gives them an opportunity to appreciate how it all comes together. Anyone can do a single skill with a good first bounce or fresh start - but connecting it into a routine of 10 skills or tumbles with fluid dance and turns, jumps and leaps - starts to become an art. Synchro goes one better and requires two people to perform their 10 skills doing the same thing at the same time - more than an art. I give all our members a lot of credit as they seem to be picking it up quickly. Club champs is really going to be exciting - be sure to play a part!!!!
The floor routines I saw and vaults are also progressing really well. I only see small little snapshots each week, but I am impressed that there are noticeable improvements. Even minor details such as pointed toes, straight legs, and a lifting of the head are starting to show that bit of refinement that confident gymnasts present. Well done to all the coaches and gymnasts for such great progress!
Thursday's tramp sessions at Sandhill are also becoming really busy and it is so nice to feel the buzz and excitement that pervades the atmosphere. Highlights from Thursday were Karen's great crash dives - by herself!!!! They were high, straight bodied and landed well! .... and from someone who always told Andi she would never do more than swivel hips!!!! Woo hoo! Can't wait to see her club champs vol! I also awarded Sophia a sticker for her lovely front somersault with Dory! Once she learned how to make and keep a tuck shape there was no stopping her! Kelly had superb piked back somis, Ruth did some beautiful rudis, Than also did some amazing ones that actually finished nicely on his feet, Emily did more codys despite being shattered and sleep deprived from revising, and Ewan did some awesome routines!
I must say I am really looking forward to the graded comp, where I am sure AAA will be making an outstanding impression with the high standard of performance. Good luck to all of our competitors!!!!!
But first, I am off to Manchester to watch my first cheerleading competition. I am SOOO looking forward to it! Good luck to our AAA Tigers!!!! Can't wait to see you perform! I'm sure all your hard work and bruises will be worth it!
Keep up all the great progress for the club champs everyone - it is going to be an outstanding day!!!!!
23rd May 2013
This is the first time that Nicci and Lynne have written a blog and we must admit we were feeling a bit nervous! However, looking back on the hard work that all the gymnasts have put in over the past week has made it easy for us to write (and so much longer than we thought…).
This week Lynne worked with Peter’s group (Grace, Milly, Niamh, Jenna, Isabelle and Jude) for the first session on Saturday as he was away at a competition. What a lovely bunch! Everyone is enthusiastic and worked so hard. On the floor we worked on lots of preps for our Forward Rolls and they are coming along nicely, should see some signed off on the logsheets soon. Remember to tuck your chin in and push with your legs! Working on the beam can be quite daunting for the little ones, it’s so high, but everyone in the group was much more confident (walking forwards, backwards and doing their dips) than when I saw them last. Building up to it by practising on the floor beam and upside down benches really helped. Mel made sure that everyone did it properly. Head up and use your arms. On vault the gymnasts are all working on making sure that their run up is fabulous! The springboard is tricky but if you hit it in the right spot it makes it so much easier to squat on to the vault. Of course once on you have to come off again! To practise our straight jumps we had Mel standing on a block with a hula hoop, some of the group nearly pulled her off, they jumped so high! Well done! Last but not least, the bars and that tricky Re-grasp. Keep working on it everyone!
In the second session Lynne helped with Gemma’s group, particularly Cory and Charlie. They are great, they haven’t been coming for long but work so hard. Both had their Backward Rolls signed off and so did Naomi. Well done girls! On beam they are working on Cartwheel Dismounts. Nearly there, remember to keep tight and do the ¼ turn. The vault sees Cory and Charlie working on Through Vaults and they are almost there. Amelia worked on her Straddle Vault and again is almost there. Naomi is trying really hard with her Long Arm Splat, remember to bring your feet up a little faster Naomi! On the bar everyone is working on Circle Up apart from Cory and those tricky Re-grasps. Keep trying girls you are all nearly there.
In Nicci’s first session on Saturday, Kate passed off her Re-grasps after working hard on them for a few weeks - well done Kate, you were amazing! It must have been the 'Andi effect' as she also managed to squat on to the 5 high vault for the first time in a little while and Andi was standing beside us then as well! It was fun working with Brett on the 'roll races', it hopefully showed the gymnasts that they can all roll - if they just stop saying they can’t and actually get on with them!
In the second session on Saturday Paulina and Wiktoria both did some excellent beam work, and are working really hard on their Backward Rolls! Amy has worked her socks off over the past few weeks, and has shown great strength of character in not giving up when she was struggling with Backward Rolls - and only didn't manage to pass them off on Saturday as we ran out of time! Next time Amy!! Sophia worked hard on her Circle Up on bar, but just needs to remember to keep hold of the bar! Every once in a while we managed to sneak a peek over to Cheer, and saw some amazing routines and stunts - good luck to all in the competition next month!
We have been using the new logsheets system in gym for a while now, and its lovely to see how hard the kids are working to pass things off, particularly when it has taken a long time with lots of hard work! Amy with her Backward Rolls, Kate with her Re-grasps and Ruth with her Handstands (amongst many, many others) have all shown such great determination and spirit in working week after week to improve. All the gym coaches are very proud of you all!
Sunday brought the news that Dory had passed her L2 Trampoline assessment - well done Dory! She is starting her L1 General Gymnastics coaching course soon alongside Alex and Brett - can't wait for them to come in and work with the great bunch of kids that we have!
Tuesday - what a day! Some recent starters in gym who are just starting out on their logsheet journey - Milly managed to pass off her log rolls in just three weeks - well done Milly! Elsewhere in Leeann's group Isobel and Kate A are working really hard (as always) and have just about passed off their Cartwheel Dismounts off Beam, while Emma passed her Teddy Bear rolls and is now zooming through her Forward Rolls - well done everyone!
Nicci’s group worked extremely hard as well, I was really impressed with how hard Jamie was working on her Backward Roll to Pike, after initially deciding she was never going to be able to do them! Next time Jamie reckon you could get those signed off! Same with Sophie and Christina with their Forward Rolls, apart from Christina's very independent left leg - which doesn't seem to want to do the same as her right leg!
Thursdays are probably Nicci’s busiest days, even though I only actually coach one session! I start the day at the Preschool Trampoline sessions, which is just absolutely fantastic! So many eager little ones ready to bounce, and with a few new starters this week these sessions are just growing and growing! Some definite future stars there :) Sandwiched in between Preschool at the moment is a Freestyle and Trampoline session, which again, although I don't coach at, I get to watch and help out a little. All the guys in Freestyle were amazing today, and showed some excellent Precision skills (once I figured out what Precision skills actually were...) Then after a quick dash back home to collect my daughters, it was back to my coaching session. That was fun as always - a great bunch of kids who always work hard and are so keen to progress. Don't forget guys - your challenge for this week is to come up with a team name!
So, Saturday brings the start of a new week in Gymnastics, and it’s Badge Week! Hopefully all the gymnasts will have as much fun as they did last time, with lots of certificates and badges being earned! It certainly makes the sessions interesting... After Badge Week, we will be concentrating on preparation for the upcoming Competitions, including the amazing AAAsports Championships! Please be sure to enter, it really is so much fun, everyone works so hard and it’s a fun-packed day of routines and displays, rounded off by a fabulous disco and buffet! Closing date is the end of May, so please make sure you enter as soon as possible! Any queries, talk to your coach and they will help.
Keep working on your stretching at home!
Lynne and Nicci
What a Week!
21st April 2013
This week has been one of the busiest we’ve had for a long time, and it’s my turn to tell you all about it! Starting off last Friday, I was lucky enough to be invited to Sun FM to talk about our fantastic AAAsports Legacy Project. Karen hadn’t been to a radio station before, so I took her along too, but she was way too shy to be interviewed so it was down to me! If you want to hear the interview, click on the link below:
So after Sun FM, it was off to Hebburn with Karen and Ethan to meet a reporter and photographer from the Shields Gazette for more media interviews! This time it was to help promote our sessions at Hebburn, with Ethan being brought along to add some excitement to the photographs! However, I was in for a surprise when they decided they wanted me in the photographs as well! I definitely wasn’t looking my best and certainly wasn’t prepared as I was wearing jeans… meaning I ended up having to wear Ethan’s tracksuit bottoms for the photos! The things you do for promotion…! Still, it clearly worked as Karen got some new members who had seen the interview almost as soon as it went out! If you’d like to read the interview for yourself – and look at the photo – click the link below:
On Saturday morning I was at Raich Carter, watching the sessions which just seem to get busier by the week! Not only do we seem to be getting more members every time I go, the standard seems to be getting better and better! Many of the Trampolinists were hard at work on their routines, the gymnasts seem to be better than ever through the new logsheet scheme, while the Cheerleaders are all hard at work preparing for the UKCA Championships in a few weeks time! Great work everyone!
On Sunday morning it was an early start as we headed over to Gateshead Leisure Centre for the third Trampoline Graded of the year. It was a slightly strange moment as it was Brett’s first time judging a Graded competition, so it was his turn to wear a suit while I got to wear a hoodie – normally it’s the other way round! We only had a small number of entries, and the day started off really well, with Kate managing to qualify to Regional F with ease! Almost everyone else then performed really well and gained personal bests in the process, with many being just shy of the qualification scores – Ewan especially was only 0.1 from qualifying! Next time guys!
Monday night was a busy session, with the squad hard at work on some new skills and everyone else starting their routines for the AAAsports Championships. We’ve already had entries for the event, with tickets for the Presentation Ceremony going at a rapid rate already! The AAAsports Championships is a fantastic event for everyone to take part in – loads of fun during the day at the competition events, then a brilliant Presentation Ceremony on the night followed by a disco and a buffet! It really is the highlight of the year! We nearly sold out of tickets last year though, so book your tickets now to avoid disappointment! Visit the link below to sign up online:
While you’re on the website, notice our great new Online Shop that went live this week! We’ve listened to your feedback and improved what we offer online, as well as bringing back Paypal as a payment method. There are many other exciting additions to go on both the AAAsports website and the Online Shop over the next few months, so keep checking back!
Tuesday morning was another really early start as myself and Ethan drove all the way to Berwick for the Northumberland School Games. This event is similar to the Tyne & Wear Schools event that AAAsports runs each year, but a lot smaller! There were only 32 entries – including some familiar faces – but there was a lot of competition for the top spots! Ethan got to meet an Olympic Gymnast and he got a free lunch as well before falling asleep for 2 hours on the car ride home! Clearly we had tired him out! Once we got back it was on to DMT and then Freestyle, where Gabe finally achieved his first Freestyle Band that he’s been working on for so long! Well done Gabe!
On Wednesday it was yet another competition, as myself, Karen and Ethan all went to the North Tyneside Key Steps Gymnastics event. Having watched and being inspired by the Disability event on the morning, myself and Ethan were offered the chance to judge the Floor event on the afternoon! I really enjoyed judging Gymnastics, but it’s very different to Trampoline judging! Ethan did a great job judging the event, especially since he’d never judged Gymnastics before, but after a crash course he was picking out all the faults and getting some excellent scores! Well done Ethan!
On the night time it was the Elite Squad session, and yet more new skills for everyone, especially for Bradley. For the last couple of weeks he’s been working through a staggering 182 preps for his newest skill (a Half Out), and we knew the count was finally going to run out on Wednesday, which had been renamed ‘Half-Out Wednesday’ for the occasion! So he finally got down to 0, and it was time to get the twist in there. With a few nerves showing, he managed to pull off a brilliant Half Out first time, no problem at all! It’s a brilliant feeling when you finally crack that skill that’s been causing so much trouble, and on Wednesday Bradley finally did just that. Definitely a proud moment for me too – I was really impressed with him! Susan and Brett also pulled out some brilliant DBSS (P), while Ruth linked a Cody/Rudi! Brilliant session everyone!
And finally on to today. I started off at my Pre-School sessions this morning, which I absolutely love. We’ve been trying to get our youngest member, Frances, to jump with two feet and today she finally did it… and immediately fell over and scraped her nose! Typical! Hopefully that won’t put her off though! There were some brilliant skills showing from some of our older Pre-School members today as well, particularly Charles, Paul and Sophie – I can’t wait to see them all join our normal sessions and start working on some bigger skills!
Between the Pre-School session and the DMT session starting I met up with Dory to go through some revision for her assessment on Sunday. We sat for 3 whole hours and discussed everything from Biomechanics to Judging, Coaching to Safety and then even more Biomechanics! My head was battered after 3 hours so I have no idea how Dory must have been feeling, but she definitely knows the whole syllabus off by heart now and should easily pass – help her to revise by asking her to explain the theory of Conservation of Momentum or the Moment of Inertia next time you see her!
Tonight I had a pretty good DMT session, with progress being made by a few people in DMT towards the next Gala at Temple Park. I didn’t really catch much of the Gym or Trampoline sessions as I was so busy with my DMT group, but Gemma and Lyndsay all seemed happy enough! I did get the chance to hang back and watch a bit of the Boys Gymnastics session. The boys are looking really smart, with the quality of the skills I saw starting to look really good! Would love to have spent longer watching them train, but I had to dash up to Sandhill for the Trampoline session there instead, where it was time for yet more new skills from everyone!
Rounding off the night, we had a surprise for Bradley following his success on Wednesday! He has been desperate to show his mum and dad his new Half Out, but kept getting too nervous when they were there so we had them hide on the balcony and watch the training session from there without Bradley knowing. Everyone else in the hall could see them both through the window though, but everyone managed to keep it a secret and Bradley got to show off his new skill with ease! Great team work everyone!
Well, that was my busy week! Well done if you’ve managed to get to the end of this blog – if you’re tired reading it imagine how tired I feel having done it all! It really was a great week though and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it – can’t wait to see what next week brings!
See you all soon!
12th April 2013
The last few weeks have been pretty quiet but with the Easter holidays nearly over people are slowly trickling back into the trampolining sessions and hopefully everyone will be back next week. Macy has just finished off forward turnovers and we’ve moved onto shaped back landings and front landings, so far she’s doing well but needs to straighten her legs for the pick shape.
Marcus is working on straight front landings working up to crash dive but needs to learn to kick his legs back more instead of leaning forward. Grace is doing well but over the holiday her front landing skill has deteriorated and so we are working on getting that back. But overall everyone is doing great and as far as I can tell having fun.
Easter at AAA!
7th April 2013
Hard to believe the weeks fly by so quickly at AAA! Seems there is always something going on.
While most people were enjoying a nice Easter weekend, AAA took a contingent of 12 off to celebrate my birthday... I mean to Hull for the 3rd Gala of the year. Though not new to travelling with us, it was nice to welcome some first time competitors to the gala scene - Kelly, Bradlee and Jacob! We arrived to Hull relatively early giving us time for a swim and a bit of relaxation before the competition days on Saturday and Sunday. The highlight of the evening for me was having Happy Birthday sung to me in the lift before heading off to bed.
While the competition wasn't our most successful, it was a good experience for everyone and we had some good podium finishes: Bradlee won the NatC U15B age group, Bradley finished 2nd in NatC U13B and Pedro came 3rd in FIGB men. For me the weekend competition highlights were Brett qualifying for British Championships in Nat C tramp and Peter achieving the qualifying score to FIG A for DMT and placing 3rd despite his back injuries! Well done to both of you!!!! For everyone else, we know what needs to be done to prepare for the gala in South Shields the first weekend of June!
I really enjoyed the gala day on Sunday as it started out with a visit from the easter bunny - and then the Easter Chicken (or was that Dory in her onesie....)! The real excitement of the day, however was the men's FIG A DMT! The skill level has really improved over the last couple of years and it was so exciting to watch! While not all passes were as written on the tariff sheets we did see several triple somersaults and multiple twisting double somersaults! This is what it's all about! I really do wish warm ups were longer just so we could see more!
Training during Easter week is always a strange time as the kids need to occupy themselves all day before arriving ready to bounce at the evening sessions, so we are never sure what to expect! Some arrive high from eating too much chocolate, some arrive exhausted from sleepovers and playing all day with friends! Monday's sessions were cancelled due to Sandhill being closed for the bank holiday, but I understand everyone worked really hard Tuesday at Raich Carter seating it out in the heat!
Wednesday's elite session was 'play time' with a lot being accomplished. We had double somis galore both in and out of the rig with Bradlee, Kelly, Jacob and Christian all making progress! We had some nice codys from Jacob, 1 and 3s from Emily, 2 and 3s from Dory - a rudy out from me! And ETHAN is back!!!!! A fabulous session overall.
However, Thursday was the day I had been waiting for! I arrived at Raich Carter in time to see the end of the pre-school session! What fabulous kids! Some real talent in the wings! I look forward to seeing these cuties grow with the sport!
I came early as it was finally a special half day session! I LOVE these and really recommend that everyone gives them a try. They pare excellent value and provide a rare opportunity to experiment with new things, work on areas of difficulty, confront fears, and test the stamina! Whether or not there are tears, laughter, and 63 other emotions, there are always successes on the day and I always learn something. I hope that all the members reading this will consider the next half term sessions! and book early!!!! This particular session was DMT and gymnastics. Throughout the course of the day, I saw a lot of improved gymnastics skills during the day including some really nice back walkovers from Kayla. There was also a lot of progress on the DMT, particularly with twisting skills.
The evening tramp session at Sandhill was also full of progress despite having a few participants looking a bit more worn out than usual! Still, I was really, really pleased for Kelly who no longer has to worry about her back fulls or rudis as they are just something she does now! She has persevered over several months and I think we are now getting to the point where she can be comfortable with the skill again! A massive well done for all the effort. Ruth also linked her full and rudi and full! Another excellent milestone.
It's been a great week and I'm looking forward to all the progress continuing!
Bounce High - bounce often!
2nd April 2013
Well what a few weeks we've had in cheerleading!
Street dance have been working very hard on their individual, duo and group
routines for the AAAsports Championships and we must say as time goes on,
the routines are starting to look great so this should be a great
The Junior cheerleaders have also been working on their routines and again
they are looking fab - keep up the good work guys!
Jade, Katie and Rachael have put in a great deal of effort to create the
routines for the Junior Squad and they are so excited to see everyone
compete at the AAAsports Championships! Please come along and show some
support on the 29th June :)
The Senior Cheer Squad are very excited about the UKCA Spring Championships
in Manchester in May! It is the first time many of the girls are competing
in a cheerleading event and we have seen a massive improvement in the
routine over the last few weeks! Please remember that everyone must be
registered by THIS Sunday (31st March) so if you haven't signed up yet, get
a wiggle on!!
So in a nutshell all of the coaches are incredibly proud of all the hard
work we have seen recently so please keep it up, and we hope to see lots of
support from our family and friends at AAAsports :)
See you all Saturday!
Mel, Jade H, Katie and Jade C
25th March 2013
A couple of weeks ago Dory and I were off to Birminghan, yet again, for the final weekend of our level 2 trampoline course. Now we just have a couple of months of mentored sessions and our assessment to go and there will be 2 more level 2 coaches at work at AAAHQ and out and about! I don't know how Dory is getting on with her mentor, but mine - Peter Evans - is keeping me right. I think it is hard work for him.
I shan't say anything about the drive to Birmingham except... Andi should have been watching the road signs on the M6.
Actually I quite fancy doing the preschool gymnastics course next, I was just commenting to Nicci the other day that I feel a bit like one of those elderly ladies in 'Cocoon' (for those of you who are old enough to remember). To be honest, I really enjoy working with the little people.
The legacy project is coming along nicely, last week I had the pleasure of working alongside our newest coach, Leeann, at St Patricks School in Ryhope. We each had a group of children working on balancing. My group kept looking across at what her group were doing, balancing on a bench when suddenly one of my boys said "I want to do Karate." She had her group balancing on 1 leg on the bench looking like they were straight out of 'Karate Kid'.
The Sportivate project is coming to a close for this year, we have worked in a variety of venues with some interested and enthuiastic young teenagers. Next years funding should soon be in place, so if anyone knows of any groups of young people aged between 14 and 25 years old who would benefit from some funded sessions (trampoline, gymnastics, freestyle or cheerleading) please let me know. I have been in touch with a few different organisations already but any more ideas would be gratefully appreciated. Contact - karen.dodds@AAAsports.co.uk Thank you.
AAAHQ is as busy as ever and I am looking forward to seeing Dory in the office, although quite where she is going to go I am not sure. The office is becoming more and more 'full' of the things we need from day to day, leaving little room for another desk. Perhaps we need a bigger office. Either that or I shall be 'hot desking' soon.
15th March 2013
It’s been a pretty busy week this week, full of amazing moments that I can’t wait to tell you about! Starting off on Friday – it was National Schools in Cannock. Me and Susan met up with Jacob, Christian and their parents ready for the drive down south. We also met Dory and Karen, who were staying in the same hotel for their Level 2 Trampoline course, so we agreed to follow them down – that is until Karen cut me up on the motorway and left me lost! Good job we had a TomTom – we ended up beating her and Dory to the hotel! We all unpacked and headed for a quick swim the pool before grabbing some food before bed – it was going to be an early start the next day!
We woke up nice and early and made the drive to the leisure centre… however we got lost and only just arrived in time for Jacob’s warm-up starting! This turned out to be a good thing though, as he didn’t have time to get nervous as Susan bundled him on to the trampoline for his warm-ups! Jacob looked pretty chilled out before the competition started, and he had every reason to be, his routines had been looking amazing in training – both me and Susan had given him scores in the 9.0s in a mock competition the week before! I reminded him just before he got on to do his routines ‘Jacob-Style’ and he didn’t disappoint either, winning the event by 2 whole marks! Under 15 Boys Novice Schools Champion! Well done!
In what was the worst timetabling ever, after Jacob competed in the first group at 9am, we had to wait all day for Christian to compete in the last group at 4pm. The boys went for another swim in the pool while me and Susan got to spend time with Jacob’s mum and Christian’s mum and dad. It was really nice getting to spend time with some of the parents we don’t see as often, getting to know them a little better and just generally having a good time!
When it came around for Christian, he was feeling the pressure a little bit. He had to be reminded that he had worked just as hard as everyone else to get there, and was just as good as every single one of them! Once he relaxed a little, he managed to pull out some fantastic routines for the judges, being pipped by 0.1 and coming away with a podium finish in 3rd place in the Under 11 Boys Novice event! What an amazing result from the two boys! Both celebrated by getting special National Schools hoodies with their finishing positions on them – ask them to show you when you see them!
With Karen still in Cannock for her course, I went up to Cramlington to cover her Trampoline session. I haven’t been to Cramlington for a while, but it’s starting to get really busy up there now! I really enjoyed meeting all of the new members up there, with some fantastic work from every single one of them! Christian was back training already after his National Schools successes and finished off his Baranis, Kayla was working on her Cradles, Elliott and Emily were working towards their first badges while Casey, Ellie, Gill and Millie were working on their Front Landings! Meanwhile, Charlotte and Charlotte were having a very interesting discussion about what would happen if your body was made out of sweets… particularly liked the idea of having blood made from strawberry syrup!
The week continued with two great sessions on Monday at Sandhill, then really busy sessions at Raich Carter on Tuesday with Gymnastics, Trampoline and DMT all doing well, before a whole host of new members at the Freestyle session later on that day! The day was capped off by a fantastic announcement – from May 2013, Dory will be coming onboard at AAAHQ to do an Apprenticeship with AAAsports! This is something that I’m really looking forward to, Dory has a fantastic passion for our sport and is quickly becoming a great coach. It’s always interesting when Dory is around and there’s never a dull moment and I’m definitely looking forward to working with her… my only concern is whether the other businesses in our office are prepared for her!!
On Wednesday I spent the day at Hylton Red House School with our newest coach, Leeann, as part of the AAAsports Schools Legacy Project. I really enjoy doing the Legacy sessions as we get to meet a whole group of new children every hour and introduce them to our amazing sport. It was also nice to see some familiar faces at Hylton Red House, including Zoe and Erin, who are already members of AAAsports! If AAAsports haven’t been to your school yet, get your teacher to call 03335 776787 and we will come and coach in your school for free!!
In a very quick break in the day I managed to get home to check the post, and discovered the second big announcement of the week! AAAsports have been shortlisted for the Education Award at the British Gymnastics National Awards! This is fantastic news for everyone, and I’m really proud that our programmes like Legacy have been given some recognition on the national stage. The results will be announced at the ceremony in June 2013… fingers crossed everyone!
Wednesday night was my Elite Trampoline Squad night, and it was packed full of progress. Ewan finally finished off his Ballout Baranis, while Dory did 8 fantastic Double Backs! Some amazing work from Ruth as well, who managed to finish off her Rudis, while Christian cemented his Barani’s by learning how to link skills in and out of them! All around a great day!
After a week off last Thursday to attend a competition, it was great to be back at my Pre-School sessions this week. This week’s theme was Linking, and all of my little groups were trying to link together tucks and stars – it was really fun! Charles and Paul were particularly impressive… they progressed on to linking Straddles and Seat Landings as well!
Thursday night was rounded off by a great DMT session at Raich Carter – both Kelly and Jacob are making good progress towards the DMT competition in Hull at the end of the month, fingers crossed for qualifications to the British DMT Championships! Gymnastics and Trampoline both looked really busy as well, and lots of members seemed to be leaving with badges and certificates which is great to see!
I rounded off the week with a brilliant surprise – both for me and for Susan! After a couple of sessions of progressions, I managed to get Susan to turn over her first ‘complex-twisting’ double – a Full Twist in to 1¾ FSS! She was petrified, but managed to keep her fears away and did it and loved it! Well done Susan!
Don’t forget that you can now sign up for the Easter Holiday sessions online – we are running two sessions every week but spaces are limited! You can also put in your entries for the Trampoline & DMT Graded on 21st April 2013, plus the UKCA Spring Cheerleading Championships on 18th May 2013. The closing dates are coming up soon so sign up quickly!
So that was my week… I’m off to the Durham Schools Trampoline Finals tomorrow before heading down to Basingstoke for a Level 3 Freestyle Tutoring course – not sure I know what home looks like anymore!
Hopefully see you all soon!
A Busy Week
8th March 2013
Well, another busy week has gone by with yet another event attended by
aaasports, this time, the graded d-h competition at Consett.
But first was Saturday which seems to get busier and busier every week. The
pre-schoolars were all working hard doing their shapes so they could have a
turn on the parachute! I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't like the
parachute, even when the kids seem a little unsure, once they get bounced on
it, their laughs fill the room! Little Liam is starting to listen really
well now and is coming along great, were really impressed Liam so keep it
up!! Esther also needs a big 'shout out' for achieving her award 4
certificate last week, she's worked so hard and her straddles were amazing!!
Talking of awards, saturday was the first of the gymnastics badge week which
saw lots of happy faces as children ran to parents excited that they had
reached a certain level. Everyone in trampolining were also working hard
towards their next badge, with the exception of Ruth and Ewan who were
practising hard for sundays competition. Routines were looking very nice I
So, sunday came and so did the alarm, far too early I might add.
Nevertheless, everyone arrived at Sandhill to drive to Consett with a very
positive attitude ready to do their best. Unfortunately, it just wasn't a
lucky day for anyone and the judges definitely weren't giving away any
marks, you really had to impress them! You win some, you loose some, unless
your Brett who is on a winning streak at the moment and managed to win and
qualify to Nat C. I liked the attitude he had on sunday: he decided since
the judges were being a little harsh, he would just have to work extra hard
and even though he said he didn't have a chance of qualifying, he did the
best routines he could have and got some really good scores. I think this is
the attitude everyone should have because look where it got him...Well
done!! I love how supportive the elite squad especially is towards each
other and all the other members. It makes you way less nervous knowing
you've got your team mates support along with the support of your coach. The
highlight of the comp though was definitely sticking chips to Jacobs nose
with leotard glue...I loved his reaction after he realised it had been on
girls bums...and it made me laugh even more when he let me do it again!!!
I did miss the sunday session though- I hope you's were all good for Karen
and showed her how amazing you all are!!!
But, no point in dwelling over what could have or should have happened, back
at training on monday, it was a sigh of relief to NOT have to do routines.
Bradlee's trying to be a man and battle his fear of cody's which we all know
he can do and I saw some great progress being made over on Karen's side too!
Keep up the good work everyone. I was gutted I couldn't make squad on
wednesday- I was ill and went home to sleep but I heard that Ewan did some
really nice crash dive ball out baranis (bob's) and I'm sure everyone was
working hard as usual.
Thursday was a very, very busy day though. I agreed to cover Andi and Karens
pre-school sessions as they needed to be else where and I'm glad I did!! It
was so nice seeing old faces like Sophie, Paul and Faith progressing so much
and still enjoying it and little brothers and sisters (Ella and Dan) joining
in the fun! I remember seeing Ella as a baby and now she's apart of the
session...I feel old! It was lovely meeting lots of new, very cute, hard
working, future aaa olympians too. We had 3 new starters on the third
session- Grace was super eager to bounce and managed to stay on the cross by
the end whilst Jake and Katherine were a little shy and unsure, but by the
end loved it! Keep jumping high and remember to show Andi or Karen how good
your shapes were next week :)
Next was an Autistic session which i absolutely loved. Its lovely seeing how
much they get out of trampolining and was even better when David stood up
after 1 seat landing and other David did some great star and tuck jumps.
Hope to see you again gentlemen, was a pleasure meeting you. After was
gymnastics and time for some little people to earn some badges, 7 and 8 in
particular. This seems like the perfect time to remind everyone that they
need to be stretching at home and if they want to be extra good, do
conditioning at home too. Stretching won't take long if you sit and do it
whilst watching TV but it will make you a lot better at whatever discipline
Lastly on thursday, we headed up to Sandhill for some grid conditioning and
some bouncy time on the trampoline, again, routine free for most of us! You
could see Skye getting frustrated with her hands and knees turnovers, but
she still kept going and kept trying. This is what I like about Skye, she
never gives up and may pull a few 'evil' or 'sad' faces but then will
randomly come over and start chatting about nothing. Such a random child!!
And that's just about everything for this week. Make sure if you want to
take part in the next graded (which everyone should be) you sign up online
and don't miss out! Its great fun and a really good experience!!
Keep tweeting and facebooking everyone, Emily!x
Getting back to 'normal'
1st March 2013
Hey everyone, feels like ages since I last wrote one of these things. Gym's been pretty busy recently with everyone working really hard on their logsheets and the others working towards the Sport for All competition.
Peter and Ashley were away at the weekend competing at the BUCS competition, both did really well with Peter making the finals and being the only competitor to successfully compete his triff that he's been working really hard on.
The sessions at Raich on Saturday passed by in a bit of a blur, the Sport for All kids and myself were totally focussed on the competition the next day making sure their routines were as good as they could be and that everyone knew what was going to happen once they got to Catterick, nerves were starting to show in a couple of the gymnasts but Naomi did a really good job of trying to calm everyone down and becoming everyone's personal cheerleader. Speaking of cheerleaders, I did get to see how well the routines that those guys were doing are coming along too, everyone over there seems to be having a lot of fun and are really gaining confidence in performing either on their own or in small groups.
Finally the day of the first gymnastics competition of the season had arrived, its hard to believe that it's only a year ago that I was heading down to Northallerton with the four first ever AAA gymnastic competitors and this time we were heading to Catterick with 16! Normally I spend Sundays at Cramlington with Karen, but as it was competition day the gym session was unfortunately cancelled even though 1 or 2 gymnasts still turned up! The classes up there are starting to pick up nicely with some wonderfully colourful characters too, Christian offered the week prior to be folded up in a bag and taken to the competition as a 'portable Christian' just incase I missed my weekly dose of him, I thought Karen may miss him too much so I declined but still made sure I was wearing my 'Cram socks' as I knew Karen would have hers on too and I could be there in spirit.
At the competition the boys were up first on vault, a bit of a discrepancy about the height of the vault used meant all of the boys had to use a smaller vault than what they're used to, however, they didn't let it phase them and competed some rather nice vaults - yes, I know I'm their coach and I may be a little biased but I was happy :) Jamie was unfortunately too ill to make the trip (if I didnt know what was wrong with her i'd blame Andi seeing how he had the lurgy all week) meaning Kate was left to tackle the senior section herself, she seemed to really enjoy performing her floor routine. Nikki and Aimie were up next, they both stuck their vaults and were 'a welcome relief on the floor' using different music to the other gymnasts in their group. Both routines were lovely to watch and well performed which was reflected well in their scores, had the competition had separate medals for each apparatus rather than an overall score Aimie and Nikki would have won 2nd and 3rd respectively!
As it was Nikki picked up a ribbon for 5th place with Aimie just missing out on a ribbon coming 7th!!! Amazing work girls!!!
Finally it was the turn of all of the Under 10s, all 9 of them looked amazing and were really excited. Over on the vault we had the same problem as the boys had done earlier in the day, all of them were expected to use the smaller vault, which effected Naomi, Niamh and Amelia who all prefer the bigger vault. Over on the floor Daisy forgot her routine but didn't let on, she covered it so well it was only when she did a 3rd cartwheel that i realised!!! Naomi was sat bouncing and calling encouragement to everyone the whole time and generally being a great team captain along with Sophie who had done an amazing job of keeping her team together for the whole day.
I was extremely pleased with all of the AAA gymnasts at the comp, despite it being a VERY long day for everyone they were all extremely well behaved and showed everyone what amazing children they are. They should be very proud of themselves :D I should point out that this was not only commented on by our parents and coaches but also by the parents and coaching staff of other clubs with 2 sets of parents from another club coming over to me at the end and saying how lovely it was to see our children including everyone in everything the whole day, sitting watching the AAA children of the other age groups compete and generally being extremely well behaved throughout the duration of the competition.
Monday is one of the days I'm usually working in schools but after picking up some bug (possibly from Andi) I spent the whole day feeling sorry for myself :( On Tuesday I was feeling a lot better and returned to schools as normal, my reception class had fun trying to remember a series of moves and the afternoon's class were a new one for me and were really enthusiastic and excited. After school (that still feels REALLY weird to say/write) I headed to Raich for the sessions there afterwards where we met the newest member of the AAA family, Leeann who is joining us as a gymnastics coach, she's going to be around on a Tuesday and for the boys session on a Thursday so if you see her about make sure to say hi. Again everyone was working really hard on their log sheets, and with the competition being over with I had the opportunity to coach again rather than choreograph so I was really excited heading in. Jenna did some lovely Superman rolls and managed not to 'crash into any buildings' and worked hard with Emma on their teddy bear rolls. The kids who had been working hard for the Sport for All competition were pleased to be back working on the bar and the beam again working really hard on their swings and dismount jumps. In freestyle Alaister achieved his Level 1 freestyle band on his birthday, Oli worked hard on his headstands and Harry is sooooooo close to being able to circle up on the bar by himself.
The Raich sessions on Thursday were back to normal for the S4A kids too, they too enjoyed being back on the bar and beam doing logsheet work as well as playing around with the conditioning cards in between their turns. The other groups looked to be having a lot of fun too with what seemed to be quite a few tired gymnasts heading home at the end. Leeann was back for the boys session, I think this is a good sign that we haven't managed to scare her off :) The boys were starting their conditioning challenge, they were doing timed activities with the number of how many repetitions recorded to refer back to in a few weeks to see if they can beat their own scores. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and the younger ones joined in the conditioning properly for the first time. I found the ski sits particularly amusing, Logan totally lost control of his legs and couldn't stop them from shaking rather violently and Alex had no sooner finished bragging about how he once held a ski sit for 21 minutes, managed to get cramp in his foot and melted towards the floor coming no where near the 21 minutes he'd just finished telling us about. Everyone worked really hard and have set themselves some pretty high targets for the next conditioning challenge.
Well Done everyone and keep up the hard work!!!
Time for a Bath?
23rd February 2013
Last weekend we travelled to Bath for the second gala of the season. It was a good start - it wasn't snowing and we weren't driving! 9 of us travelled - Andi, me (Susan), Peter, Dory, Bradley, Jeanette, Brett, Ethan, and Bradlee departing from Newcastle airport from Bristol and the air was full of anticipation. Despite the short flight to Bristol, Dory, Brett and Bradlee were able to convince the flight attendants that it was Andi's birthday (it wasn't) and Dory sang a solo rendition of happy birthday to Andi over the tannoy! Quite entertaining! Gotta admire her courage! We arrived in Bristol to find that the rental car company was not the one we thought and it was located at the entrance to the airport not where all the other rental cars were! A short while later and we were off - split into 2 cars. We made it to the hotel without incident and had a relaxing evening with bar nibbles and a few drinks.
Saturday, we set off to the competition venue in freezing fog only to discover that the power socket in Andi's rental car did not work, hence no sat nav in his car! We also discovered that both cars were extremely under-powered and could barely make it up the steep hills to the venue! Still with Brett adding extra power by pedalling from the back seat, we managed to arrive in the nick of time! Saturday's performances included Peter on trampoline and Dory, Ethan, Bradlee, and Bradley on DMT, and Peter and hopefully someone for synchro! We had an excellent day with solid performances, the highlight being Peter and Bradlee qualifying to nationals and Bradley winning Gold for DMT! Well done to everyone! Bradley was considering synchro with Peter for some experience, but Brett eventually stepped forward. Sadly, the lack of preparation and warm-ups and an unfortunate crash on the set means the national finals spot is still looming! So on to Hull! It would be fantastic for this to be the year that AAAsports has national finals qualifiers in all the trampolining disciplines (no Peter, you can't do tumbling this year.....)!
Back at the hotel we all had a quick swim in the pool before heading out to find something for dinner. We settled on TGI Fridays despite a long wait for the table. When it finally arrived, everyone seemed to enjoy their meal with the icing on the cake being the "Birthday cake" and staff song for Dory!!!! Have you ever seen a fish turn red?! It was definitely worth the long wait for dinner! I understand the chocolate cake was very nice if you like chocolate! We then managed to get lost on the way back as the road the sat nav wanted us to take was closed for road works with no discernible diversion posted and the sat nav wasn't having any other alternative - it had us going in circles trying to get on different entrances that were still closed! Very exasperating until Peter saved the day providing directions on his iphone!
Sunday saw us driving back to the venue in heavy fog again, but we left a bit more time to deal with the steep hill! Dory looked very smart wearing a suit for her debut as a manual recorder for panel 2, while Brett and I had our debut competing FIG B DMT along with Peter while Bradley was vying for his nationals spot on the trampoline. We had a few mistakes on DMT with performances being less than stellar, but that is sometimes the nature of sport and we learn more from failure!!!! Still we had some positives - Brett had some beautiful and technically correct arms on his rudi double full pass and Peter landed his new pass of rudi half and half tuck (maybe we can expect the half and half to be straight [again] for nationals....)!
Peter also provided a bit of levity with his ongoing saga with his shorts. Whereas he was told off for his shorts on tramp being too long -- today he was told off on DMT for his short being too short. Seems there is a fine line between what length is acceptable! Could be an interesting (and entertaining????) season.... Stay tuned for the next version!
Personally, for me, I was overwhelmed from the start when perhaps I shouldn't have been. I'm sure its amusing to think that someone of my age and experience is so affected by a "simple competition", but it's something that I don't think you ever outgrow! All you can do is improve consistency to remove the doubts. As hindsight brings clarity, I now have a much better perspective to take with me to Hull and I hope to be able to bring that extra little bit of confidence along to help me achieve what I know I'm capable of doing! I have a good idea of the work that I need to do to get ready for Hull and I have a plan in place to help me get there! I write this bit because I want all of you - competitors, friends, and family to truly appreciate that we understand how tough the sport can be and we are able to support success as well as effort. I'm glad I participated and tried and next time I hope to improve and achieve! FIG B nationals - my new mantra!!!!!
In contrast Bradley had a fantastic performance on tramp with one of the best sets I have seen him do! I look forward to a lot more of that! He qualified to national finals, narrowly missing out on the medals! Well done, Bradley. You are a superb competitor!
Gemma has commented on how well all of the gymnasts are doing, with each session going from strength to strength. New starter Logan is now attempting to catch Danny on skill progressions, and Maria at Cramlington is flying through her sheet! Gemma has also been really impressed by s4a competitor, Nikki, who put her whole routine together by herself at home! Love the dedication and commitment!!!! On the cheerleading front everyone is pushing forward with their routines for upcoming comps. Jade tells me she has been very impressed with the street dancers' individual routines which are developing by leaps and strides every week! Well done to you - keep up the great effort.
This week we also had some great half term half day sessions. Wednesday was gymnastics and trampolining while Thursday was DMT, gymnastics, and tramps. Looked like everyone was having a fabulous time and I personally couldn't believe how quickly the time went! I always manage to find a way to get out of work to attend these, and I would certainly recommend the sessions as the best way to spend time off from school (or work....). Unfortunately Andi was not well - he looked green!!!!! and he couldn't stay all day. I know we all really wish him a speedy recovery - he was not happy about not being able to enjoy the days to their full! There were still some spots open on these sessions, so make sure you're ready for them next time! You will not be disappointed!
Good luck to Peter and Ashley who are competing in the BUCS (University) competition this weekend and to the gymnasts competing in the sport for all competition on Sunday! I'm sure everyone will make AAAsports proud. Gemma has commented on how hard the gymnasts have been working and the bits of the routines I saw during the half terms sessions were starting to get that extra important bit of polish! Hope you all enjoy your comps and do well! Go AAAsports.
The next trampoline graded comp is the 3rd of March! I'm looking forward to seeing AAAsports clean up at this event as well - so early good luck wishes!
And now after such an activity filled week I think it is definitely time for a Bath -- well a jacuzzi!!!!!!
17th February 2013
Hi everyone, Lyndsay here :)
On Friday I was at hebburn with Brett. This is one of the clubs newer sessions and at the moment is still quite quiet. Jack was practising his hands and knees forward turnovers for his award 7 badge. Whilst Chloe was doing her back pullovers and award 10 moves. They both worked really hard, as always!!
Saturday I was back up at hebburn, with Dory. Another quiet session but still very productive. We had a new starter, Luke. He used to trampoline before and was in grade F. So on Saturday we were going over all of his moves which were still really nice after over a year off trampolining, and is he could even remember his routines!! Oliver was also there on Saturday and was doing some lovely high bounces and seat landings.
On Tuesday, Andi was in London so it was left to me and Peter to do freestyle. Peter and Nathaniel had a competition on the track. Then we got a hula hoop out and practiced doing dive forward rolls and front somersaults through the hoop. Mr Jay kept talking the hoop with him after his somersaults!!
On Wednesday I was at Boldon school doing an after school session. Then up to hebburn to do my aaa session. We had another new starter called Emma, who pretended to be really quiet....for the first 5 minutes anyway! Jack was also there and he was practising his hands and knees forward turnovers and after weeks of practising Jack finally passed them off!! Well done Jack, but he didn't stop there he went and learnt the routine for award 7 too! And, after weeks of hard work Jack passed his award 7 routine. First question he could ask was "whats on award 8?". Emma also proved to be a little superstar. It was her first session and she passed her award 5 routine!! A VERY productive session!!
Don't forget to sign up for the half term sessions next week!!
Bye guys :)
8th February 2013
It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to do a blog, and I can’t believe the week that we’ve had this week! Starting off last Saturday, it was an early start as we had the first Regional DMT competition of the year, which we were holding at Raich Carter. All of the competitors had been working really hard over the last few weeks, and for many it was their first ever DMT competition. The event went really well, with almost everyone landing all 4 of their passes with ease. Bradlee, Jacob and Kelly all qualifying in to National C DMT, meaning all 3 should be competing on the National Gala circuit from March!
Straight after the competition it was the Saturday Raich Carter sessions, which just seem to get more popular every time I see them. Our coaches are doing a fantastic job during these sessions, and I was really impressed to see just how far the Cheerleaders had come since last time I was there – they just seem to be attracting new members every week, no doubt thanks to the great work that Jade and Katie have put in to the AAAsports Schools Legacy Project. If you don’t already know, AAAsports are providing coaches to every primary school in Sunderland at no cost to the school – if your school hasn’t been visited yet make sure you tell your PE teacher about the project!
I had to leave the session early so I could go and fill up my car with a whole host of competition equipment, which I then transported up to the Sandhill Centre, ready to setup for the Trampoline Graded D-H event which we were holding on the Sunday. There were loads of people to help, and we managed to get the hall setup in just under 40 minutes – a new record time! Thanks to everyone who helped!
So with Trampolines ready, chairs set out, tables laid for judges, and of course the all important Tombola in place, I then got back in the car and drove down to Hardwick Hall in Sedgefield with Peter and Brett, where we found Colin setting up ready for the North of England Gymnastics Awards Dinner, which we had made the Presentation for. Colin had already done an amazing job of setting up the lights and background, ready for us to load the Presentation on to.
The Awards are a really nice event where all those within the region are given recognition for the hard work and time that they put in to improving gymnastics within the region. AAAsports were lucky enough to be given 5 awards at the event! Firstly, Brett and Dory were presented with ‘Junior Service to Gymnastics’ awards – these are really important awards that recognize the efforts that young people play in improving the provision of gymnastics in the area, and both Brett and Dory were given the awards through the amount of volunteering that they’ve done over the previous year.
Next up, Ann was given a ‘Service to Gymnastics’ award, giving recognition to her tireless efforts to help run competitions and special events, both on behalf of AAAsports and gymnastics as a whole, and the countless hours she has spent preparing for many events throughout the year. Ann made me laugh when she found out she would be getting her award – her first comments were ‘I can’t go to the ceremony – it’s the Graded the next day and I’ll need to get things ready’! Luckily I convinced her it was worth attending!
Following this, Susan was also given a ‘Service to Gymnastics’ award, recognizing her commitment to coaching, judging and tutoring in both Trampoline and Gymnastics. Susan has had a very long gymnastics career and is always keen to impart her knowledge wherever she can, as well as gaining new knowledge wherever possible! The sign of a great coach is that they never stop looking for new ways to learn, and Susan is always looking.
Finally, AAAsports were awarded the ‘Development Club of the Year’ award. This is now the second time that we have won this award, which is truly a great honour. It reflects on every single one of our coaches, volunteers and members just how far we have come since starting just a few years ago, and is a sign that we are constantly looking for new opportunities for all of our members to take part in. I’m really proud of everyone who helped us achieve this award for the second time… wonder if it’s possible to get it a third time…?!
The next morning it was yet another early start, ready for the Trampoline Graded D-H at Sandhill. Everything was setup and ready to go the night before, which is a good job as I was so tired from the night before that I nearly slept in! I’d seen just how hard our Squad members had been training and I definitely didn’t want to miss it!
First up it was Ewan, Kate and Matthew, who started the day off quite well – Ewan especially did an amazing set routine, probably the best I’ve ever seen him do! This was followed up by Rachael over on Panel 1, who got pretty good scores for her routines as well. Over on Panel 2, both Ashley and Jamie let the nerves get the better of them for their routines, then it was the turn of Ethan and Jacob, both of whom had been looking really impressive in the weeks leading up to the competition, and they certainly didn’t disappoint! Both boys absolutely smashed the qualifying score, and moved straight in to Regional F!
We then moved on to the Regional F competitors, which saw Ruth qualify to Regional E with ease. Kelly managed to get exactly the qualifying score, so she also moved in to Regional E, which was then followed up by Emily to surprised herself by qualifying to Regional E as well! Emily has a big of an obsession with Olympic Trampolinist Kat Driscoll who was at the event, so I asked Kat to tell Emily the news of her qualifying – I still can’t work out if Emily was more excited about qualifying or talking to Kat!
Back on Panel 2, it was time for our youngest members to take part, with Christian, Kayla and Sophia competing in the Club H event. Christian is getting pretty good at competitions after his victory down in Wigan, and he managed to repeat this again by winning his event. Let’s hope he can continue it when he moves to Regional G next month! It was Kayla and Sophia’s first competition – Kayla looked petrified before she got on, but quickly relaxed and did really well for her first competition. Sophia on the other hand wasn’t phased at all by the crowds – in fact we missed her scores for her set routine because we couldn’t get her off the trampoline! Both girls did really well and have already entered for the next event in a few weeks time!
Closing the show on Panel 2 was Sarah, who again was showing the nerves. She managed to pull herself together to get some decent scores, but not until after I had to find her some new socks! Back on Panel 1, it was Brett and Bradlee’s time to shine. Bradlee was unlucky not to qualify, just missing out on his vol scores, but Brett managed to live up to his promise of qualifying and is now in Regional D, plus will be joining Peter on the National Synchro circuit from next month!
Massive congratulations to everyone who took part in the events, and a huge thank you to everyone who helped out during the day – we couldn’t have done it without you!
The rest of the week was a bit of a blur as we started working towards the next competition which is only 4 weeks away. Everyone was keen to get started on their new routines if they had qualified, Bradley and Peter kept working towards their Gala routines for next weekend, while Christian was already starting work on his routines for National Schools in a month’s time! Exciting times!
So after a couple of weeks of competitions, I’m now off to Hull for a Freestyle course, then off to London over the weekend before getting back and heading off to Bath for the next Gala! Things just don’t stop in AAAsports… and I love it!
Don’t forget that we’re running extra sessions over February Half Term – Wednesday 20th is going to be Trampoline and Gymnastics at Sandhill, while Thursday 21st is going to be Trampoline, Gymnastics and DMT at Raich Carter. Both session run from 12pm to 4pm, sessions are £12 each or £20 for both! Book online soon to guarantee your space!
Even More to Shout About!
1st February 2013
After so much competition success last week I was a bit worried that there wouldn’t be anything as exiting to write about in my first AAA blog, thankfully I was very wrong!
Last weekend saw AAA head down to Gillingham for the first national gala of the competition season! For those of you who are unsure what these are, the Gala competition are a little bit similar to the graded trampoline competition a lot of you will be familiar with, just like the one this weekend! The only difference is that instead of grades D-H, national galas are for grades A-C, which is hopefully the target for many of you out there!
AAA had 6 members competing in total: Ethan, Dory, Brett, Bradley, Susan and myself competing in the DMT events, and Bradley and myself also competing in the Trampoline events, and to top it off, it was Bradleys first ever gala competition!
No one knew what to expect on the 6-7 hour long bus ride down there, however we had some great results on the trampoline side of things with Bradley narrowly missing the qualifying score in his first ever National C competition AND beating is fear of double back somersaults to compete one in his final! A similar story for me, despite a personal best score I narrowly missed qualifying by a single placing! But that’s now things go and we are both working hard to get the scores next time! On the plus side, a fun fact that after a rule change for this season I become the first trampoline competitor to ever compete in shorts at a national British Gymnastics event! Doesn’t mean a great deal, but i like it!
By the end of competition on Sunday afternoon, we had a 100% success rate for DMT with every single competitor qualifying for the British Championships in July! We couldn’t ask for more right? Wrong! To top it off Both Susan and Brett smashed the qualifying scores to secure a spot in FIG B! So a lot of hard work to come if they want to keep it!
After all the excitement of the competition weekend it was back to training on Monday as usual were a lot of people are working very hard towards the graded competition, as well as personal goals I’m sure! I spent most of my time training, however I did get a chance to work with a few people while helping Karen with some of her level 2 coaching stuff. From what I saw there was some good effort from grace, Laura and Gemma, not to mention by Karen for putting up with me while she coached!
Next stop for me was the squad trampoline session, sadly i was an hour late! But hopefully it was well spent with the Physio trying to fix me knee! Once i arrived everyone was already working away on their routines ready for the graded this weekend and just to be doubly sure everyone is ready we held a pretend competition towards the end of the session! For anyone who has never experienced one of these, it is much much more scary than any real competition! The music is switched off, the coaches are all sat judging you, and the rest of the group is watching while you perform your routine in a completely silent gym! If you can cope in those conditions the real thing is a cake walk! Everyone performed well and fingers crossed we will see even more qualifiers!
The next day I was back off to Raich Carter for even more DMT and Gymnastics! Unfortunately I had to take a night off training today due to some severe muscle achs, but with Andi filling in for Emily in gym, that left me in charge of the DMT, which id have to say went rather well! Bradlee spent the session running through his passes of this Saturdays regional competition, which if all goes to plan should hopefully see him as well as a few others qualify up to the national events with the rest of the team. Dory and Susan both spent most the session working on correcting a few issues they had been having, and by the end there was definite improvements! Dory is edging closer to landing the infamous double front, and Susan is working well on her soon to be FIG B passes! Overall a very productive session. (Not to mention Sophia’s new dance moves. I’m sure if you ask to see them she will be more than happy to show you!)
Straight after the DMT/trampoline and gym session Gemma and I started our boys only gymnastics session. This has been running for a few months now and despite a slow first few weeks the class is just about full! I like the boys gymnastics session because very few of them have ever done gymnastics before, so it’s nice to see a whole group progressing along from starting out. Having said that there is still a whole lot of work to be done! Especially for those who are off to the competition at the end of February, but I’m sure everyone will pull through and do great!
Hope everyone else has had as good a week as me, and good look to those who are competing at Sandhill at the weekend!
Never a Dull Moment!
25th January 2013
What an outstanding week for writing the blog! It's been a really exciting week and I've had the rare honour of being able to be with AAA every day this week since last Friday!
On Friday AAA members Bradley, Brett, Christian, Jacob and Ruth, and Venerable Bede qualifier - Chris along with associated entourage headed to Wigan for the Zonal Schools competition. Never mind the snow, the cold, the freezing wind screen washer fluid, or the van's 60mph speed restrictor- the competition was on and we were going! Thankfully we made it to the hotel in reasonably good time (all things considered) and settled in for a dip in the pool and some bar food and then a good night's sleep before the competition.
When we eventually found it, the competition venue was excellent with 4 panels of brand new euro tramps! A good start. There were a few nerves displayed by our novice competitors, with Jacob in particular needing a bit of extra sleep in the bleachers... Thankfully our novices didn't compete until the afternoon. The elite standard was quite high and sadly neither Ruth's team nor Bradley or Brett were successful in qualifying to nationals, but our novices - Jacob and Christian - were outstanding. I had to laugh during warm-ups when Christian pointed out his 'rival' from the regional qualifier. He seemed a bit intimidated by him and told me that he was quite good and beat him in regionals - but "NOT TODAY"!!!! A stupendous effort saw both Christian and Jacob not only qualify to nationals, but finish with 1st place trophies to add to their display case! (Note to parents - If they don't currently have a trophy case it might be time to invest!)
While congratulations are in mind I would also like to pass on a huge congratulations to Nicci, who passed her L2 gymnastics theory test on Sunday! A fantastic achievement, Nicci - can't wait till you have also put the practical behind you!
Sunday and Monday were also a joy for me, being sessions I'm not normally able to attend. As an added bonus I caught the end of the Sunday morning trial pre-school cheer session. It looked like a real success, with happy children and enthusiastic coaches. It's great to see kids becoming involved in this type of sporting activity at such a young age! It was also fantastic to see how well all the regular recreational trampolinists were progressing. I was particularly impressed with Erin's seat half turns and Karen's crash dives. Karen is rightly proud to be doing this skill, having progressed from not even being able to fathom how it could be done to executing it with eyes open (I think)! Well done!!!! An inspiration with proof for everyone that it's not about your age, hair colour or shoe size! Sadly, Brett suffered an injury trying to stop after an excellently demonstrated tuck jump! (I'm sure he will come up with a more interesting story for how it happened as time goes on....) Here's willing you an extra speedy recovery, Brett - we're looking forward to your performances in the gala and graded - fingers crossed that you're able!
Tuesday's DMT session (another session I'm not normally able to attend) saw everyone working really hard to get ready for the upcoming graded and gala competitions. It looks like it's all coming together nicely and I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone the best of luck. Just remember - a key aspect of DMT is to stay away from the bungees - and don't attempt skills from the landing area - RUTH!!!! Being naturally curious, I kept peeking at the gymnastics and trampoline sessions in between DMT passes - the floor routines for the upcoming competition are looking really nice and everyone seemed to be having an excellent time on tramps. Well done to the gymnastic and tramp coaches!!!!
Wednesday's elite session was focused on preparations for the upcoming competitions and I have to say that I was really, really impressed with how nice routines were looking. We really are into the realms of refinement rather than tackling major errors - a real joy and, I hope, a good indication of a lot of qualifiers at the upcoming graded. Jacob's routines are particularly amazing with incredible height to boot. Its a shame time of flight isn't added on at grade G! Kate has also really improved her form and has now learned how to start and finish her front somi on the cross! Woo Hoo! I am also really impressed with how consistent and well executed both set and vol are for Pedro (Peter) - with the triff start looking really comfortable. In fact all the double somersaults looked easy - it's the singles that currently need the most work!
I am also really pleased to report that Kelly has finally learned a proper, beautiful barani in both tuck and straight shapes! Do ask her to show you at your next (and every opportunity)! Well done also to Ruth who made a full recovery after DMT to perfect her full!
There are a bizillion more highlights from the week, I just can't begin to capture them all but it makes me smile to myself reflecting on the week (especially as I should be working now!). AAASports is buzzing - be a part!
Finally, good luck to everyone competing in the gala this weekend. Let's hit! ...
And good luck to Andi and me driving the "slow coach" all the way to Gillingham and back!!!!
18th January 2013
Recently in cheerleading, before Christmas the Cheerleaders had a mini Christmas display. Mel and I are very proud of everyone! and hope you all had a great christmas and are feeling very positive for all that is coming up this year :)
There have been some big changes this year. The Cheerleaders have all been split into their age ranges so we can get ready for their big competition in May when we all go to compete against other cheerleading teams across the nation!
This week all of the Cheerleaders and Street Dancers have done extremely well in learning new skills and completing old ones :)
The squads are getting bigger as the weeks go on and we have
just welcomed some new arivals to the squads this week!
Jade Carr and Katie Robinson have now establised themselves as fully qualified coaches and are now taking on coaching responsibilties and developing the squads for the future. Well done girls! Mel and I are very proud of their progress and are excited to see how hard everyone works during the build up to the competitions!!!
KEEP CALM AND CHEER ON !!!!
JADE AND MEL
A Busy Week!
14th January 2013
Andi: "Karen, there's a Level 2 coaches course in Birmingham at the beginning of next year. It's only a 3 hour drive."
Me (You must bear in mind, dear reader, that I have nearly started this particular course on three occasions in the last six months) "OK, I don't mind driving."
So, off we went, Amy Blake and I, to Birmingham last Friday afternoon. 3 hours the man said. Erm...No. 5 hours, including 'rush' hour (Why do they call it that?) traffic and fog! To be fair, the Holiday Inn M6 Junction 10 was very nice when we finally arrived. We had a swim, a jacuzzi and spent a few minutes in the steam room before going off to bed. The course itself was all theory - Day1 - but was quite interesting, I kept hearing the names of all those 'magic' moves which I have no idea at all how to do. Of course when we go back at the beginning of February, for days 2 & 3 I shall sharp find out as I am going to have to learn how to coach them!
And that my friends was the beginning of a very hectic first week back. We have had somewhere between 30 and 40 new starters this week across all disciplines. The Legacy project has had an unexpected spin off. Although a few children have been interested in coming to a taster session some Primary schools are interested in having a coach in school on a regular basis. The Sportivate projects are really taking off now with eight starting this week and running for the half term. And we've had four party enquiries this week!
When I took on this job I honestly wondered how I was going to fill a working week. This week I've done an official 'working week' already and still have the weekends coaching to look forward to. Which is why this blog is rather late - I should have had it finished 24 hours ago!
A Review of 2012!
3rd January 2013
Hi everyone – hope you’ve all had a great Christmas and New Year!
With sessions being cancelled for the last couple of weeks, I figured I would use this Blog to look back at what we’ve been doing throughout 2012, bringing back a couple of my own personal highlights along the way!
My highlight of January has got to be the very first weekend. The 7th January in fact – I remember it well! That was the date on which many of our coaches took their first steps on to the coaching ladder, and I was lucky enough to tutor the courses at Raich Carter. Within just a few short months many of these members who didn’t believe they would be able to speak in front of a group of people would be leading sessions throughout AAAsports. Throughout AAAsports, there were a staggering 23 coaching qualifications earned during 2012, and even more amazing is that many of these coaches have already signed up to more courses in 2013! I’m really proud of all of them, and really looking forward to helping everyone to develop and progress even further next year!
This month saw the Sport For All Gymnastics competition in Northallerton, marking the first time that AAAsports had entered members in to a gymnastics competition. Ruth was the very first of our girls to compete, and in a moment that will go down in AAAsports history, she managed to keep her nerves at bay and performed the best routine she could! Gemma and Lynne on the other hand weren’t quite so calm, both of them were incredibly nervous but all had a great time! I really enjoyed the event, and have really enjoyed seeing the Gymnastics programme grow and expand throughout this year, with the number of entries for the 2013 Sport For All event even higher! Good luck for February 2013 everyone!
March is a tough month, with two big events happening just a week apart! However, I’m going to pick the National Schools Trampoline event which was held down in Bristol. Everyone had worked so hard to reach the final, and then to see not one but two podium places, it was great to see! I also really enjoyed getting to spend time with many of the members from Cramlington that I don’t get to see so often, and to spend time with both Shalana and Liz was great fun!
I’ve got a couple of interesting memories about April, but I’d say the one that stands out is probably travelling to the HPC Trampoline Coaching Clinic in Sheffield. I was lucky enough to spend a day in the company of many other HPC Trampoline Coaches, each sharing ideas and learning new methods for coaching the most advanced of skills up to the highest level. We were also treat to some interesting practical demonstrations as well as detailed video analysis footage of some amazing routines, including an extreme-slow-motion video of Olympic Champion Dong Dong competing his set routine. I took it in to the next Elite Squad session and played it on the laptop – 20 minutes later Bradley was still stood there watching it over and over again! Inspired!
My highlight for May was the Scottish Gala, which was held in Dundee. Earlier in the year, the scores required to qualify to the British DMT Championships were reduced, which meant that many of the DMT Squad then qualified to the event – fantastic news! However, Dory thought otherwise. Despite her lifelong dream being to compete in the British DMT Championships, she felt that she hadn’t really earned her place there since the scores had been lowered, and so she set herself the target of qualifying again in Dundee… and that’s where the story takes an amazing turn. Against all odds, Dory not only achieved the qualifying score to the British DMT Championships, Dory actually achieved an even higher score and was offered promotion in to FIG B! This was a fantastic achievement and took everyone by surprise, especially Dory! This was followed by Taylor doing the exact same thing! What a way to remind everyone that nothing is impossible – you only fail when you give up. Another little highlight on this trip was Susan being stupid in the bus on the way home and ending up with water all over her – sometimes what happens in Scotland just has to stay in Scotland!
I hope that my highlight for June is one that a lot of you share with me… it is of course the AAAsports Championships & Presentation Ceremony! This is the one day of the year that I enjoy so much… that I forget just how much hard work goes in to it before hand! Planning for the event actually starts back in January, where sponsors are agreed, venues booked and changes highlighted from the previous year. It’s then a constant 6-month battle to ensure that everything is just perfect before anyone else sees it… and believe me it often comes right down to the wire! This year’s event was absolutely amazing though, with the inclusion of Gymnastics and Freestyle for the first time. We also had over 350 people at the Presentation Ceremony, and the huge confetti finish was totally unexpected but absolutely brilliant! The best part for me though was to see everyone from all of our disciplines and venues come together for a day of fun and friendship. Everyone is always so supportive throughout the day, it makes me really proud to see! This event wouldn’t be possible without our amazing volunteers though, so a massive thank you to each and every one of you for creating amazing memories for me, and hopefully for a lot of our members as well!
Just a week after the AAAsports Championships, it was time to go to the British DMT Championships at the NIA in Birmingham. This was the first time that Brett, Dory and Taylor had qualified, and they were joining Bradley and Peter who had qualified the previous year as well. This year, Peter also qualified to the British Synchro Championships as well! I’m always really proud when I see our competitors walk out from behind the curtain – it really gives me a rush of emotion seeing them representing AAAsports at the biggest event in the UK. We may not have gotten any podium positions this year, but I know that our time will come!
While August generally is a quiet month, it definitely wasn’t this year. August 2012 was Olympics time, and I was lucky enough to have tickets to both the Men’s and Women’s Trampoline Finals at the O2 Arena in London. Being able to watch the world’s best competitors performing at the highest standard was simply amazing. Holding my breath as I watched these amazing athletes perform ridiculously hard routines with such precision was totally mind blowing, and finally watching the hard work and dedication finally pay off for those athletes who managed to take home medals was just beyond words. Truly the most inspirational moment of 2012 for me!
Well there could only ever be one highlight in September – it’s undoubtedly Derwent Hill. I don’t even know where to begin – the whole weekend away was amazing, and I have no doubt that everyone will come back with different memories and stories from the weekend. Personally, I’m fairly impressed that I managed to do the ropes course on just one foot (thanks Jade for that challenge – my leg was killing after that!), and rescuing a sheep from a fence was also something I didn’t expect to do!
October was a really, really fantastic month. I was lucky enough to spend almost a week away at the Spartacus Cup with several of the Elite Squad, which was filled with some amazing moments such as Peter competing his first Triff and Dory landing her DFSS Dismount, as well as seeing all of our friends from Greece and making plenty of new ones! However, and I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but a trip to Greece wasn’t actually the highlight of October for me! My highlight came a week later in Stanley, where I got to watch Bradley qualify in to National C. His routines weren’t as good as they could have been, and no one thought he had done it… and I was the one that got to break the news to him! I’ve never seen anyone so happy, and the cheer that went up from everyone who was there reminded me just how much I love being part of AAAsports – Bradley may have qualified, but everyone shared his moment. Amazing.
So while a lot of my highlights have been competition related this year, November’s highlight definitely isn’t. On 5th November, AAAsports changed forever and became even bigger than I could ever imagine it would be. Just a couple of years after running the first AAAsports session, we moved in to our brand new office, nicknamed AAAHQ, and took on our very own AAAsports Development Officer in Karen. It was an amazing feeling to see just how far we have come, and how much more potential we have to grow even further in 2013. With our fantastic team of AAAsports Coaches, our amazing members and now with our very own Development Officer, I know 2013 is going to be an amazing year!
So I was racking my brains as to which bit of December I enjoyed the most. At first I thought it was the Regional Schools competition where we got loads of qualifiers – then I remembered how many routines I had to sit and judge that day and realized it definitely wasn’t! Then I thought it was the Fancy Dress sessions that we had before the Christmas Break, with all the amazing costumes, face paints and props – but no, it can’t have been that either as the decision to choose the overall winner was just too hard! Then I realized what my favourite moment was – it was the Cheerleading performance at the very last Saturday session! I don’t get to see the Cheerleaders very often, and when I do it’s usually because they want me to help them with their tumbling or something. I don’t even get to see them perform at the Championships because I’m normally backstage, so to get the chance to watch them was a real treat. I was amazed at how far the Elite Cheer Squad have developed, and Jade and Mel have done a great job with them, while I enjoyed watching all the younger ones, especially Sophia’s individual routine and the Twins partner work! It made me realize that after such a rough start to 2012, Jade and Mel have managed to turn everything around with squads stronger than ever and more displays than they were ever expecting – I can’t wait to see what they get up to in 2013!
So that’s just a quick look back at 2012 from AAAsports, but I’ve only picked out the major highlights. 2012 has been an amazing rollercoaster for everyone, we’ve had successes and disappointments, laughs and tears, smiles and frowns, and that’s just in sessions themselves! Every session is unique and there have been way too many enjoyable moments to list them all here. 2013 is shaping up to be an amazing year for everyone in AAAsports, and I can’t even begin to imagine what we’re going to achieve by next Christmas!
15th December 2012
Hey everyone, I thought for the gym blog this week I'd get some input from the other gym coaches too so you don't get too sick of hearing all about the kids I work with.
We had two great gym sessions with the kids choosing what they wanted to work on (flight - no surprises there!!!), Naomi's coming along briliantly, Nikki doing her first unsupported longarm, Amelia almost managing it on 4 high rather than the 3 and Nina determined to get hers too. Emily (and everyone else) was a little trooper in conditioning, Sophia managed to get on to the 4 high vault all by herself for the first time and it was just as well I mentioned the xmas party at the end of the session as Brodie then proceeded to worry about what fancy dress she was going to wear!!!
Everyone worked really hard and enjoyed watching the cheer girls getting ready for their xmas display.
Sunday saw me back at Cram with Karen, Christian may not have been there to keep us entertained with his meerkat impressions but Bradlee was onhand to take his place as the session's source of amusement. He demonstrated his amazing ability to do a wonderful beam routine on the trampoline before falling face first into a crashmat whilst running and laughing at Kayla going the other way as Charlotte looked on bemusedly. I've taken mine and Karen's marketing campaign up there to a new level, every session we do up there we cover the whiteboard in the AAA logo and website information - hopefully the school kids get to see it before the teachers clean it off.
Tuesday's gym session was again the choice of the kids, Giselle almost has her flicks herself on the airtrack, Aimie and Paige have theirs tidied up enough to start getting them working on the floor. Kayla remembered how to Free cartwheel and Jamie and Jodie decided they looked fun and wanted to try those with Peter. Amelia and Lucy are almost ready for Longarms on the full height vault too. Megan straightened out her cartwheels and everyone looked to be having fun on the bars and trampette.
I'm always really amused during freestyle, as I never really know what's going to happen, Kieren proved that the kids don't either! He made a big pile of mats and things which looked really interesting but when we asked what he was going to do, he had no idea!!! There were flicks over the vault, undershoots on the bar and lots of somersaults on the airtrack, everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and poor Zack looked soooooooo tired at the end.
Thursday's sessions were again whatever the kids wanted to do. I'm really pleased to see how much everyone loves playing around on the bar and of course everyone wanted to play on the Airtrack as well as with the ribbons. Blu somehow managed to tie the ribbon around himself and get stuck!!! Nikki and Niamh were working hard on their flicks on the track and Kayla almost managed to land an Arabian but she cheated a little by turning her feet too early!!! Abbie and Sophie showed Emily their amazing bar skills but forgot how to do it when I went to watch :(
The boys sessions are picking up nicely and everyone seems to be having a great time. Alex remembered to use his feet, Thomas fixed his flicks on the floor and Jacob's Barani's are finally starting to look like Barani's, even if he does call them PRAWNS!?!?
Don't forget it's still not too late to sign up for the Sport for All comp and the Trampoline Graded comp. Entries can be done online at www.AAAsports.co.uk/shop.html until 20th December, see any AAA coach if you want any more information!!!
We hope to see everyone enjoying themselves at the Christmas parties during the sessions next week. Last year there were some amazing costumes so we can't wait to see what everyone comes up with this year.
Merry Christmas everyone from all of the Gymnastics Coaches :)
WINTER IS HERE!
7th December 2012
Yup - first snow has fallen, and the christmas lights are starting to adorn all the houses. Personally I dislike this time of year - far too cold, far too dark ... but like the decorated houses there are still some highlights!
The regional school's competition happens and I love it - excellent opportunity for lots of kids to have a go that wouldn't otherwise! AAA had some really excellent results this year. I had an excellent day judging the elite competitors, which was really well attended - I don't think there were many missing which meant competition was fierce with well-deserved advancement for those that qualify to zonals! Full results are available on the website but I would like to pass on massive congratulations to the AAA zonal qualifiers! Jacob was particularly impressive with set scores in the 8's!!!! Really well done. Congratulations also to Brett, Bradley, Christian and Ruth who qualified as part of her school team. Hopefully the good results will continue in Manchester in January.
Continuing the weather theme of the week we've been having some stellar performances from freestyle, gymnastics and tramps as reported on facebook. I'm sure everyone follows us on facebook but in case you missed it - Kieren became the first person to pass his L2 freestyle band, Sophie learned a round off in 1 session at gymnastics, Andrew from Thursday's trampoline session passed his level 7 badge, and a highlight for me - Karen - accepting the challenge to start working on crash dives. i was also so pleased to be able to witness Bradley doing his first half out - to feet - with absolute certainty. Bloody brilliant even if he is a sceptic!
I'm really looking forward to this week - the last week of working hard on skills before the Christmas parties begin. Sadly, I will miss the Christmas festivities as I'm heading off to the states to celebrate the festive season, but I know I will get a full report of the amazing costumes and party antics. As in past years I'm sure there will be some fabulous costumes so start thinking about them now. I can't wait to see the pictures.
This week we're off to Wales, where Peter is competing in the Welsh Championships! Who would have thought? We wish him a lot of luck as he competes his triff for the third time. We're hoping for some excellent results as his routines are really coming together nicely!
So that's it from me for now! Hope to see everyone working hard this week if for no other reason than to stay warm!!!! if not - I want to wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season with lots of good cheer! dint forget to stretch and condition daily like i will be doing!!!! I look forward to seeing you all again next year!
A WEEK IN THE LIFE - AAASPORTS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER!
25th November 2012
Who would have thought, even just a few short weeks ago, that I would be sitting here writing this!
Every week is a surprise at AAAHQ. Never a dull moment and I’m still not altogether sure what I am doing from day to day. I’ve made a few promising contacts this week for Legacy, Sportivate and parties! The emails and phone calls are beginning to pay off!
Went along to Venerable Bede on Monday to coach a lovely group of girls. Luckily Peter was there to help with the manipulation of trampolines and other equipment. Then off to Sandhill where I had the privilege of coaching my daughter and grandchildren, plus others of course!
Wednesday I spent the day in a school in Penshaw, coaching Gymnastics and Freestyle with Andi. Well Andi was coaching of course, I was ably assisting (I hope) then off to Hetton. We had a few new starters last week!
Thursday found me in Chester-le-Street with Gemma coaching gymnastics to a group of young KS2 pupils, then at Sandhill for the NEAS session which was quite interesting and made me realise we need to get some resources in place for coaching a variety of different people.
Friday it was off to Hebburn with Lyndsay. Not many participants yet but it is a new venue and I am positive it will pick up when people get to hear about us. One parent I spoke to is more than happy with the changeover. Well done Lindsay!!
Saturday morning I was off to Raich Carter for pre-school and the other sessions. It’s thanks to Emily that I now nearly know what I am doing there!! And now, having used Ali’s netbook to write this because my laptop has died, I am shortly off to Cramlington with Gemma for our afternoon sessions there.
So, 3 weeks in, I am beginning to find my feet and have decided that I have a very ‘cool’ job!!Karen
16th November 2012
Hey everyone, this week seems to have been a pretty hectic week. Saturday saw the Schools Trampoline finals taking place at Sandhill with a number of our kids competing while the rest of us were over at Raich for our usual sessions. All the sessions seemed to go really well, some of my kids were busy preparing for their first pairs competition while others were preparing for their first competition. The cheerleaders looked to be working on some pretty new stunts before they headed off to Dalton Park for a Dance Mat display to help generate enough power to turn on the Christmas Lights.
Sunday was competition day for the pairs. Kayla and Thomas were up first for AAA in the Under 10s mixed pairs group, Thomas was extremely nervous taking part in his first competition but managed to hold is nerve to hit 2 great Handspring vaults and his Round Off Flick on the floor during their routine. Kayla also performed well and the pair finished 2nd - The FIRST AAA gymnastics medal!!! :D
Ruth and Jodie were up later in the afternoon in the U14 girls group, both stuck their vault landings and enjoyed their floor routine - the judges particularly liked their ending which they're both very proud to have come up with on their own. Overall we had a pretty successful day and AAAPhoto's were there to capture it all, there's some great photo's on their website.
In addition to the sessions I run at Raich and Cram, I also head into schools to coach gymnastics, Karen tagged along on Tuesday after showing me the new AAA office. We went on a bear hunt with the Reception class then were busy helping the other class preparing to take part in the gymnastics display at Deerness on 20Nov, it's the first time I've put together team routines and have had a lot of fun with some really great kids.
During the normal Tuesday session we had a number of gymnasts attempting new moves for the first time, Jodie landed her first Round Off Back Tuck on the air track and Kate A, Isobell and Kate did their first Longarm splats on the vault. In another school's session on Wednesday I was amazed at how quickly the class were picking up new things one girl learnt how to do a flick during the session having never done one before and a group of boys in the class put together an amazing routine complete with original fluff!!!
Back in Raich on Thursday with a few new faces in the class who we'll hopefully be seeing a lot more of. Sophie wanted to show off her lovely, shiny new leotard which seems to have magical abilities - she's progressing soooooooooooo quickly. I got a few accidental hugs off 2 of our 3 Abigail's on the bars :/ was a little bizarre when I had to ask Andi to come and rescue me because I couldn't work out where one of the Abbie's legs were in relation to the bar while she was wrapped around my neck and head. Niamh did her first longarm splat, as did Nikki who was in for her first gym session!!! In the boys session on Thursday the boys were working hard on the Airtrack, Jacob's Round Off Back Tucks are coming along, especially when he remembers to tuck instead of puck, and Thomas learnt to do a free cartwheel. Alex nearly has his flicks sorted but gets a little confused by the bounce of the Airtrack. It's really good to see how much these boy's are improving and enjoying themselves.
We now have the date for the Sport 4 All comp - 24th Feb. If you're interested and were born after 1/1/2005 speak to the coaches to check that you can do the required floor moves and are capable of safely completing a vault and get signed up online before December 20th.
I LOVE THIS SPORT!
9th November 2012
I'm so happy to be writing the blog this week. For me it has been an absolutely awesome emotional week.
We started last week with AAA's biggest elite competition of the year - Northern Champs! I have been really excited with anticipation for the comp this year as I know we have improved so much as a club! As a club it was a great atmosphere and over the two days we had some really, really excellent results. We had some disappointments along the way, but overall I think there was a lot to be said for the impact that AAA made over the weekend. All the effort paid off as we improved our position over last year and we were easily in reach of doing even more as we achieved 5th despite several errors.
I was really proud to be a part of the team and to have so many memorable moments. As most people associated with AAA will not have been at this comp, let me share what for me are the top 5 highlights - a tough list to narrow down - I assure you!
5. My unfortunate dmt pass with shins landing too close to the bungies! Ouch! Good thing I had chalk.
4. Peter competing his triff for the final despite not having done one on the 6x4 beds before!
3. Dory and Emily doing their 'Greece style' synchro vol in warm-ups with everyone looking on in absolute disbelief!
2. Bradley coming 4th overall in the Men's trampoline competition!
1. Ethan and Ewan's synchro routine with the spurious half turn....
These moments don't even begin to capture all that happened over the course of the weekend. It was truly magical and made me so proud to not only be a part of AAA, but to have the opportunity to compete for AAA!!!!!
I was also fortunate this week to be able to come out to play on Tuesday night. We had an excellent stretching session and I really enjoyed seeing people that I rarely get to see train. I really enjoyed working with the girls on my trampoline as I felt like they all made real progress and have certainly improved since the last time that I saw them! I must say that I was also chuffed to have been able to do some double pikes and double straights in the rig! It was really good fun for me to have a play and pump up the adrenaline levels! The highlight, however, was Bradley going for his first half outs - sadly with too much effort, but throughout the week he has worked to refine his technique and is well on the way to having them nailed.
The pinnacle of the week, however was Wednesday's elite session. This was a milestone day - Andi's birthday! I think it was also a really productive session, with great atmosphere and everyone working hard on new skills and routines for the upcoming Tyne & Wear schools and regional schools competitions. We were really lucky in that Andi's Mom even supplied the chocolate cake (great for my diet as I don't like chocolate). Andi seemed to enjoy the session with a few extra special birthday gifts - Dory did 10 double backs and Pedro did full-ins, rudi-out and half and half pikes - all in one session!!!! - did I mention I did some double pikes?
We also had some fabulous news - short lists are out for the Sun FM local hero awards - and I was shocked to learn that I have I been short-listed for sporting hero of the year and Andi for youth worker of the year! I'm really honoured and know that Andi's anonymous nomination means a lot to him. Hopefully we will be able to report success after the awards evening on the 16th of November!
Thursday continued the high for me with great sessions all around - dmt with chains (someone had them in their gym bag on monday....), some excellent gymnastics and trampolining going on and a fun atmosphere. While doing dmt Rhian could be heard laughing with delight, and I saw some outstanding routines for the upcoming school's competitions from Jacob! The second trampoline session at Sandhill continued to impress with Bradley managing a half out (though I missed it....) and Ewan doing his first barani ball outs. I am also really pleased that we seem to be making progress with Kelly's baranis. Ruth is looking fabulous with her fulls ready to go back into her routines!
I also had the opportunity to see the new AAAsports HQ office! It's fabulous! This club is really going places!!!! Hold on tight!
This week it's the Tyne and Wear Championships and while sadly I will miss them due to a tutor training course I want to wish everyone the best of luck - especially Sunderland!!!!!
If you have a chance, go along and provide some moral support.
2nd November 2012
Well the recent news in Cheerleading is that we have welcomed new members to the club! All of our members are developing new skills an we are starting to get ready for a new routine which is starting to pull together nicely! :)
Big congrats to all members for their hard work!
The Street Cheer news is that the girls are half way through completing a competitive street dance routine and so are the boys. Also a big well done to the boys for completing their Round-Off/Back Flick, Back Flicks, BSS (T) and Round Off/BSS!
Coaching wise our two new coaches are now coaching on their own and are doing well! Well done Jade and Katie!
Overall we’re both over the moon with everyone’s progress and are very proud of u all! :)
Love Jade and Mel xx
COMPETITIONS & MORE COMPETITIONS!
26th October 2012
It's been a while since I've written a blog and I'm really happy to be doing it again. I often forget how personally beneficial it is for me to reflect on the week gone by. Every time I do this for AAAsports I'm amazed by how much we seem to pack into each week as a club! I bet few others compare.
AAAsports' main activity this week has been running the Tyne and Wear Schools Competition qualifying events. This competition is now in its 4th year and has most schools in the Tyne and Wear sports partnerships invited to ultimately compete against each other to win the overall Top Partnership Trophy (Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland and North Tyneside). Since it's inception, this honour has gone to Gateshead with an overwhelming lead, but Andi is determined to bring it home to Sunderland... soon! Will this be the year????
For those that don't know, the competition provides an awesome opportunity for just about every Tyne & Wear school to try out trampolining with beginner, novice, intermediate and elite categories for Key Stage 3 and 4 boys and girls as individuals or part of a team. (If you're reading this and your school hasn't offered you the opportunity be sure to see Andi so he can sort it out for next year!) The competition is always a whirlwind affair with challenges for the judges as well as the competitors as hundreds of routines have to be judged in a very short time! So this week, Monday was Gateshead, Tuesday Newcastle and South Tyneside, Wednesday Sunderland and Thursday North Tyneside. In all there have been nearly 500 competitors during the qualifiers with almost 200 competitors qualifying for the final showdown set to take place at Sandhill on the 10th of November. I'm sure intense preparations will be in place until then!
Personally I was particularly impressed by some of our AAA participants who have achieved massive improvements in their performances. I was particularly pleased to have actually awarded several 0.1 deductions (extremely rare at this level of competition) for skills performed by Jacob Reed. Outstanding! We definitely need more of that! Matthew Jameson (Mr J to most of us!) was also a stand out with his form and high bouncing all starting to come together nicely. It goes especially well when he remembers his routines! For the girls, I was really impressed by both Ruth and Rachael Foreman.
The Tyne and Wear Schools GMPD final was also held this week. With fewer competitors than last year, it was still a fabulous display with some really talented kids. Trampolining is such a great sport and hopefully some of these kids will stay involved and compete in some of the graded competitions.
Halloween is just around the corner and while many of you are busy getting your costumes prepared, the elite squad has been getting ready for the Northern Closed competition. As this is the time of year to slay our dragons, exorcise our demons and pretend to be something we're not - I find it a particularly appropriate time for Northerns. We each have the opportunity to be championship level for the day competing with 'no holds barred'. For AAAsports, this is one of our most important trampolining and DMT competitions in the year! Northerns is our regional championships where each club competes for the overall club trophy. For the trophy the best 6 sets and vols from the championship age group performances are counted. Last year we were 6th and we are well determined to try and improve that this year! The competition is especially good for our Regional grade competitors because it is one of the few competitions where they can perform voluntary routines without tariff limitations. Competitors are grouped by ages rather than ability so it is also a good competition to judge how you compare with your peers across the board. This is also one of the few competitions below national level to offer dmt and synchro - so there will be plenty going on!
From a personal point of view I am hoping that I can conjure up a few spells (or find some witches who can) to overcome the nerves of doing my routines to deliver a performance that is my personal best! I haven't had much success at this competition in the last 2 years having badly sprained my ankle on the first DMT bounce 2 years ago and then being sidelined recovering from surgery last year - so I am definitely planning on going for broke! Having watched some of the sets and vols last night (Thursday rec sessions), I can tell you that AAA is looking good and we still have a week of refinement to go. Brett, Ruth and Ethan are looking especially formidable and I'm sure the rest of us will also be ready! The competition will be full of excitement and with Kat competing will offer everyone the opportunity to see our Olympian up close and personal (Dory will even get to shake her hand as she comes off the trampoline) - feel free to come along to Ashington and support us if you can spare a day or two!!!!
We are also honoured to have several of our AAAsports squad representing our region in the English Championships this weekend!!!! We wish them all a fabulous, successful and enjoyable competition and want them to know how proud we are of them. Brett was selected across all disciplines so is representing the North for Junior Boys Trampoline, Jr Men's Synchro (with Matthew Griffiths), and Jr Boys DMT. Well done Brett!!!! Good luck also to the other AAA representatives: Dory (Sr Ladies DMT), Peter (Sr Mens DMT), Taylor and Bradley (Jr Boys DMT). Looking forward to Northern Success!
Finally I just want to mention Andi's impressive School's Legacy Project - he talked about it in his blog last week. I'm really pleased to report that it is off the ground and running with a special visit from Kat Driscoll at the Legacy Project today that took place at Valley Road Juniors!
So much going on in AAAsports - these are definitely exciting times. We may have to start doing the blog twice a week!!!!
(PS, please let me know if you have any spells that might be of interest to me!)
LEAVING A LEGACY!
19th October 2012
The week started off with me tutoring a Freestyle course in Durham to a whole bunch of eager coaches, including some HPC Acrobatic coaches as well! They all took to the Freestyle philosophy really well and thoroughly enjoyed learning the differences between ‘normal’ gymnastics and Freestyle Gymnastics. Kieren Welsh was on hand to give some demonstrations and hints and tips as well – plus he enjoyed playing in the foam pit when the course was over! There are hundreds of reasons why Freestyle is so fresh and exciting, and I know that all those who’ve taken part in the sessions at AAAsports have loved it. We run sessions every Tuesday night at Raich Carter – come along and see for yourself!
On Sunday it was an early start as we travelled up to Stanley for the Graded D-H Trampoline competition, with me driving the minibus which is always exciting!! The day started off with Danika, Ruth and Shannon all competing in the U15G Regional G event. The team won the event by a considerable margin! Individually, Danika and Shannon had some unlucky routines, with Shannon placing 2nd in the event and just missing the qualifying score. However, Ruth pulled out some of her best routines ever to win the event and smashing the qualifying score to move in to Regional F!
Kelly then followed suit in the U13G Regional G event, again winning the event and scoring 1.1 over the qualifying scores to move in to Regional F with ease! In the O15 Regional G events, Ethan also won his event but missed out on the qualifying score while Ashley faltered on her set routine and finished 16th.
Then it moved on the Club H level, starting with the girls team of Charlotte C, Denise and Nissi, who all got through their routines battling their nerves, but with a couple of falters here and there. The team came 5th overall and they all enjoyed the event, so hopefully they will be a little more relaxed next time! Christian also looked on course to win his U11B event with some beautiful routines in warm-up… only to forget his routine at the actual competition! He did get straight back on for the vol and pulled out an amazing routine though!
Surprises came later in the U13B Club H event, with Ewan pulling out the most amazing set routine I have ever seen him do! Sadly his vol wasn’t quite as nice and he ended up 2nd, but still a great achievement. Meanwhile Matthew managed 3rd in the same event with decent scores, especially since it was his first real competition! In the U15B Club H event, Jacob was another one who was cursed with the ‘forgetful set routine’ syndrome, but still walked away with 1st place, while Charlotte M in the U15G Club H event was competing for the first time as well but had problems with her back landing. I expect that all of those in this group will go back, identify what they need to work on and be back and ready to compete again at the next event!
Over in the Regional F event, Bradlee was feeling the pressure after seeing Kelly and Ruth both qualify earlier in the day and pulled out some great routines to place 2nd and qualify in to Regional E! Dory and Emily were next up – Emily injured her knee in warm-ups and as a result couldn’t compete her set routine, while Dory got her qualifying scores for the set routine but scored just under in the vol, missing qualifying by a tiny amount.
This is where our sport can be heart-breaking as a coach – I know that Dory is more than capable of getting those qualifying scores and I know just how much it means to her as well, and to see her miss qualifying by such a tiny margin is a truly horrible feeling, especially as it’s not the first time that Dory has missed important scores by tiny amounts. But knowing Dory the way that I do, I know that she will go back to training, pick herself up and work until she achieves her goal. I’ve seen her work through huge challenges before to make her goal (most notably competing in the British DMT Championships) and I know she will achieve anything she set’s her mind on.
Brett and Taylor were up next in the Regional E event, with both of them placing 2nd in their respective events. Regional E is a difficult level to qualify out of and unfortunately neither of the boys had routines good enough to get those scores on the day. The next stop for them now is to get back to training and work on their basic shapes and skills to make sure that they hit those scores next time!
Last up for the day was Bradley in the Regional D event. After battling with a knee injury for the last couple of weeks, it was touch-and-go as to whether he was even going to be able to compete at this event. Thankfully he was and managed to scrape the scores together to qualify in to National C next year! This is a great achievement for Bradley, who will now join Peter on the National Gala circuit from 2013! He will need to put in a lot of work to maintain that status though – it’s hard to get there but it’s even harder to stay there! Well done Bradley and good luck for 2013!
Another little bonus we found out at the event was the official selection for the North of England Squads to compete in the English Championships on Saturday 27th October. Bradley, Brett, Dory, Peter and Taylor have all been selected as part of the North of England DMT Squad, while Brett has been selected as part of the North of England Trampoline Squad! This is a huge achievement for them all – well done guys! If you’d like to go and cheer them on, the event is being held at Temple Park Leisure Centre and full timetable details will be put on the website as soon as they’re available.
After the excitement of the Graded D-H competition, Wednesday was a total gear change for me as myself and Jade Carr visited Hylton Castle Primary School for the first day of AAAsports Schools Legacy Project. As part of this project, AAAsports Coaches are going to be visiting every primary school in Sunderland to deliver free action packed sessions to every child in every class in Sunderland – all 22,500 of them!
The project is being totally funded by AAAsports and there is no cost to any of the schools, and we believe that it’s the biggest project of it’s kind ever attempted in the UK, certainly within Gymnastics! We have managed to get a whole host of names involved in the project as well, including Kat Driscoll who will be coming along to one of our sessions in the very near future! To find out where we are going next with the project and what we’ve been up to, take a look on the Schools Legacy Project page at http://www.aaasports.co.uk/legacy.php .
I’ve never really had the opportunity to work with Jade Carr before, but I had a fantastic time helping Jade take the pupils through an exciting mix of Cheerleading skills. Jade did really well and all of the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the sessions… hopefully some of them will be joining AAAsports in the near future!
Next week is the Tyne & Wear Schools Qualifiers event, so I’m at competitions in Gateshead, Newcastle, South Tyneside, Sunderland and North Tyneside next week searching for performers to represent their region at the Tyne & Wear Final on Saturday 10th November. Traditionally Gateshead have always fielded a strong team and walk away with the trophy, but I’m sensing that this year the battlelines have already been drawn and other regions are hoping to win the event! Good luck to everyone competing, especially the AAAsports members!
If that wasn’t enough, I’ve also been working on some really, really big announcements that I can’t wait to share with you all. Unfortunately I can’t give all the details out just yet, but they are big enough to potentially change AAAsports forever! I’m really excited by our prospects, our future developments and the opportunities that it will create for all of our members and our coaches… keep checking the website for the announcements very, very soon!
I AM SPARTACUS!!
12th October 2012
Wow! What a weekend! I had the pleasure of travelling to the Spartacus Cup in Thessaloniki, Greece, with Ann, Bradlee, Brett, Dory, Ethan, Kelly, Peter, Ruth and Susan – 5 days of adventure! This is now the third time that I’ve been across to the event, and every year it just seems to get better and better!
Straight after training on Wednesday night, we travelled down to Gatwick Airport on the train – changing at Kings Cross to see Platform 9¾ from the Harry Potter books! Ruth and Bradlee were very impressed by this, so everyone had to get their photos taken as well! Then it was a couple of hours in the airport before flying over to Thessaloniki where we were met by Litsa, the competition organiser! On arrival we were told we were staying a different hotel to normal, and on arrival it was clearly an upgrade! The rooms were great with a fab view of the pool, sea and the beach… I had to remind myself that it wasn’t a holiday!
So after a quick rest it was time to head off to training for the first time, and the first real test for the squad. It’s much hotter in Greece than we’re used to, so everyone finds it harder to train – luckily we had a couple of days to get used to it! Training went well, once we had the breathing sorted out, and then it was back to the hotel for some food and a proper nights sleep!
The next day it was an early rise as we headed off for the first training session of the day! This was our first chance to get on to the DMT – it certainly isn’t as nice as ours! However, that didn’t put anyone off, with everyone getting their passes done ready for the competition. All trained out, it was time for a bit of an adventure! Cue a few hours by the pool, a walk to the local ice cream parlour, a game of volleyball on the beach and some acrobatics in the sea… Again – this is not a holiday! We were particularly impressed with our game of ‘Angry Birds’ in the pool… Ruth was the bird while Peter and Brett were the catapult…!
Then, it was back to training again on the evening, and this time it was along with some of the other Greek clubs who were taking part in the competition. It was also the first chance that I really had to speak to our friend Nico (Litsa’s son) who competes for Spartacus Trampoline Club in Greece. Although we only see him once a year he is always friendly and we have a great laugh when he is around! This training session was busy, and we got the opportunity to watch some of the tumblers preparing as well (including Peter, who was made an honorary Belgian Tumbler for the weekend!), and then it was back to the hotel again!
The next morning came… and it’s competition day. We all piled on the bus and made our way to the venue with all the other teams from Greece, Belguim, Iran and Poland. We were the only British team at the event, however all of the teams are so nice and friendly that everyone just has such a good time regardless of their nationality! We found some spots and settled in for the day – it’s a long event!!
Bradlee was on first, and crashed out on the set after a lot of stressing about his Ballout Barani. However, he pulled it together for the vol and made it through the whole routine! Next it was the Junior B girls – Ruth and Kelly. Neither of them had ever competed in a competition on this scale before, and both of them were aiming to compete new skills for the first time – for Ruth it was the Full Back and for Kelly it was the Double Back. We watched with baited breath as Kelly got on and made it through the set comfortably… just before Ruth spectacularly crashed out on the Full Back in her set, followed by Kelly competing her Double Back in the vol but then crashing on move 3 and then Ruth crashing on move 9 in her vol! Nightmare! It was touch and go for a while, but because a few other competitors crashed as well both Ruth and Kelly qualified for the Finals, so they would still have a chance to redeem themselves!
Next up it was DMT qualifications for all the competitors, and everyone managed to make it through their passes comfortably and qualified for the Finals the next day. A special mention has to go to Dory here, who landed her Back Somersault/Rudi pass after she had been working on it for so long! Well done Fishy!
Then we headed back over to the Trampolines, where Ethan and Brett competed in the Junior C Boys. Brett competed in this event last year and scored just 40.6 for two complete routines so we were hoping for much better scores this time – and we got them with 46.4 overall! Much better! Ethan also managed to compete his Double Back for the very first time and qualified for the Final! Excellent start boys!
Then we moved on to the Seniors, with Peter going first. The Senior Male event is always a really, really tough event at the Spartacus Cup. There are several decent Greek competitors, but it’s the Polish National team that always seem to cause a problem! Their guys are amazing, preforming routines with 14.0+ difficulty with such precision and accuracy, they’re brilliant to watch and the battle to win is always closely contested between them all! For Peter, his aim was to compete his Triff for the very first time, and he didn’t disappoint! After a couple of ‘cautious’ warm-ups in the back he pulled out a fantastic set and vol and qualified in to the Senior Mens final. Susan came next, and she arrived with high hopes and expectations. The set went well, but then sadly crashed out of the vol. By this time it was 8:30pm, so it was back to the hotel for dinner!
Finals Day arrived and everyone was geared up for success! First up, we got to watch Peter on the tumble track… it has to be seen to be believed thanks to his new Tumbling coach Joyce from Belgium! Then we moved on the DMT event, and were given a shock as they adapted the rules and the last minute! This meant some crazy re-planning of everyone’s passes, but it seemed to work! Ruth managed to secure 3rd in the Junior B girls and Susan came 3rd in Senior Ladies, Brett and Peter won the Junior C Boys and Senior Mens groups respectively! Well done guys! However, my highlight of the day came from Dory, who after battling back from disappointment the day before managed to land her Double Front dismount, much to the biggest cheer I’ve ever heard from AAA! What a star!!
Moving back to Trampoline, everyone gave their routines their best effort and most managed to achieve their new goals with everyone competing their new routines and newest skills. Brett achieved excellent scores for his routine and managed to place 3rd in the Junior C Boys, while Peter made up a brand new vol including a Triff just in time for his final routine!
We then moved in to Synchro, where I had hoped we had a decent chance of placing and the squad didn’t let me down! Ruth & Kelly came 3rd (despite crashing out!), Ethan & Bradlee came 1st and Brett & Peter placed 3rd! Dory & Susan managed to place 2nd as well after a rather spectacular fall mid-way through the routine! The funniest bit was that they were actually practicing the fall in synchro in the warm-up area before they went out!
It was then time for the Presentation Ceremony, and I was given a gift from Spartacus Trampoline Club for the support that we have shown the event over the last couple of years. It was really nice show of appreciation and I look forward to continuing to support the event for many more years to come! I also got the chance to present some of the awards, which again was really fun to do.
After the event was over, we all got our party clothes on and were bussed out with the other teams to a beautiful restaurant in the middle of the Greek hills, overlooking a huge lake and surrounded by trees. Once there, we were treated to a great meal and drinks before dancing the night away with all the other teams! The boys found new Greek friends, while the girls pretty much danced the night away! We all got caught up in the massive conga line, while Dory managed to get a dance with the Polish National Coach… who is probably old enough to be her grandfather! Myself and Susan also invented a couple of pretty cool dance moves… ask her to show you them at some point! We exchanged gifts with the other teams and enjoyed spending time relaxing after a pretty intense weekend of training… remember this is not a holiday!
The next morning it was time to pack up and get ready to leave, but not before a quick public bus trip to the local mall for some shopping. Clearly the night before had taken its toll on some people as Ethan, Kelly and Bradlee all fell asleep on the bus! It was then back to the airport to start the long journey home, and we got back to Sunderland at around 3am on Tuesday morning! A very, very long weekend, but hugely enjoyable.
I just want to take the time to say just how proud I was of every single person on the trip this year. You all represented not only AAAsports but the UK all weekend, and you were all fantastic. You all challenged yourselves both in the UK training before the competition and once in Greece, and everyone worked the best they could regardless of the setbacks that some people had. You made me proud to see you all compete… Now I’m looking forward to next year already!
Once we got back I was also in for another surprise – the selection lists for the North of England Squad competing in the English Championships had been announced! Brett, Dory, Peter and Taylor have all been selected for the DMT Squad, whilst Brett has been selected for the Trampoline Squad! This is a huge achievement for them all – they will be competing at the English Championships event on Saturday 27th October at Temple Park LC, so if you’re free then come along and cheer them on! Well done everyone!!
Some other random things that amused me this week included…
- Dory returning from Greece with a new Spanish accent?!
- Jacob’s amazing ‘back landing’ dismount off the DMT – I’m sure it was meant to be a back somersault!!
- Pre-Schoolers love playing with the new scarves on the Trampoline…!
- Kieren being able to do so much in Freestyle… but still can’t keep up a headstand!
Finally, good luck to everyone competing the Graded this weekend!
10th October 2012
I was asked to do the blog for gymnastics this week, I don't know how many people saw my message on the facebook page but AAA Gymnastics just celebrated its birthday! We've officially been running AAAGym sessions for a year now!!!
This week started with 2 great sessions on Saturday and I'm really pleased with how well the kids have adapted to working in their new groups. Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun and are working really hard for their coaches. I really enjoyed watching Andi and Nicci's group in the first session come together to do pair work on the floor and again in the second session with Nicci's and Emily's groups. My group in both sessions were working hard on their bar routines with almost everyone managing to circle up themselves now :D My favourite quote of the week came during the second session while on bars, I overheard Ruth telling the rest of the girls how good Jodie is on the bar and finished by telling everyone that she's "a monkey in a Jodie suit". One of the group focus points was Handspring vaults which a number of the gymnasts had never done before so I want to say a big 'Well Done!' to Aoife, Nina, Brodie and Ellen who all gave it a go for the first time!
Sunday saw me travelling back up to Cramlington where we've just started classes up there every Sunday, it's a little quiet at the minute so why not come along and give it a try???
Tuesday saw a bunch of new ones starting with our newest coach Ashley, everyone seemed to have a lot of fun so I'm hoping to see those guys back again next week. Nicci's group worked hard on the bar and beam again, I love watching her groups walking along the beam playing with hoops and bean bags while increasing their confidence on such a narrow surface. My group were focussing on handsprings on the floor and vault, Anna and Giselle had never done a Handspring vault before either but managed brilliantly too!!!
Thursday was a little weird! With Andi and his elite squad heading off to Greece to compete (GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!), there was no DMT session so the hall was a lot quieter than usual. I got the chance to work with Abigail for the first time and I was really impressed with how much effort she puts into everything, her Handstands towards the end particularly impressed me. Niamh and Heather were really good at showing everyone how to do the bar work with straight arms, and little monkeys Evie and Ciara were trying really hard on their vault hurdle steps.
We've recently started a boys only session on a Thursday, this week the boys got to enjoy being Superman (diving at the red block) in preparation for their handspring vaults. Thomas was almost managing to vault himself by the end of the session with Ben not being too far off from being able to do it himself too. The vault was a little too high for poor Andrew but he never gave up and managed to be the first out of the class to land the vault on his feet and Jonathan managed to do some lovely handstand hops which he'd never done before too.
It's great to see how much gymnastics has grown in the last year, not only with the number of kids and sessions but also the number of coaches too (with another in the process of qualifying -GOOD LUCK!!!). Keep up the great work everyone!!!
Busy busy busy!!
28th September 2012
Hia, Emily and Lyndsay here.
Well, as you might have noticed, AAAsports is trying to go its utmost to be the best possible club and its clearly working as we now have lots of very busy sessions!
Saturday is proving to be a very popular day to have fun on either the trampolines, in cheerleading or gymnastics. It great to see lots of happy faces, before conditioning that is! Pre-school is a very popular session and its always fun to coach. However, we do now have a waiting list so to guarantee your space, remember to set up your Standing Order! Saturday was Shapes week where we focused on learning our tuck, star and astride shapes - Evie was especially good at this! At the end everyone got a special treat, we brought the parachute out! The kids always seem to love being bounced in a rainbow of colours. Each week we focus on a different aspect of trampolining and play a different game at the end. I wonder what next week could be...
The two recreational sessions were even busier! It was Lewis' first week in 'the big boy' class as he has just moved up from pre school. Similar to Blu, its great to see that they are making lots of new friends and growing up but they look so little and innocent to be in the big classes. Erin has made some huge improvements over the past few months. From not being able to do a tuck jump or spotting, to taking part in AAAsports Championships and doing a routine to front landings and swivel hips there's just no stopping her! We love coaching Erin, she's always so happy and always makes us laugh! Everyone knows of 'The Twins' David and Matthew, who are the crazy monkeys of AAAsports and can put a smile on anyones face with their cheaky grins so we love having them in sessions. On Saturday, they were doing some lovely front somersaults which are coming on really nice and its hard to believe they are so young.
In second session, Lyndsay worked with Hannah who passed her forward turnovers, eventually! She's worked so hard on them, like everything she does. Emily was in gymnastics helping out with the ever growing sessions.
The girls all worked really hard on their handstands - not sure who won the wheelbarrow race though! Keep working hard everyone!!
On Sunday I (Emily) coach the Sandhill session at 10am with Brett. It's a quiet session with lots of promising little ones, but there's never a moments silence with Skye around! We love coaching everyone on that session
- they are always so happy and wanting to learn more. It also gives Emily a chance to work with/mentor Brett who is one of our newest assistant coaches.
He has a lot of potential to be an excellent HPC coach!
I then had the privilege to coach at Cramlington as Shalana was away. I don't know the kids up there so was a little nervous but they are all so lovely and eager to learn. Rachel seems like she's going to be quiet, but she has the biggest mouth and is just crazy! It was great fun coaching her and passing off her back somersaults! Christian is another one who works super hard all the time and is constantly improving. Well done everyone,
you were all a pleasure to coach!
Monday came around and it was back to Sandhill. Everyone should now have been assigned a 'key' coach and hopefully you will agree this is working out well. First session, Alex's somersaults were coming on good (when she stretches up!) as were Jamies baranis! Me and Dory, another extremely promising new coach with bags of potential, covered Bretts group whilst he trained. Janine did some great hands and knees turnovers, something I bet she never thought she would do! She's catching up to you Karen!! Second session and Andi and Susan had to dash off to a meeting so it was down to me, Alex and Brett to run the session. Jemma suprised everyone on Monday, managing to do 3 bounce rolls in a row and nearly getting to her feet on a Ballout!!! I love seeing how happy she is when she achieves something, I feel so proud of her!
Tuesday at the Raich Carter session is also starting to get extremely busy, with DMT, trampolining and gymnastics, then freestyle all taking place! Andi had to be in London on Tuesday morning, but was determined to be back in time for the sessions. This meant after his train was cancelled, he did a 'train crawl' getting on 4 trains just to get back to the sessions with 15 minutes to spare! The Elite DMT squad have a competition in Greece next week and he didn't want them missing out on training - I think this is a perfect demonstration of how dedicated the AAAsports coaches are! Freestyle has recently seen the introduction of wristbands which has become a big incentive to improve. This week, Mr. Jay passed his headstands and James passed his "kick the moon" on the AirTrack. At the end of the session we played a game with the red block of who could get up and over the block without knocking it over. There was some serious competition between a few of the boys!
Wednesday at Hetton where I (Lyndsay) coach, Abby passed her back somersaults and also passed her back somersault to seat landing! She even managed to practise them in a routine... then landed on her head! Kiera has been practising her 1/2 turntables and by the looks of it she won't have much of her knees or elbows left! Blu has been practising his front landings this week too! Along with showing us his dance moves! Can't wait to see more next week from this lovely bunch of kids!!
Wednesday is also the Elite session for trampolining. I (Emily) love these sessions because if you ever need help with anything, there's always someone there to throw a mat in or help you improve or just be that extra support and encouragement to do the 'scary move.' There's been some great memories which me and Dory were re-living on wednesday and laughing lots! I'm sure there's many more to come!! Laughing aside, everyone has lots of routines they need to be working on, especially as many of them are travelling to Greece to an international competition. The routines are looking really nice and I think AAAsports has a good chance, especially in synchro! We wish everyone luck over there, have a lovely time and do AAAsports proud!
Well, we hope you have enjoyed reading. Keep up the good work everyone and keep having fun!
Remember though, from the 1st of October, if you don't have your membership renewed you won't be able to take part so remember to go on the website, www.AAAsports.co.uk and purchase your new British Gymnastics insurance!
If you haven't already set up a standing order or filled in a membership form, please see your coach asap to save your space on our very busy sessions!!!
Em and Lynz!x
23rd September 2012
Hi all, been a busy few months for cheer with several displays and events that we have supported! Everyone has worked so hard and this has been clearly recognised by the organisers of the events judging by the fantastic feedback we have received! So massive well done! We are hoping to compete in this years winter championships in Manchester, so lots of hard work over the next few months but it will be worth it, as its such good experience in an unforgettable atmosphere!
Last week we cheered on top of the big red bus for the British Heart Foundation, for the fantastic runners taking part in the Great North run! It was a brilliant day and the atmosphere was amazing! A massive well done to all of those who took part, especially the parents who were running :) we were told by the British Heart Foundation that we were loudest cheerleaders they had ever had an they were really pleased! So well done to all of those who attended :)
The squad is growing and it's such an exciting time to be a part of the AAA Tigers! We are introducing cheer ribbon awards which each cheerleader works towards individually. So aswell as working towards goals as part of a team they have personal goals to work towards with a ribbon to collect when they meet them :)
Keep up the good work guys :) and remember..."we are proud of you I said we are proud of you!!!"
Mel and Jade :)
15th May 2012
Dory's poem about here recent trip to the Scotland Gala in Dundee!
It was the 11th of May
And everyone was OK
Filled with excitement
While it was still enlightment
Now moving on
The journey was ever so long
Telling the monk joke
Until I spilt Diet Coke
We went down for breakfast
Me and Carl were going last
Going to the Sports Hall
But Susan thought it was the shopping mall
First was Peter
Who was a cheater
He pulled out a Full Front
Whilst on the Dory Hunt
Next came Carmel
Who unfortunately fell
Then it was the youngin
Who well rocked the fulling
Run along Taylor
Who looked a bit frailer
As he went through his passes
While eyein up the lasses
Shortly after was the boys
And they really enjoys
Then it was me
I qualified to B
I could be happier
Peter took some snapper
It was over for the day
Tomorrow all the way
We went out for food
While the lads looked like dudes
Then we played some games
Snaps to put in picture frames
We had so many good laughs
After I had a bath
Were like a big happy family
With Andi being the daddy
We’ve still got a day left
We were all being a pest
As we didn’t want to go home
We will all be alone
We had such a good weekend
It’s been round the bend
I can’t describe how much I love AAA
We’re here for the stay!
Thanks Andi, Susan and Karen!
Author – Dory Blake ©
It's The Climb...!
30th April 2012
Back in January 2012, 10 AAAsports members took their first steps towards becoming qualified coaches. They had all signed up to taking their Assistant Coach award in either Trampoline or General Gymnastics, and I was going to tutor them! It was certainly a mixed group; there were some existing coaches, some Elite Trampoline squad members, some recreation members and even some parents! There was a huge difference in experience and confidence levels, but they were all dedicated and wanted to do well!
Over the next 4 months, all of these trainee coaches took part in sessions shadowing our existing coaches and completing various tasks along the way. Many of these trainees had never spoken in public, and certainly never been in charge of a group before. During this time, the transition that I’ve witnessed in these people has been nothing short of amazing.
Take Karen for example. On Day 1 of the course, Karen was so nervous about delivering to a group under pressure that she was even thinking about quitting the course. Watching Karen today I would never have guessed that it was the same person. Karen delivered a session which was practically perfect in every way, and received heaps and heaps of praise from the assessor regarding the way she delivered her session and worked with her participants. After such a successful day, she’s now signed up to start her Level 2 course next month!
Then we’ve got another amazing example in Dory. What a star she has been. On Day 1, I knew that Dory already knew everything she needed to know about the trampoline skills she was going to be coaching – her own basic trampoline skills are so good that she clearly knows what to do! However, Dory just wasn’t confident in her delivery and was so worried about making a mistake and letting people down. Over the last few months, she has slowly gained in confidence by practicing whenever she can, and today delivered a fantastic session and passed with ease – she’s now signed up for her Level 2 course next month as well!
There are so many other examples that I could be here all day talking about how well everyone has done. I’m so proud of everyone who has passed their assessments today, and I can’t wait to be working alongside you all at our sessions!
While all of this has been going on Gemma has also taken her Level 2 course, with the assessment being brought forward from September to today! It was all very sudden, but Gemma has been able to manage her Gymnastics mentees, run her sessions and prepare for her own assessment, and today she passed her Level 2 as well! Congratulations Gemma!
And finally today, a little something else that I’m personally proud of. I really enjoy tutoring courses and helping people learn new skills and techniques, which helps people to achieve their full potential and to hopefully bring even more people in to our sport, and today I was examined to determine if I was suitable to become a Trampoline Assessor, which is the final piece of the jigsaw for me. I’ve been working on this since September 2011, and today I finally passed. A massive thanks goes to my mentor for this, and I’m really looking forward to sharing the skills and knowledge that I’ve learned during this process with others!
So that was quite a bit about today, but that certainly hasn’t been everything that I’ve been up to this week! One of the reasons I love doing what I do is that it’s always something different each week, especially when I’m involved in so many different things!
Part of my role on the Trampoline Committee is to get involved with Schools Competitions and provide help and assistance wherever I can, so on Thursday morning I had an early start for the South Durham Schools Competition in Bishop Auckland. It was quite a small entry, but still a good competition with a great opportunity to grow and expand in the future. It was also really good to see Natalie win her group as well! Well done Splat!
Then on Friday morning it was the North Durham Schools competition, this time in Stanley. This was a slightly bigger entry, but again has huge potential to expand. Based on what AAAsports have already been running in Tyne & Wear, the idea with the Durham Schools events were to use them as qualifiers to a County Final in a few weeks time – something else to look forward to!
After the competition on Friday I drove straight down to Sheffield for a course on the Saturday morning. When I checked in to my room, I was a little confused – there was no bed in the room! Totally baffled by this, I went to go downstairs to reception, only to find that I’d actually been upgraded to a suite! I had been in the ‘Lounge’ area of my room – there was a whole bedroom, bathroom and walk-in wardrobe all attached! The room was huge and there were 10 chairs, a sofa and a dining table in the Lounge alone, plus two flat-screen TVs! Definitely staying in that hotel again!
Following a great night’s sleep in my suite (it still makes me laugh when I say that!), I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Excel Coaching Clinic which was being held in Sheffield. The clinics are only open to High Performance Coaches and covered a wide range of interesting topics, in particular details about new ways of coaching Full In Half Out and Full In Full Out, as well as lots of video analysis on some of the top performers in the world. Really interesting day!
Also at the top of my mind this week was that it’s really not long until the AAAsports Championships – only 61 days in fact! Don’t forget the closing date is 31st May – see your coach for all the information!
See you all soon!
20th April 2012
Gymnastics has been fairly busy recently so thought I should fill you all in on what’s going on.
Some of the girls competed in their second competition last weekend, for some it was their first time competing in a AAAsports leotard! Jodie was our star of the day scoring a massive 11.95 for her floor routine and finishing with a total of 21.85!!! Both Paige and Ruth built on their impressive scores from their first competition, well done girls; we’re heading in the right direction! Arianwen, Eva and Hannah were all competing in their first competition; all were a little nervous but finished the day off with big smiles on their faces. Kayla moved up from Rec Level to become the first AAAsports Club Level competitor and completed (and almost fully landed) her first competitive Handspring Vault, admittedly I was a little worried I’d put her into a category that she wasn’t ready for but she didn’t look out of place and the other coaches felt she belonged in there too.
All of the ‘Penguins’ worked extremely hard and I’m impressed with how far we have come in such a short space of time, I know we all came away from the weekend feeling inspired and ready to continue with our hard work knowing that it’s paying off. We also came away with some wonderful photos – check them out in the photo galleries.
In the Thursday and Saturday classes we’ve had quite a high number of gymnasts completing the BG level 8 badges recently and are now all eagerly working towards their level 7. Everyone is doing so well at the minute and the atmosphere in the classes is great, makes working hardly seem like work at all.
Like the other disciplines within the club we’re preparing for the AAAsports Championships, the girls and boys are looking forward to showing everyone what they can do on both the Floor and Vault, I know some of the Tuesday and Saturday girls are pushing themselves hard to get into the Elite category – keep up the hard work!. Andi and myself have been looking at how best to score these events this week and I’m sure our newly qualified AAAsports Floor and Vault judges look forward to practicing what they learnt on our course during the Easter Hols.
So whilst the gymnasts are busy preparing for their competitions, there have been a number of coaches preparing themselves during the sessions too. Some of the coaches have assessments coming up and I’m sure you’ll all join me and the gymnasts in wishing them luck with them. Good Luck guys!!!
7th April 2012
Well its been an eventful week for cheerleading, starting with the sessions last Saturday at Raich Carter. All the girls worked really hard on their new dance routines for all their displays coming up - they're starting to look really good! We also tried a new 2.5 high / 3 layer stunt to pyramid, which is the first one that AAAsports has ever been able to achieve! This is all down to the commitment, hard work and spirit for the girls within the sessions. There is a photo on the AAAsports Facebook page - check it out!
I am extremely excited to see how far these girls will push themselves as me and Mel have big plans for the future! The sessions continue to get bigger and hopefully more new cheerleaders will join us too! If anyone would like to come and take part in any of our sessions, see your coach for information!
Unfortunately Sundays Street Cheer session was cancelled due to it being Easter Sunday, but all the girls have been working really hard on new routines for their displays and new break dance skills! :)
Wednesdays Elite Cheer session this week was great. We all learnt new routines and a new song has been added to the Elite Dance section. I'm very proud to see the Elite girls all pushing themselves to their absolute limits
- even when it gets hard at times, they still try to set the best example for all Cheer girls and all of AAAsports.
Well done all cheerleaders for this week's hard work, me and Mel are very proud of your progress!! :)
7th April 2012
It’s now 1am on Friday 6th April, and I’ve just finished all the ‘background’ work that goes in to running AAAsports after coaching for a mammoth 10 hours solid today! March and April is always a crazy month for anyone involved in Gymnastics, especially Trampoline, but this week just seems to have been crazier than ever!
Last Saturday started off really well – AAAsports had the honour of hosting the first ever North of England DMT Graded D-E event, which was held at Raich Carter SC. There was only a small number of entries, but we are hugely confident that this event will grow and grow as the popularity of DMT increases. The event was really important for us for two reasons – it was the first DMT competition for our 5 Regional E competitors and it was an important qualifying event for our 2 Regional D competitors! And luckily, they didn’t disappoint!
All 5 of our Regional E competitors, (Ewan, Laura, Mel, Rebecca and Ruth) took part, although the nerves got the better of some of them! Still was an exciting event to watch and gave them all a taste of future events! In the Regional D event, both Ethan and Taylor managed to get the scores required to qualify to the next grade, which means they now join the other members of the DMT Squad on the National circuit! Well done boys!
After the excitement of this event, Peter and Susan travelled to Washington to face an assessment on their final Level 3 module, which they passed with ease! Both are excellent coaches and their level of technical knowledge is really high – I knew they would pass this without any problems! Well done to both of them!
In what seemed to be the busiest day ever, a group of AAAsports members then went to Sandhill to help setup for the Graded D-H Trampoline event which was being held there the following day. There were loads of people to help, which is brilliant as the more people that help the faster things get done! The hall looked brilliant when I left, including some brilliant new banners which will be travelling around the country with us from now on! A massive thanks goes out to everyone who came to help!
The next day came and it was time for the Trampoline Graded. I was feeling quietly confident about this event, as I knew that we had the potential for a lot of successes, but not even I was prepared for just what happened that day! Firstly there was a major update! Overnight, the DMT qualifying scores on the National Circuit changed, meaning we now had qualifiers to the British Championships! Dory was the first to be confirmed, and I had the pleasure of telling her she was going! It was amazing! It has always been Dory’s aim to compete at the British Championships, and I’m so proud of her for how hard she was worked to achieve that goal – I can’t wait to see her march out at the NIA in July! Bradley found out later in the week that he would be going to the event for the second year running, while Brett was away on holiday when his confirmation came through, so he still doesn’t know yet! Well done all three!
The day kicked off with Bradlee and Kelly competing in the U13 Regional G event. Kelly performed really well and scored just under the qualifying score, while Bradlee placing 2nd and qualifying to Regional F as well! What a start to the day!
Next it was Brett and Ethan’s turn to compete in the O15 Regional G event, and this was the event I had been looking forward to watching for months. Ethan has improved dramatically over the last few months and I knew he’d move closer to the qualifying score, however it was Brett that had the best chance of the day. After narrowly missing out at the last Graded event, Brett came back to sessions and worked solidly for months to perfect his routine. I have never seen anyone so determined and so driven to qualify and going in to the competition his routines looked amazing.
So imagine how guttered I was to watch him compete his set and score under the qualifying score. It was heartbreaking – the amazing routines that he had been practicing for weeks just disappeared under the pressure and we were left 0.2 under the qualifying score. For some, that would have been enough to just give up and walk away, but not Brett. He came back for his vol and got a personal best score and qualifies to Regional F! His face said it all – he was overjoyed, as was everyone else who had watched him work so hard. Considering that when he first started he was lucky to score above 6.0, to get a 7.8 was pretty amazing! Well done Brett – you really deserve it!
And then came a brilliant surprise! After a disastrous competition at the Graded in Gateshead, Ruth took to the trampolines to compete in the U13G event. She easily conquered her worries about the routine and put out a solid set performance, but it was her vol that got everyone talking, scoring a huge 22.8 and proving that she is capable of qualifying very, very soon!
Next up it was the turn of Dory, Natalie and Taylor in the Regional F category, and it was more delight for AAA as Dory scored a personal best while Natalie and Taylor both qualified up in to Regional E! Excellent results all round!
This was followed by Bradley and Carmel in the Regional E event, and again this was one that I was very keen to watch! Carmel had looked amazing over the last couple of months, but things just weren’t on her side at the event and she missed out on qualifying by just 0.3. Disappointing, but she is definitely capable of qualifying at the next one! Bradley didn’t have any such problems though, becoming the first AAAsports member ever to qualify in to Regional D after he got the qualifying score exactly! Well done Bradley!!
Over the in Club H events, we had a number of entries from across our sessions and every single one picked up personal bests. I know Christian, Jemma and Ashley were all really nervous ahead of the competition, but they all overcame their nerves and performed really well! It truly was a fantastic day for everyone, and I am so proud of each and every competitor! A huge thank you also goes out to Ann, Karen and Steph, who all manned the Marketplace for the full day!
The next day it was back to sessions and it was ‘Fun Week’ for our Elite Squad, but it wasn’t ‘Fun Week’ for me or Susan as today was the day we had to finish off the Elite Squad trials. After the session was over at 8:30pm, we went to Susan’s to decide who had made the cut and would keep their spaces in the Elite Squad. It was a really, really difficult decision and it took us until 1:30am to make it! Then it was back home to start writing up the feedback we had gained and what we wanted to pass out to the squad members at their reviews on Wednesday!
Tuesday was a very interesting day for me and Gemma as we ran an ‘Adventure Session’ for Active Sunderland. This meant that a whole bunch of participants got to take part in a range of our activities throughout a 2 hour session, starting with floor work then progressing to vault, trampolines, airtrack and finally DMT! It was busy and a little bit manic, but it worked really well and I’m actually looking forward to repeating it next week!
Wednesday was Elite Review Day, and it was the day that I had to tell some people that they wouldn’t be keeping their space in the squad. It was really, really sad for me to do, but those who didn’t make the squad have been given ways to improve and we will be keeping a close eye out for improvements so we can re-trial them in the future! Back in October I told a few people that I thought the Elite Squad that I had then was the best squad we had ever had, and at the time it was. However, this Elite Squad is even better again! The standard just continues to rise, and I really do love coaching the squad sessions – everyone is so supportive of each other and trains so hard, but they all have a desire to keep improving and to be the best. It’s a really great mix of characters as well, and it’s a team that I know can make us all proud!
Finally Thursday – what felt like the longest day ever! I got to Raich Carter early to setup for my Pre-School session, which was totally packed! Luckily Lyndsay was there to help out as well – cheers Lyndsay! Pre-School is great fun, and this week I spend some time being a turtle, acting like a pirate and playing with some hoops – and I did some trampoline coaching as well!! I was then joined by 8 keen DMTers for a 4 hour session, while Gemma and Lyndsay ran sessions on Gymnastics and Trampoline as well.
The session was a great success today, with everyone making steps towards their goals for the next competition! This was followed by the normal AAAsports session, and again progress was the word of the day! Susan is making excellent headway with her Barani mounts, Dory lands her passes consistently every time now while Ethan is slowly getting there with his Full Backs and Rudis! Bradley improved massively on his Barani mounts (thanks to a little bit of work on the trampette as well!), while Natalie is now doing Rudi with ease! Taylor is now moving on to ½ Out progressions, while Peter performed some really unique ‘Full Outs’! Well done guys – let’s keep this up all the way to Dundee!
Finally for this week was a Trampoline session at Sandhill. It was pretty busy, but I got the chance to work with Susan on her ½ Twist to Crash Dives – they are coming on so nicely now! Another highlight was starting to do some synchro work with our members – Ashley and Jemma looked really good, as did Laura and Sarah while Kieran looked great too, it’s just a shame his partner Matthew couldn’t remember the routine! I’m sure they’ll get it eventually though!
So that’s it for another week – but that’s definitely not the end of the crazy! Sessions will be changed a little over the Bank Holiday weekend – the sessions at Sandhill are cancelled on Sunday and Monday this week, however Cramlington will be running as normal on Easter Sunday if anyone wants to burn off those Easter Eggs! Next Thursday there will be another extra session in Trampoline, DMT and Gymnastics – 12pm to 4pm at Raich Carter SC – book online to reserve your space!
Finally, it was really nice to see some entries start to come in for the AAAsports Championships this week. Full details will be going online shortly, but by now everyone should have details for the event on the 30th June 2012 – don’t forget to put it in your diaries now!
See you all soon!
PS – Massive thank you to Chris, Dave and Jeannette who wrote the fantastic parents blogs over the last couple of weeks! I really enjoyed reading them and seeing their perspective for a change!
A Parents Perspective, Continued!
23rd March 2012
Andi has asked if we wanted to continue Chris's, (Taylor's mum) fantastic blog the other week and blog the Yorkshire Gala from a parent’s perspective. Well here we go:
Its 17:30 on Friday 16th March and once again heading off to another competition (Yorkshire Gala in Hull) for a fun filled, adrenaline pumping weekend with our youngest Bradley. Our oldest Kieren is also joining us. He does freestyle with AAA and loves it. Also joining us in competing are Dory (we prefer Amy), Brett and Peter. Andi and Susan are leading the charge in support of their underlings, giving up another weekend in the pursuit of greatness. We are in ore of Andi and the other coaches that give there weekends, not only to these competitions but also the many other events they do. Thanks guys.
We all meet up at the hotel and started with a lovely evening meal at Chiquitos. We even had our own private table and area, probably to the delight of all the other customers :-).
Saturday, 8:30 start and the guys are up and raring to go, although looking at Andi's face he is clearly not a morning person :-). We started with Dory and she did fantastic only 0.5 from qualifying to British Championships, she made the final of the gala as well. Well done Dory and we are so proud of you. Dory is brilliant; she is so determined and tries so hard. She is a real fighter and an inspiration to all the team members. Even though she did not qualify she’s still there for the other guys and supports everyone. We noticed Dory and Peter cheering on Hollie Jo when she was competing even though Hollie is from another club. This is why the teams and competitions are so friendly, everyone supports one another and we love it. Dory is the heart and soul of AAA.
Next was Bradley, at this point I can tell you, it does not matter how many times you go to these competitions, as a parent your heart goes like the clappers when your child is competing. He did fantastic. We watched the scores and thought he had a really good shout here. He landed both his passes and scores were good, but was not to be, he came 5th. He did have a qualifying score for British Championships, but needed to come in top 50%. As there were 7 in his group this meant he missed out, but hey upwards and onwards. Later Andi told us 2 back steps cost him the qualifying place, never mind son, were so proud of you.
Peter was also competing at the same time as Bradley on trampoline and he too just missed out, but made the gala final, finishing 4th in his group overall. Peter has already qualified for British Championships in DMT and we know the next gala he will get through on tramps as well. Fingers are crossed. Well done Peter.
Brett was next to complete and what a fantastic flight. But he finished exactly the same position as Bradley only just missing out on qualifying for British Championships, 5th place and getting qualifying scores, but because of the top 50% rule, just missing out on a place in British Championships, unlucky Brett, but great work to get into the gala finals. Best was to come when Andi told Brett he better get his kit back on as he needs to collect his medal. Brett came 3rd in his final. Well done Brett.
In between waiting for Brett to compete, Andi took the time to recruit the next tariff judge for DMT, Bradley and he passed with flying colors. Look out Andi he's going to be after your job soon.We rounded the day of with a splash in the pool and another entertaining and amusing meal at Nando's. Highlight was when Andi grabbed hold of Dory in Nando's only to find it was not Dory, but a complete stranger. It did make us laugh and Andi a little shocked.
Sunday was another exciting day with Peter our only competitor in DMT Fig B. He did another fantastic job and tried different passes, as he had already qualified for British Championships. He came 5th and was through to finals. The final came and again Peter was true to form and an excellent role model for all the other members. He finished 3rd overall and picked up a medal. Well done again Peter a true inspiration to all in AAA of what the kids can aspire to be.
Bradley has been with the club now for just going on 3 years and we have seen the highs and lows of competitions. But you will be glad to know the highs far outweigh the lows. From qualifying for British Championships and coming 7th in the country, getting through to national schools final the first year he took part, to just missing out by 0.1 of a mark to get into national schools this year and the results from this weekend.
Although Bradley did not qualify this time, we would have not missed it for the World. It was one of those low times, but as we said the highs always out way the lows and the support and commitment of the coaching team and determination of Bradley and the other kids will prevail. Next Gala is Dundee, and all we can say is bring it on, we are already looking forward to it and booked in. Even if Bradley did qualify we would still be going. It is great fun watching and supporting all the competitors.
We would highly recommend all the kids, and parents experience a trip to one or more of these events. It is a great experience, in competition for the kids, very entertaining for all and just a great weekend out. Just sitting here, watching the camaraderie of the whole group in supporting one another is fantastic.
We can honestly say that AAA has brought out the best in both our boys. The whole coaching team is amazing and the leadership and drive that Andi exudes is inspiring.
From the Jeanette and Dave we thank you.
Sorry last but not least, check out Brett and Dory's boutique.
It was the National Schools Trampoline Finals in Bristol and with 5 girls from AAA sessions at Cramlington Learning Village qualifying it was already set to be a fantastic weekend.
After landing in Bristol it as off to collect the cars and make our way to hotel, which was a lot easier said than done. After a few wrong turns and asking the locals for directions we finally made it to our hotel were everyone had been waiting on us.
Once everyone got settled most of the coaches escaped for a little shopping while the girls, parents and Liz went for a leisurely swim. Later in the evening everyone met up and went for food. After a very long wait for dinner and a desert or two later it was finally time to go back to the hotel and get a good night’s rest for the competition!
Andi was first up and ready, away to the competition to fulfil his judging role with Jennifer, Susan and Colin. After a hearty breakfast the rest of us followed. Once arriving at the City Academy in Bristol the girls got signed in and then the excitement really started, it was the first time any of the girls had competed at a National competition and the atmosphere was incredible. After a quick hairdressing session Danika was first to compete for Cramlington Learning Village, She was incredibly nervous but her team gave her amazing support and she performed a brilliant set and vol routine.
The rest of the girls Courtney, Jodi, Shannon (also all competing for Cramlington Learning Village) and Kelly (competing for Marden High School) were in the next flight. The girls all tried their best and the hard work and effort paid off with Shannon placing 2nd, Kelly 8th and the Cramlington Learning Village Team placing 4th.
As the day started to wind down there was only Taylor left to compete, after a brilliant competition he placed 1st and rounded of a very successful day for AAA. And it was off back to the airport for a return to Newcastle. After a few missed flights everyone was reunited at the airport and the girls could fly home together!
Liz, myself and all the other AAA coaches were very proud of all the performers this weekend. They showed incredible teamwork and support and the friendship among everyone is stronger than ever.
Well done everyone you done us very proud!!
Hi everyone. I have been asked to write a brief blog about Taylor at the National Schools Championships, the finals of which were held Sunday 11 March. Taylor won the National Schools U15 Novice title and we’re all as proud as punch. Our feet still haven’t touched the ground…
The anticipation was terrible. We went down with him as a family and had a lovely night out etc. the night before. The drive down had been tedious and boring and it was really hard to stay focused. I kept telling Taylor that just being there and making it to the Finals was a huge privilege and even if no-one won anything, it was great just to be there.
A few weeks earlier he had been flagging on Wednesday nights as he was going over and over his routines - and has been since well before Christmas - in preparation. I kept reminding him that every boy and girl there was going there to win, and they would all have improved, even if only slightly, since the Regionals and Zonals. I also reminded him that no matter how boring he thought it was, going over and over the same old routines, when he actually got to Bristol, he would want to do his best and it would be a natural desire to be brilliant on the day.
My legs felt like cotton wool but he looked as cool as a cucumber. Andi kept taking the mickey and telling him to calm down and relax, but he was so relaxed it was unbelievable. Finally it came for him to warm up. The girls had done well so that was reassuring for him, and off he went with Susan to do his thing. She was as brilliant as ever. She’d taken him away a few minutes earlier to show him the trophies etc. that each champion would get. At the time I thought that was rubbing it in a bit!! If he came in the top three I would eat straw with a donkey…
The other lads looked too amazing for comfort. The boy that beat him in the Zonals looked in top form and I saw Taylor’s odds get smaller and smaller right before my eyes. My prayers altered from asking that he did well, to doing his best, to remembering his routines and not doing anything stupid, to just not falling off and breaking his neck! We’d sat so long and were not looking forward to the journey home. Suddenly I wondered what on earth we were doing there and why he had chosen such a cruel and unrewarding sport? The last thing I told him was not to think about winning and conquering the whole world, just to do a bit better than last time with his own results (not that I could even remember his last scores), and if possible to just try and beat the lad that beat him last time. A huge youth, very much looking at least 17!! Off he went to do the March On - and didn’t even give me a kiss!! Susan just smiled sweetly.
Anyway, he just went and did his best. Didn’t flinch at all. Had a couple of wobbles - literally - but just took it all in his stride and did what he’d been training to do all those times. It felt really lovely when he moved forward to the trampoline, with his 3 coaches - 2 of which he hadn’t even known before that day, and yet somehow they resembled Guardian Angels or something. Safety in numbers and all that so it seemed. My little boy. Off conquering all those brilliant gymnasts like a lamb to the slaughter. That’s truly what it felt like, and yet he loves it. How could that possibly be??
I tried to make a mental note of his scores. Jenny gave him 0.2 more than that huge rival of his from the North. I felt Taylor did really good or was that just because I was his Mum? He looked like poetry in motion, but so did another boy in blue. Another couple of boys in fact looked fantastic. I gave up, gave Taylor a hug (he finally relented once it was over) and went to sit it out.
His calmness then disappeared and he started hovering around looking for the results. He was desperate to find out where he’d come. He looked so vulnerable. Everyone did. They all wanted to win and get a trophy. How cruel, I thought.
I tried everything to take my mind off things but the time went soooo slow and I made a halfhearted decision that if he didn’t get a medal or anything, then we’d ask if we could go home before the presentation. That long journey home was looming ahead and there was Taylor still hovering around waiting for the results… he honestly thought he was in with a small chance!!
Susan was sitting rather quiet beside me looking rather studious. What a shame I thought. All that hard work and sacrifice. To think these coaches would give up a valuable weekend with their loved ones, and come down to support my son. Wow! I thought. How humbling.
When Taylor came running over everything seemed to happen in slow motion. He’d won. Won!! He was totally tickled pink and his whole countenance had changed.. I just sort of screamed, hugged and kissed everyone and told him how brilliant he was and thanked Susan over and over again. The funniest thing was my husband. He was dying to go home as his back was killing him and it had been a really long day. The realization that we had to wait at least another two more hours for the presentation didn’t matter one bit. So what!! We had a champion in our midst. What the heck. What was two hours to a National Champion??
Andi mosied on over rather nonchalantly ten minutes later and took it all in his stride, but he did seem to glow a bit. Taylor was absolutely cock-a-hoop and there was no containing him. Nothing mattered any more. We weren’t tired. My husband’s back - what backache? Never felt better!! We all just gleamed and as well as being so happy for Taylor - my little boy who had always just fell short of anything amazing - we were so proud of AAA and the club as a whole and what a good day it was that we heard about this fantastic club!! I could go on forever. Time just melted away and before long he was presented with his precious trophy and we listened to “We are the Champions” once more for good luck. That favourite song of his, is now one of my firm favourites too…..
The journey home was happy and joyous and didn’t take half the time, in fact it felt more like a walk in the park. Every last minute and worry and tension from the day before didn’t matter anymore, and anyway, it was more than worth it. Those days don’t happen every day but when they do, you just have to savour them and bottle them up in an imaginary jar and spread them on your bad days.
We will always look back and smile. Onwards and upwards. Bring it on!! And thanks Andi and Susan for being the best Coaches in the whole wide world. Can’t thank you enough for everything…..
Chris (Taylor's Mum)
Presentations & Courses!
10th March 2012
Another update for the blog – it’s been a little while as there’s just been so much going on recently!! Every time I’ve thought that it would be a good time to stop and write a blog, I’ve realised that there’s been something else coming up that I wanted to include! There’s just far too much going on in AAAsports!! Well by the time you read this I’ll be on my way to Bristol for the National Schools Finals, so I figured this would be a good time to get something written!!
When I first setup AAAsports, or AAA Trampoline Club as it was then, I thought I knew what I was getting myself in to, but how wrong I was!! Fast forward to the 24th February 2012. It’s 7pm and I’ve just loaded up the car with a bunch of lights, stands and music equipment, and I’m heading to the very posh Redworth Hall Hotel in Darlington to setup for the NEGA Presentation which I’ve been asked to help run!
When I got there, the room was locked so I asked a guy in sports kit who was nearby if he knew how I got in. He laughed and said no, so I went looking for someone else. I then found someone else, dressed in the same kit, who also just smiled and politely said he didn’t work there. Eventually I got in to the room and setup everything, and I didn’t think anything of the guys I had spoken to… until I was leaving and walked past a very fancy bus parked outside, with Reading FC written on it. Turns out I’d been asking most of the First-Team from Reading Football Club if they could help me setup for the Presentation! Clearly football isn’t my first sport! Ooopss!
Saturday 25th February was a really busy day for me. I arrived at Raich Carter at 9am to tutor a Freestyle Level 2 coaching course, which was the first ever to be run in the North. At the moment I’m one of only three tutors in the UK in this exciting discipline, and I’m really proud that AAAsports are leading the way with this! The course went really well, and Kieran, Kieren and Mr J were fantastic demonstrators for the practical session on the afternoon – especially when they kept surprising me with things I didn’t know they could do!
Straight after the course had finished, Emily, Peter and myself drove back to Redworth Hall where we met with Susan to finish setting up for the NEGA Presentation. I had made the Presentation and videos to go with it, and we had all the lights setup pretty quickly. The event went really well and AAAsports won the ‘Trampoline Club of the Year’ award, which Emily was really excited about as she got to get her photo taken with Kat Driscoll! It was a really fun night and I owe a massive thank you to everyone who helped getting things setup and down!
That week we had a small change to our coaching line up as Alex took over the Tuesday Trampoline sessions. He has quite a nice little group at the minute, but I can see it getting more popular and growing even bigger!!
The following Saturday I was at Raich Carter on the Saturday, although again this was quite an unusual session for me! It was so busy I ended up helping out at the desk almost all the way through both sessions! Our Saturday sessions are really popular, and it’s a testament to just how good our coaches are. They are doing a fantastic job at these sessions and have worked through some difficult times over the last couple of months, particularly Cheerleading, whose numbers just continue to grow and grow!
On the Sunday I was down in Stockton to deliver Day 1 of a General Gymnastics and Pre-School Gymnastics Level 2 coaching course. I really enjoy delivering these types of courses, as I love sharing what I’ve learned with a whole new group of people, as well as taking the opportunity to learn from other peoples experiences as well. Even though I’ve been in the sport for a long time, there’s always new and fresh ideas from these trainee coaches, which I often ‘borrow’ and bring back to AAAsports!! I had a really good group and we had a really good day, even though it was freezing!!
Speaking of new coaches, our trainee Level 1 coaches were given their assessment dates this week – Sunday 29th April is the date and although it’s not far away, I’m fairly confident that they’re going to do well! I’m amazed at how far Nathaniel has come – from the shy, reluctant boy who began the course, he is now able to take control of a session and a group really well. Nicci is making great progress in the Gymnastics sessions as well – I’ve even seen her delivering warm-ups by herself which is great! Dory and Brett are definitely settling in nicely, while Karen has taken to the coaching like a duck to water… but then again she is a teacher!!
This week marked the start of ‘review month’ for the Elite Trampoline Squad, with three new members joining the squad for Trials this week, and another two to join next week. Our squad keeps getting better and better, and the standard continues to rise. This reflects the overall standard improvement across all of our sessions – a couple of years ago most of the new members in the squad were just finishing their Front Somersaults, where as now we’re looking at a minimum of Barani’s just to even Trial! Of course, we’ve got a couple who we’ve identified early too – Bradley was trialled just two weeks after starting AAAsports!
The Elite Trampoline Squad will be getting finalised at the end of March, and it’s going to be a very tough decision as to who gets the spaces. I know both me and Susan are dreading making the decisions, but there is just so much talent and not enough spaces in the squad! We’ve got a special guest coming along next Wednesday to give everyone some advice and guidance! Something that I’ve wanted to do for a while but I’ve only just been able to setup!
This week also saw even more work on the AAAsports Championships – I’m really excited this year as we’re going to be introducing events in both Gymnastics and Freestyle, alongside the existing events. I’m also really looking forward to this year’s AAA* Awards – there has been so many people who I think would be worthy of winning the award this year, and there is still 3 months left to go! Choosing the winners gets harder every year – we actually had to delay the engraving three times in 2011 because we couldn’t make a final decision – and I know that 2012 is going to be even more difficult!
Next weekend it’s the Yorkshire Gala in Hull, which I’m really looking forward to. Brett will be competing in his first ever Gala, while Dory is looking to get through and stick her most challenging passes yet. Bradley is aiming to qualify to the British Championships for the second year running, while Peter has already qualified for DMT but needs to secure his Trampoline space as well!
So good luck again to everyone competing in Bristol this weekend – Taylor, Kelly, Shannon, Courtney, Danika and Jodie – don’t forget to check the AAAsports Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for the most up to date news!
See you all soon!