News letter 6

Dear Parents and gymnasts

Just a few pointers, each gymnast should have a gym-bag, where they can put in whatever they have taken off at the gym, then we will not have such a large bin of left school and other clothing. Please take note that Gerhard will donate all what is in the bin to the needy at the end of the month.


  1. Training gear if you come straight from school
  2. Shorts or tights in winter over leotard
  3. Grips if you use them
  4. Snacks if coming straight from school – high protein – please reduce the sugar intake
  5. Hydration – especially in summer – water or sport drink, I prefer water
  6. A small pouch with: plasters (small and also for taping), something for a headache and if there is special medication they should have also like Asthma pump, bee sting antidote etc
  7. Hair accessories
  8. Wrist and ankle guards
  9. Deodorant
  10. Tissues

Then for those interested Coach Jodie and Suzette are giving extra classes on a Friday afternoon and Saturday for training extra skills. This does not replace the official training times and no competition work will be done in these sessions. It is only to broaden the vocabulary of the gymnasts so that when they get to level 4 and higher they are more prepared for the more difficult work. The time arrangements must be done with them so that they can coordinate, this will incur an extra cost which you sort out directly with them (details below).


Have a successful 3rd term

Kind regards

Annette and Team

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Lost and found bin

The big blue bin next to the coaches office is overflowing with items that have been left behind at gymnastics. There is school tracksuits, other clothing, water bottles, shoes and more. Coach Gerhard will be donating the content of the bin to charity at the end of this months. Please go through the bin before then to collect any of your lost goods.

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Why you have chosen gymnastics

Parents often enrol their children in gymnastics hoping they will be the next Olympic gymnastics star…and maybe they will! But more likely than not, their time in the sport won’t be on such a worldwide stage. However, that doesn’t mean that if your child never wins a gold medal there is nothing to be gained from participating in the sport. 

From the very first day they step foot on the floor, kids gain so much from the sport of gymnastics. Even if a child never makes it past the first level, they will learn lifelong lessons. Here are just a few. 

1. Commitment

Even if their class is just once a week, they learn the meaning of commitment. Gymnastics class is somewhere kids go regularly, and they get used to going there at the same day and time every week. When they sign up, they are committing to going to every class, or at least most of them. From the first class to the last there are many weeks in between, and this shows kids that making a long-term commitment means following through. 

2. Self-Confidence

Mastering skills after hard work gives kids self-confidence. Going for a skill that is initially scary, like a cartwheel or a backwards roll, helps children gain confidence in themselves and their abilities. When they are proud of their bodies and themselves, kids gain a valuable sense of self-confidence.

3. Following Directions

In gymnastics, following directions is the key to having a good time in class. Directions and rules are there for a reason, usually to keep students safe, and this lesson is taught on day one. Gymnastics lessons are a place where children must learn to take turns, wait patiently for their turn, and listen to the instructions before jumping into action. Especially for kids not yet of school age, gymnastics is a great place to learn to follow directions and can help children go into school prepared because they have had to sit and listen to directions before. 

4. Social Skills & Teamwork

The gym is a great place for kids to safely socialize with adult supervision. Gymnastics is a wonderful place to make friends, because it is a fun activity children can share together and bond over. Some activities in gymnastics require multiple kids to work together to achieve a goal, which also shows how important teamwork is. 

5. Respect

Respect in the gym is a big deal, whether it is respect for your coach, team mates, or other adults in the gym. Some gyms even have time before or after class when they sit down and discuss what is expected of young gymnasts, and respect is definitely one expectation. Even if respect is not verbally addressed, it is taught through learning to wait your turn, listening, keeping hands to yourself, etc. 

6. Health & Wellness

Gymnastics makes exercising fun, which shows kids that exercise is exciting and a good thing, rather than something you have to do but don’t necessarily enjoy. Kids who take gymnastics classes learn that exercising can make you happy and teaches you to take care of your body. Prioritizing health and exercise as a child forms the habit of working out, which can become a lifelong tendency. 

7. Time Management

Going to gymnastics takes time out of the day, and kids are forced to make sure they have time for it. This may sound silly to adults because children do not have a lot of responsibilities to manage, but for kids, it really teaches a lesson of time management. To get to gymnastics class they may have to stop whatever game they are playing, come home from a friend’s house, or make sure they get chores and homework done before going to class, which is time management! 

8. Goal Setting

In gymnastics, not everything can be achieved overnight—and that is a good thing! Teaching kids to strive for goals that they have to work towards is an incredible life skill because it teaches them perseverance and dedication. Goal setting is an important skill for everyone to have in life, but it is one that is taught, not just picked up out of nowhere. Gymnastics is a perfect place to teach this skill early in life and in a fun way!

9. Coordination

Strength, flexibility, balance, and more, gymnastics truly teaches it all! It is often referred to as the foundation for other sports, and that is absolutely true. If kids stay in gymnastics their whole lives, that is great, and preschool gymnastics of course teach the foundation for more difficult gymnastics down the road. But even if a child only takes one gymnastics class, it also sets them up with the coordination skills and body awareness to succeed in other sports.  

10. Safety

Gymnastics can be unsafe if you don’t follow the rules, which makes a gymnastics gym a good place to learn the importance of safety. For example, a common rule in gymnastics is that after their turn on the trampoline, kids have to exit and walk back to their spot on the floor. If they try to bounce off the trampoline onto the floor or stay on while another child is jumping, there can be injuries, even though they may be minor. Rules and safety are discussed often in a gym setting, making it a good place for kids to learn about safety from a trusted adult who isn’t their parent. 

11. Persistence

There are a million times where persistence is taught in this sport, even in preschool gymnastics classes. Putting mistakes behind you, showing up after you failed, and getting back up after a fall all happen in gymnastics. Young gymnasts learn that it doesn’t matter if you failed, as long as you have the persistence to get up and try again. That purposefulness transfers to so many things later in life, such as applying for jobs, retaking a test in school, and more. 

12. Courage

The kid’s beam may seem low to an adult, but to preschool gymnasts, it may as well be a hundred feet up in the air! Conquering their fear of getting up on the beam, bars, or any other obstacle is a great life lesson. There will be many things in life that they encounter that they could quit once they are afraid, but if they learn during gymnastics lessons that they CAN face their fears and overcome them, they are likely to try it in other areas of life as well. 

13. Mental Toughness & Work Ethic

Many things in class will be challenging to kids, and lots of children at this age have never had to do something truly difficult for them mentally. The great thing about starting mental toughness and a good work ethic in gymnastics class is that there are low stakes. A child running off because they are tired or not working hard is a great chance to start an age-appropriate conversation about mental toughness, but there are no huge consequences if they don’t improve on this skill right away. Gymnastics simply gives them a fun place to work on these skills.

14. Performance

Even if a kid isn’t going to eventually end up in a profession where they have to perform in front of people, learning how to perform a skill or routine can help kids overcome the fear of crowds and performing that they will encounter in life. They will definitely have to give a speech or presentation at some point in school, and learning how to get up on the floor and show a skill or routine will transfer to their confidence in performing other activities.

15. Self-Discipline

There will be some days where a child just doesn’t feel like going to gymnastics, or maybe their class is early on a Saturday morning and they have to wake up for it, or for whatever reason they want to skip it one day. Making themselves go in and give 100% even though they aren’t feeling it teaches self-discipline and motivation. 

The Van der Stel Gymnastic Coaching Team

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Training as normal

There is some fire damage in the big hall where our 15:00 – 17:00 group usually start their training.  We will thus not be able to use it for a while. Training will however go on as normal. We will make alternative arrangements for training the first hour. Please come to the apparatus hall (and not big hall) for the 15:00 session.

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Nuusbrief 4

English version below the Afrikaans.

Ouers en Gimnaste

Sowaar is ons al in die tweede helfte van die jaar en die kompetisies is op ons.

Die Ritmies het ‘n baie suksesvolle HP kompetisie gehad en ‘n Meester Klas vir ‘n week met Ruben Avieira van Spanje. Dit was uiters suksesvol en leersaam met so ongeveer 45 gimnaste wat kom deel hierin vanoor die land. Hierdie naweek is die WAG level 4 en op gimnaste besig om hulleself te bewys. Ons wens hulle alle voorspoed toe en ons sê vir die afrigters, Jodie en Suzette en met die hulp van Jayson wat hulle vakansie opgeoffer het om die gimnassies te help om van die bewegings waarmee hulle nog gesukkel het te bemeester, baie dankie, ek weet die gimnassies sal hulle bes doen.

Die ritmiese meisies het weer so ‘n oefen rondte die 20ste in Piketberg net om weer bietjie op te skerp voor die Weskaap kampioenskappe die 2/3 Augustus in Saldanha. Die level 4 – 7 en die groepe sal die Vrydag die 2de wees en die level 8 en op die Saterdag. Daarna sal ons weet wie haal die span na die SA Games in KZN. Ongelukkig moes die ritmies daarheen skuif want ons kon nie ‘n geskikte saal in die Weskaap vind nie.

Die Weskaapkampioenskappe vir die kies van die span na die SA games vir WAG is die 22-24 Augustus by die Sportskool in Kuilsrivier.

SA Games is die 24 – 29ste September in KZN vir Ritmies en die

WAG is 26 – 28 September by UCT se Sportsaal

Ek wil graag weer bevestig dat ons as afrigters regtig probeer verstaan as die ander sporte inbreuk maak op die oefentye, van die level 4 en op. Ons begin juis later met hulle en hou langer aan, Ons probeer ons bes maar het nie weer ‘n lang vakansie om in te haal nie. Ek hoop die ouers verstaan.

Die afrigters vra ook dat die ekstra kindertjies wat saamkom, want ons verstaan, moet asb nie in die saal rondhardloop nie, as ‘n kind voor ‘n gimnas inhardloop kan daar ‘n lelike ongeluk gebeur en baie belangrik daar mag nie in die saal geëet word nie en verseker nie in die put nie. Ook as die ouers die gimnaste kom haal, ons verstaan julle wil graag sien wat doen die kinders, maar ons verloor dan hulle aandag en hulle raak spelerig. Ons kan ‘n oefen dag reël wanneer julle kan kom kyk as julle so sou wil.


Parents and gymnasts

Hard to believe but we are in the second half of the year, and the competition season for the level 4 and up gymnasts has started.

After a very successful HP circuit competition for rhythmic we also held a Master Class with Ruben Avieira from Spain. It was very intense and informative and the +/-45 gymnasts from all over the country surely learnt a lot. This weekend our level 4 and up WAG gymnasts have their district trials and we wish them all well. A heartfelt thank you to coaches Jodie, Suzette and Jayson for giving their holiday to help these gymnasts to master their skills, I know the gymnasts will do their best.

The Rhythmic girls have a practice run on the 20th to sharpen the skills before the Western Cape Championships the 2/3rd August in Saldanha. The level 4 to 7 and the groups will compete the Friday the 2nd and the level 8 and up will be on the Saturday the 3rd. Then we will know who made the team to go to the SA Games in KZN. Unfortunately for us the Rhythmic had to move there as we could not find a suitable venue in the Western Cape

The Western Cape Championships for WAG for choosing the team for SA Games is the 22 – 24 August at the Sport School in Kuilsrivier.

The SA Games for Rhythmic is the 24 – 29 September in KZN and

For WAG the 24 – 26 September at UCT sport hall in Cape Town

I again would like to confirm that we as coaches really try and understand the impact of the school sport on training times of the level 4 and up gymnasts, but we have already started later with them and go on a bit later. We really try our best but we do not have another long holiday before the next competition to do catch up.

A request from the coaches that the little ones that come with the parents to wait for the gymnasts please not be allowed to run in the hall. If they run in front of a gymnast a nasty accident could happen. Then also if the parents are coming to fetch the gymnasts please do not come too early, we understand that you would like to see what they are doing, but we lose their attention and they start playing. If you would like we could arrange a day when the parents can come and have a look at what we are doing.

The coaching team wishes everyone a happy and productive 3rd term and competition season

Annette, Mamre, Jodie, Suzette, Abbi, Adele, Linda, Jayson

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WAG District Trial level 4+ Program

The program for the WAG District Trials for level 4 and up at UCT Sports Complex, Rondebosch on 12-13 July can be downloaded here: WAG District Trials Lev 4+ Times

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to report time.

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Madiba Cup Results

Well done to our tumbling gymnasts that competed in the Cape Town Madiba Cup.


For Level 3 tumbling Salomie Rademeyer came first (9-10 years), Nina Joos came fifth (11-12 years) and Cadence Joos came second (13-14 years).

Complete results available at TUMBLING Results CT2019

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