Great weekend of competitions

“Sometimes I win…. sometimes I learn… sometimes I’m lucky enough to do both!”

Some reflective thoughts from our head coach Sally Batley after a great weekend of competitions… this is almost a blog it’s so long be warned!

“I’m late to put up a post and give some feedback on our HP squad after what was a truly fantastic weekend of competitions. I had not forgotten but such things can not be rushed… also I’ve been struggling since Sunday with a bad head cold which may be the real reason!

So… a win for the Renmore Team on Saturday within the Irish Plus levels with a team total that created a gap between first and second place of almost 25.0 marks! I very much doubt we will see many days like that again, but we will enjoy those days when they happen! I commented at the time that you know it’s been a good day on bars when a score of 13.225 is not good enough to feature in your top 3!!! What a truly amazing achievement for all involved!

After great results, (similar to challenging times) we can be sentimental, even if just for just a moment… so I will indulge for a moment in some sentimentality. Those of you that know me, know that I’m a very straightforward person. In life I do not have too many responsibilities… my first is to myself and is to be the best human being that I can be in every way possible. My second responsibility is with my family and loved ones, like many parents the responsibility of raising a small baby who just happens to also have special needs, it has it challenges for sure, none that ever cast a shadow on the rewards I would add. Then lies my third, arguably my final… be the best coach I can, help develop happy healthy athletes that can go forward to fulfil their potential as gymnasts, and furthermore as human beings. This weekend was a time to admire the drive and determination of my gymnasts and also to witness their beautiful work.

It has not been a fast route towards competing progressively, it has taken years literally, and many many individuals have contributed. Last week Renmore Gymnastics was honoured to receive two awards, the first ‘Competitive club of the year’, the second ‘Innovative club of the year’. These results in my opinion go hand in hand, we have achieved competitive results by our use of innovation. Our recent successes are a direct result of implementing new methodology in our training, of being open enough to say we are learning, we do not know everything.

Now as the gymnasts start to achieve foundation results within their High Performance pathway I am encountering for the first time a strange phenomenon… judges, coaches, sometimes strangers coming to shake my hand and congratulate us on doing a great job. Coaches asking how we have achieved these results, judges thanking us for the pleasure of watching the girls compete. Those of you that know me would also know that I do not take compliments very naturally either… normally I would make some excuse for how it’s not as it seems and then change the subject. Well this weekend I fought these natural impulses and I just smiled and thanked those that approached me for their complimentary words, as strange as it felt. RGC is a fierce team, we work hard together, learn together, grow together towards a shared goal, and we still have a long way to go believe me but it’s about enjoying the journey and knowing that if we enjoy the journey we just might make it to the destination if we all keep dreaming together.

Saturday’s successes were very exciting, we were proud watching you girls, and only momentarily was our focus thrown when our fellow MAG gymnast Oisin Shimizu was taken from the arena by ambulance staff for a very serious break to his forearm. (He’s recovering well from surgery thank you everyone for your thoughts and concerns) He stunned all around him with his level of bravery. Needless to say the girls (including his sister) held their heads and retained the title from 2015. After the highs of Saturday came the continuity of Sunday and the apparatus events. Unfortunately as the entry numbers were low at the higher levels we adapted our approach which presented an opportunity for “…sometimes I learn…” New elements were competed for the first time, taking if necessary deductions for extra matting or coaching assistance. Never waste a competition opportunity, within the constraints of your periodisation plan take these opportunities when they arise to include adversity in your favour, an innovative approach perhaps.

The girls once again competed very well, some errors on beam that we are keen to improve on however they showed proudly what their hard work has achieved. My highlights from the weekend include… Kate’s yurchenko, and also her new floor routine, it’s awesome… Jane’s handstand line progress on bars… and also for competing her yurchenko for the first time… Great bars from Aisling on Saturday, a touch of the jelly legs on Sunday at the end a very solid routine!! Emma put out her double tuck AND double twist on floor for the first time, that will see her more confident next year when she turns junior, and once again she competed beam with great confidence and execution! Caoimhe swinging bars confidently with a dismount in the rafters… also great job on the new floor too Caoimhe! Emer proving herself once again to be consistent, dependable, a solid team mate with an energy that only Emer can bring! And of course the beauty that is Miriam, a gymnast only capable of stunning work, to have judges relaying comments about her range and conditioning routine as “flawless” and “perfection” with a style and finesse that they had not seen before… feedback like this from judges is every coaches aspiration. Thank you girls you’re awesome!

So there it it.. my round up of a great weekend. Here’s a few pictures of the gymnasts who have topped off what was already a great year with one final victory.

Now let’s get back to work eh… we’ve a lot to do!

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Well done to all our boys who competed on Saturday 15th October. You all did a fantastic job, and brought us home 10 medals! Oisin is recovering well from the break he sustained during competition, and we’re wishing him all the best.

Well done to; Tom, Oran, Paddy, Daniel, Eugene, Galius, Nicholas, Ronan and Oisin!