Gymnastics New Zealand is always proud of the contribution of coaches working through the XTND programme. These coaches, aged 13-16 years, are often busy juggling school commitments with their time in the gym. One coach is Ava Baddeley from Capital Gymnastics who is a XTND coach and women’s artistic senior international gymnast. We caught up with Ava who gave us a quick rundown of what it is like to train and coach in the gym.
“Hi, my name is Ava Baddeley, I’m a senior international gymnast and I coach a group of pre-comp gymnasts. I began coaching in 2021. Currently, I coach twice a week, while also training five times. I have had a really great experience coaching so far. I really enjoy working with younger kids, getting to see the progress they make, and the joy that doing gymnastics and achieving new skills brings them. Coaching has benefited me as a gymnast because all the little kids in the gym look up to you, inspiring you to work and train harder every day. Because I coach a group of younger gymnasts, who don’t always understand the full skill, I have realised how important it is to break down the skills and master the basics before putting the whole thing together. The balance between gym, school, and coaching does get hard and tiring sometimes but it’s important to stay organised and plan ahead so that you know what is coming and how long you have to do things. I encourage those who want to give coaching a go to try it and personally, I think that’s important to give back to a sport that has done so much for me.”