Over the last few months, two new clubs in the Canterbury region have affiliated to Gymnastics NZ – Affinity Gymnastics Academy (Rolleston) and Dynamic Gymnastic Sports (Ashburton).
The establishment of Affinity Gymnastics Academy has been driven by Ryan Jones along with his wife Tracy and a team of enthusiastic and optimistic coaches and volunteers. After reading the Gymnastics NZ National Facilities Strategy, the Jones’ identified Rolleston as a suitable location for a new club. Rolleston is a suburb just outside of Christchurch which has seen exponential growth in the years following the earthquakes.
Affinity Gymnastics Academy was founded in February 2018 and affiliated to Gymnastics NZ in April. During this time the team were on the hunt for suitable land and someone to build for them. After many ups and downs, the team have secured a facility in Izone, an industrial zone in Rolleston. This will be their base until they have completed a purpose-built facility in a sporting zone in Rolleston close to schools and many of the new homes being built in the area.
The weeks leading up to the opening were a busy period for the organising group. A lot of time and effort was spent obtaining equipment (some purchased and shipped from overseas, some purchased second hand from other clubs, and some on loan from other clubs), setting up the gym, advertising sessions and preparing for the grand opening. In October 2018, Affinity opened their doors to the public with a Grand Opening on the 14th and the first classes starting the next day. Affinity Gymnastics Academy now has approximately 180 members in their artistic and recreation programmes and is hoping to grow. After slowly building up equipment over the last few months, they are looking forward to receiving some key pieces from Doha which are due to arrive just before Christmas.
The other club that has recently joined the gymnastics family is Dynamic Gymnastic Sports. Dynamic has been around for a few years, beginning in February 2015. Nicci Glanville was a big driver behind getting the club off the ground and has since established a strong Committee to assist. Back in 2015, the club only held one small class for pre-schoolers but has grown rapidly to 17 different classes in a mixture of codes, as well as satellite classes in Methven (a small community 30 mins from Ashburton).
Dynamic offer recreational, artistic, trampoline and freestyle gymnastics programmes, all of which offer opportunities for children with special needs. Many of their athletes have participated in recreational competitions for both Artistic Gymnastics and Trampoline, and have brought home a number of medals. With a focus of offering something for everyone, they now offer some new/alternative classes in their freestyle gymnastics programme. They are currently offering a mix of parkour, free-running and slack-lining and we look forward to seeing how these programmes go.
Dynamic are very proud of their achievements since opening with popularity increasing and a wait-list that continues to grow. As a result of their efforts, their affiliation to Gymnastics NZ was approved in September 2018. When asked about their focus as a club they said: “We at Dynamic pride ourselves on being a completely inclusive club that provides
We welcome both Affinity and Dynamic to the gymnastics family and are excited to see how you develop over the next few years. And of course look forward to spotting your leotards in 2019.