The Couch Gymnast Magazine

I was so delighted this morning when I opened my reader and saw The Couch Gymnasts latest magazine issue, and was even more so delighted when I read that it featured a section on Irish Gymnastics. I’ve spoken before about the problems that Irish Gymnastics has with funding, I think  Ariel Edesses of Renmore GC has given a fantastic explanation in her interview, as to why you don’t see Irish gymnasts in the Olympics, coach education in Ireland and the levels of fundraising done for clubs and why.

Check the full article out here.

Is it self-funding?  How much of a problem is sports funding for Irish gymnastics in your opinion?

We are a non-profit company meaning we’re eligible for grants. However, as gymnastics is still such an unknown sport in Ireland, we’re constantly fighting to get any money at all as it all goes to the more well known sports such as Gaelic Football.

Every year, we have a goal to fundraise a certain amount which we do lots of ways such as a sponsored tumble (where the kids get people to sponsor them in tumbling for a certain amount of time), a public display (we set up some mats in the middle of the pedestrian streets in Galway and the kids have fun performing), among other more traditional ways. However, funding is definitely our biggest challenge.

How hard/easy is it stay on top of coaching education in Ireland?

Right now, very easy!! However, that is only very very very recent as the coaching education office in this country has taken a serious interest in bringing Irish (and foreigners living in Ireland) coaches up to speed with coaching qualifications.

While the final level available for a coaching course is still quite low in comparison to other countries, the main concern has been bringing current coaches up to date and raising the overall level. People who have only ever coached or done gymnastics in Ireland wouldn’t be as familiar with a lot of big skills because the level has only significantly increased in the last couple of years.

At Renmore, we’re lucky enough to have a very international coaching staff (I’m from America, Sally is from England, and we also have a men’s coach from Germany, a rythmic coach from Latvia, and another American coach), so our education about coaching gymnastics covers a wide part of the world. I think this also helps the coaches who wouldn’t have the background of high level gymnastics to get into it a bit more.


  1. Ariel E says:

    Thanks so much for your comments on that article! I’m so glad people appreciated that interview and I know most people just assume there is no gymnastics in Ireland. We’re really trying now to step it up and become competitive internationally but, as mentioned, the obstacles are huge. Again, thank you so much for noticing that and I’m going straight away now to read what you wrote before about funding in Ireland. I assume you’re in the UK?

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