Affinity's 4th Invitational - 2019

For Affinity Gymnasts

 

Welcome to our Invitational 2019 from Club Leader Jen.

The Affinity Invitational is fast becoming a highlight of the Affinity calendar (and mine as club leader!). It started with a desire to bring the Affinity ethos to competitive gymnastics.
 
Competition has historically been the way gymnasts get to display their skills away from their club and training sessions.  I personally have a background competing in gymnastics as a child and young person and I know I gained a lot from the experience. I loved having something to work towards, loved performing on the day and supporting my team mates. To do something that lets be honest, was a bit nerve-wracking or challenging at times but felt great afterwards and gave me great confidence in myself and my abilities. It really helped shape a lot of the qualities in me that have been key in my success as an adult.
 
However, traditionally gymnastics competition has been SERIOUSLY formal. No talking. No helping during performances. MEGA tenseness and competitiveness between competing gymnasts and clubs. WAY too much pressure on gymnasts to remember routines and do them perfectly and win medals. Oh and of course the need to be training lots and lots of hours to have this outlet.
 
Affinity as a club, turns all this on its head. As you’ll know, we’re all about fun, kindness, friendliness, support and rewarding everyone’s skills and best efforts – no matter what that is. So the Affinity Invitational Competition is our opportunity to bring this ethos to competition. I am super proud and excited to be leading a NEW way of gymnastics competition AND for that to include gymnasts who train as little as one hour a week.
 
So it’s my great pleasure to announce entries are now OPEN for our 4th AWESOME Affinity Invitational to be held at Wodson Park, Ware, Herts on 16th and 17th March 2019!

Read on to discover what its all about, what’s new for this year (I can’t tell you how excited I am about the changes) and how to enter.

Kind regards and cartwheels 

Jennifer Page,  Club Leader,  Affinity Gymnastics

What's it all about? 

  • For the gymnast, it’s a chance to compete in a friendly and fun competition with the opportunity to win a medal if your score is one of the top three in your competing category. Each gymnast entered into the competition will be able to practice their skills in their gym sessions leading up to the date. Coaches will help them to understand how to perform their best and build their confidence. 

  • For parents, it’s a chance to see your child perform their skills in a friendly competition environment and support them in their sport. 

     
    There are three levels of competition (Bronze, Silver and Gold) depending on the amount of training gymnasts do per week. Additionally gymnasts must have reached their 7th birthday by 31st Dec 2019 AND attend at least a 60min class with us.
     
    Gold level gymnasts will be competing on the Saturday afternoon, bronze will be on the Sunday and Silver level gymnasts will be split across Saturday and Sunday depending on age.
    There are two pieces of apparatus the gymnast’s compete on – floor and trampette. These are they are judged separately, with the top three scores on each apparatus in each competing category being awarded with medals.
    Gymnasts from Affinity as well as other local clubs will be performing. Entry costs £20 and includes a special event t-shirt.

Whats NEW for this year?

 

1. Co-ed competing groups! 

 
We see no reason why boys and girls at this level should be judged separately.  So for 2019 we're combining everyone into relevant age categories with both boys and girls together - after all, we're all doing the same skills and train together, why should we compete separately? 
 

2. New Event Marshals - could you help?

 
We want to involve our fabulous affinity community more in the event - could you be the person to join our event crew?
 
We're looking for on the door ‘welcomers’ (using our fab ticket system) plus new for this year we'll be looking to train people to be event marshals.  This would involve managing one of our apparatus - making sure the next competing category of gymnasts is ready and in the right place.  This will free up our coaches and judges to focus on looking after the gymnasts and will massively help with the smooth running of the event.
 
We'll give full training, all you need is a positive attitude and a bit of organising ability.  In return, we can offer a fab fun time, refreshments and an event t-shirt. Yup, a t-shirt. You'll be able to make your gymnast jealous with that....
 

3. DE Photo’s are back  ...and they are mega excited.

 
Steve (their leader) says our competition is his most favourite one
he's been to (and he attends gymnastics events every month).

He loves the fun and friendly atmosphere and the fabulous people there.

4. The Rules

 
… are largely the same.  We did a large overhaul of them last year so we feel they are good to run for this year too.
 
The only changes are that the bronze and silver gymnasts will be asked to do the skills in a set order (this will make judging and coaching easier).
 
For gold there will be a bonus available for joining two acro skills together.
 

5. Medal presentation changes

 
We're working on the idea of having a more fun podium..... it's likely going to include 'zones' for each medal and we're considering red carpets up to each of them.... still thoughts just now but it's in the works! 
 
We hope having 'zones' will mean we can get presentations done quicker, but also better allow each medallist their time to shine up in front of the audience (and for photo ops!)
 

6. More ‘even’ competing groups!

 
Up until now, gymnasts all across the world have competed in age groups split by one or more birth years.  This can result in some very large competing categories in some years and some very small ones in others based on who enters - it's uneven by nature. We're not going to stay limited by this in 2019 and instead, we'll take everyones DOB, list all the gymnasts out then split into as equal as possible competing categories from there. We're aiming for 10-15 gymnasts per category allowing each gymnast the same medal chances as anyone else.

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What have people said about previous Invitationals?

 

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Sounds great! How do I enter? 

If you are interested in your gymnast entering please log into your online account and arrange for the entry fee of £20.00 to be paid by Thursday 31st January 2019. We’re afraid that entries received after this date will be too late to be processed and we'll be unable to enter your gymnast. (Links and instructions below).  Please also remember that the sooner we know that they’re able to enter, the sooner we can start practising with them in class.

Remember: Gymnasts who will not have turned 7 by 31st Dec 2019, will unfortunately NOT be eligible for this competition, however it won't be long before they'll be able to join in on another one.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to pop us an email or come and see us at class.
  1. Please log-in to your member account (link here)
  2. Enter username and password (as set up before)
  3. Click on Payment (it’s a heading at the top of the page)
  4. Under ‘Optional Extras’ please select Affinity Invitational - 16th-17th March 2018.
  5. Select the name of your gymnast competing and click Next
  6. You will need to enter your gymnasts T-Shirt size for the competition
  7. Finally Click the Submit button at the bottom of the following screen
  8. The system will then schedule the payment from your account.

FAQ's


But its my first competition?
 
Brilliant! We can’t wait for you to experience it. And yes your gymnast will be ready – we’ll help!
 
I competed last year…. Is it different?
 
We’ve made only minor changes to the skills this year as we changed them a lot for last years event and think they are still suitable. Your gymnast may have moved up a level though which will mean learning new skills. Even if they are competing the same skills as last year, we feel its still a great experience and they will be able to show how they have improved.
 
What category will my gymnast be in?
 
For Affinity gymnasts here’s our guide:

Bronze – those in 60 min classes (competing Sunday 17th)
Silver – those in 90 min classes (some competing Saturday, some Sunday)
Gold – those who train more than 90 min a week across all classes (competing Saturday 16th)
 
When will we receive timings for the event?
 
This is dependent on all the entries received; we aim to have this with you as soon as we can after the closing dates and definitely two weeks before the event.
 
My gymnast is in silver – when will we know what day?
 
We’re intending for the older silver gymnasts to compete on Saturday and the youngest on Sunday. So if your child is 7/8yrs it’s a safe bet its Sunday. If they are 13yrs+ its likely Saturday. However we can’t confirm until all the entries are in as it depends on how many gymnasts enter. We’ll let you know as soon as we can and worst case two weeks before the event.
  
Do we have to be there all day?
 
No, the weekend will be divided into 5 rounds of competition. You’ll only need to be there for your gymnasts slot which will be around 2-3 hours long.
 
What if my child is nervous?
 
That’s normal! We’ll help support you with this nearer the time but know that we’re pros with supporting everyone to feel comfortable.
 
What if they forget what to do?
 
Firstly, don’t panic! Our coaches will help and in this event they are allowed to talk the gymnast through their performance. Hey if your child needs their coach to do the routine with them, we will! It’s about having a positive experience and showing what you can do, not about remembering it all perfectly.
 
How will they prepare?
 
We’ll prepare in class. Plus for bronze and silver gymnasts we’ll also send you a video of the skills they will be doing so you can prepare.
 
Can I come and watch?
 
Yes please do!  And bring the family. We’ve shuffled things round to hopefully allow more spectator space this year so we can welcome you all. You’ll need to buy tickets nearer the time.
 
I’ve missed the entry date – can you fit me in?
 
Short answer – no. Once the closing date has passed our Affinity fairies work mega hard on organising everything and won’t be able to squeeze in latecomers.

So, how do enter and pay for competition?

If you are interested in your gymnast entering please log into your online account and arrange for the entry fee to be paid by Thursday 31st January 2019. We’re afraid entries received after this date will be too late to be processed and we'll be unable to enter your gymnast. (Links and instructions below).  Please also remember that the sooner we know that they’re able to enter, the sooner we can start practising with them in class.
Remember: Gymnasts who will not have turned 7 by 31st December 2019, will therefore unfortunately NOT be eligible for this competition, however it won't be long before they'll be able to join in on another one.
 
Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to pop us an email or come and see us at class.
 
  1. Please log-in to your member account (link here)
  2. Enter username and password (as set up before)
  3. Click on Payment (it’s a heading at the top of the page)
  4. Under ‘Optional Extras’ please select Affinity Invitational - 16th-17th March 2018.
  5. Select the name of your gymnast competing and click Next
  6. You will need to enter your gymnasts T-Shirt size for the competition
  7. Finally Click the Submit button at the bottom of the following screen 
  8. The system will then schedule the payment from your account.



 

Where is the Invitational being held?

Wodson Park, Wadesmill Road, Ware, SG12 0UQ.

It will be held over 2 days 16-17 March 2019.

 



Our first Invitational in 2016










Last years event - 2018