Updated: ​​15th February 2020 - ENTRIES NOW CLOSED

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Affinity's 5th Invitational - 2020

14-15 March 2020
Information for Affinity Athletes

 
The Affinity Invitational is DEFINITELY the highlight of my year as Club Founder.  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.
 
This year, following our exit from British Gymnastics, I am super excited to be able to also broaden out the event to welcome gymnasts and clubs to join us from our new UKG family. Or in fact any gymnasts who hold relevant insurance cover to attend – hello dance schools, parkour clubs, school clubs, anyone and everyone is welcome! Gymnastics really IS for all and I’m really proud to be able to facilitate this.
 
So it’s my great pleasure to announce entries are now OPEN for our 5th AWESOME Affinity Invitational to be held at Wodson Park, Ware, Herts on 14th and 15th March 2020!

Read on to discover what its all about, what’s new for this year (I can’t tell you how excited I am about my most recent ‘genius’ idea) and how to enter.
 

Kind regards and cartwheels smiley

Jennifer Page,  Affinity Founder and Chief Invitational Enthusiast

 

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. The rules are designed to make this straightforward and we’ll also provide all bronze and silver gymnasts with videos of the skills to be performed. 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.
  • Three Levels - 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 2020 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 and the amount of gymnasts entered.
  • 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 and organisations will be performing.  Entry costs £20 and includes a special event t-shirt.

 

What’s back for this year?

 

Co-ed competing groups! 
We see no reason why boys and girls at this level should be judged separately. We started this last year and shall continue into 2020. Everyone is combined 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? Plus it helps with....
 

Equal 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 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.
 
Event t-shirts are back!!! 
...... but you’ll have to wait to find out the colour.
 
Event marshals and other support team – we need you!
We’re aiming to host 500 gymnasts across 5 rounds of competition. Each round will have 6 apparatus set ups running at the same time. To make all run smoothly we need LOADS of help – and it’s great fun to get involved. We’ll need helpers to be apparatus marshals (this is helping organise everyone into the right places at the right time), door staff (who check in the spectator tickets), scorers (someone good at excel inputting) and general helpers (for the all important tea run and to make sure our busy team actually eat). We provide all the training and guidance (I must say we have a great set of ‘how to’ guides for each role) and apparatus marshals will also be provided with rather fetching affinity t-shirts. You’ll be able to make your gymnast jealous with that....
 
DE photo 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 us fabulous people there (well of course!) 
 


Celebration Ceremonies

Walk the red carpets to the presentation zone to collect your medals to massive rounds of applause.

 

The MOST fun warm up ever
We like to have a dance – and involve all the visiting clubs in our favourite Affinity warm-up activity. Plus our audience get to choose the track we use. It creates a fun atmosphere in the room to kick start the event in the right vibe.
 

What’s new?

Ahhh only one of our most ‘genius’ ideas! –

The Bonus AWESOMENESS Skill !

At the end of each floor routine, the gymnasts are invited to perform one extra thing of their choice. This can be ANYTHING. A recognised gymnastics skill or something from another discipline - think ninja kicks, bendy dance skills, cheer stretches, even a great ending pose. All those cool things we like doing but you’d never (usually) put into a routine - do it here!

We’re looking for confidence, personality, fun and smiles and it gains bonus points only – no deductions. We hope this will also help our non-general gymnastics gymnasts feel more welcome.

What people said about previous Affinity Invitational events:

" What a wonderful time my daughter had.  Thought it was well organised, fun and not as scary as she thought it would be!  Feel really proud that she is part of Affinity, you are all amazing teachers,  you have such great patience and really give her such encouragement to try challenging things.  Thank you to you all! Look forward to next years competition." 

" My son had a great time.  I think this competition is an excellent idea to give the beginners a chance to compete and show how great they are." 

" Over the moon!! Two very happy boys… very proud!!" 

The group warm up was great to watch and seemed to ensure that all the gymnasts really enjoyed it. Watching the actual event and seeing how well my daughter had developed

" Thank you so much a fabulous day on Sunday.   Of course now my daughter really has the bug and wants to do more gymnastics!...it was so lovely to see all the children having such a great time and she glowed all afternoon. It's really given her a much needed confidence boost." 

" I thought how lovely it was that every gymnast received a certificate and were made to feel special.  It had a very warm and welcoming family feel to the whole day."​

"Just seeing my child compete with her team mates and thoroughly enjoying the whole day. Despite not winning a medal she came away with the biggest smile.

It was so well organised. My daughter became really nervous when we arrived up until she took part. The staff were amazing with her and she left saying she couldn’t wait for next year

You could see the gymnasts clearly (good view from stands). Liked the special awards at the end as this was very inclusive.
 

Can I get involved?

We'd LOVE you to get involved!  So what kind of volunteers do we need?

Scoring - this involves entering scores into an excel spreadsheet, straightforward but attention to detail needed. 

Door staff – you’ll need to arrive 30min before the start of the round and check in spectator tickets on an app you can download to your phone.

Apparatus Marshals - This involves organising gymnasts in the right place at the right time, alongside the coaches. (We'll need your t-shirt size for this role)

General Helper - assisting where needed, tea runs etc

You can even be a 'SUPER-HELPER' and do a door staff and apparatus marshall role as one is before the Round and one is during the round!

We'll give all training needed for these, all we need are people ready to help! Please let us know what you can do.


If you'd love to get involved - fill out details on your athletes entry form or if you aren’t connected to an athlete, please message us at: 

hello@affinitygymnastics.co.uk

Sounds great - How do I enter?


SORRY - COMPETITION ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED
​Closing Date for entry was Friday 14th February

 

What's the cost

​Entry includes a special event t-shirt and costs £20.

We're also running some additional practice sessions in February Half Term - book your place now

HERE

 

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 15th)
Silver – those in 90 min classes (some competing Saturday, some Sunday.  We’ll be splitting by age, with the older gymnasts will be on Saturday and younger on sunday, it depends on the numbers entered across the levels. Unfortunately we can’t refund if you can’t then compete - so please keep both days free!)
Gold – those who train more than 90 min a week across all classes (competing Saturday 14th)

 

When is the closing date for entry?

The last day for entries is Friday 14th Frbruary 2020.

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 13yrd+ 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 athletes slot which will be around 2-3 hours long.  We anticipate running a similar timetable to last year.  eg please see timings from last year.
 

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS LAST YEARS SCHEDULE - AND IS JUST FOR INFORMATION ONLY - depending on the ages and levels of gymansts that enter this year - the schedule could look very different.

Round 1 - Saturday 1:45-4:25pm (Gold Level Age 10+)
Round 2 - Saturday 5:10-7:35pm (Gold Level Age 7-10, Silver Level 11+)
Round 3 - Sunday - 9:30-11:55am (Silver Level Age 9-11)
Round 4 - Sunday - 12:40-3:05pm (Silver Level Age 7-9, Bronze Level Age 7-8)
Round 5 - Sunday - 3:35-6:00pm (Bronze Level Age 8+)

Additional note for Silver - that we’ll be splitting by age with the older athletes will be on Saturday and younger on Sunday, it depends on the numbers entered across the levels. Unfortunately we can’t refund if you can’t then compete - so please keep both days free! 

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 athlete 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 athletegymnasts 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. 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.

 

Bronze & Silver Routines

** HOT OFF THE PRESS **

Bronze and Silver routines for you to start practicing.  We'll be doing these in class after Half-term.
 

 

Where is the Invitational being held?

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

    It will be held over 2 days 14-15 March 2020.

     

Contact us