Updated: ​​13th February 2020 - ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED

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Affinity's 5th Invitational - 2020

Information for External Clubs
 

Special Introduction from Jen, Affinity Gymnastics Founder 


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.  As you may well do to, 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 may know (and if you haven’t met us yet, we look forward to sharing this with you), 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.  It’s aimed at your gymnastics-loving recreational gymnasts - particularly for those that may not have competed before. 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, BG clubs, 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 competition levels are there?

There are three levels of competition (Bronze, Silver and Gold) depending on the amount of training gymnasts do per week. Gold level gymnasts will be on the Saturday afternoon, bronze on the Sunday with Silver level gymnasts split across both days depending on age (we intend younger gymnasts on Sunday and older on Saturday). Gymnasts can enter floor or trampette or both - they are judged separately.
 

How do the rules work?

We hope that you'll find the rules straight forward, and that gymnasts can be entered with minimal preparation in class. You CAN talk and help them through performances here so if they don’t remember what to do please help. Hey if a gymnast needs their coach to do the routine along with them – do it!

Bronze level is open to gymnasts who train one hour or less per week, Silver is for those training up to two hours and Gold level is available to gymnasts training less than four hours a week. Please take a look at the handbook for full technical details.
 

The closing date for entries is:
Friday 14th February 2020

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.
Team coaching
With 6 pieces of apparatus in use at the same time, we all club together as coaches to accompany the gymnasts in each competing group. So you do not have to have 6 different coaches available – we’ll coach your kids in return for you coaching ours. Team work is important to us. Remember your ASC or junior coaches/teen gymnasts can help here too.
 

What’s new?


Ah 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 about insurance?
We can now open the event up to more people (whoop!).  If you are a UKG club you’ll use that insurance. If you use a different insurer, please ensure it covers your coaches and gymnasts to attend the event and send us a copy of your policy.  If you are a BG club, your insurance will not travel with you to our event (erm, yea they don’t approve of us UKG rebels).  However, we can extend our Affinity UKG membership to you for the day (hurrah! you are 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.
 

Do we need to help?

Yes. We plan to accommodate 500 gymnasts, 100 per round. We’ll be running 6 apparatus set ups simultaneously to do this. We look to our guest clubs to help staff and run the event. We’ll provide all training and guidance but we do need you to provide help in terms of judges, event marshalls, scorers and general helpers.

We require that per 20 gymnasts entered, each club provide two people - one judge and one additional helper.

Judges may be qualified in any discipline and any level. The more fully qualified judges we have, the better the judging standard for the gymnasts. However if you can not provide fully qualified judges, you may nominate someone knowledgeable and experienced in the skills being performed. We suggest everyone nominated attends our free judging workshop ahead of the event.

The additional helpers will be used as event marshals - these people help check in spectator tickets then during the event, organise the gymnasts on each apparatus. We’ll provide full training, guidance, and a fetching orange t-shirt. Additionally, we also require scorers and will welcome older gymnast helpers for general event prep and the all important tea runs!


 

Whats the cost?

Entry includes a special event t-shirt and costs:

£20 for 2 pieces (Floor AND Trampette)
or
£15 for 1 piece (Floor OR Trampette)
 

Sounds great! How do I enter?

 

SORRY ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED
CLOSING DATE: FRIDAY 14TH FEBRUARY 2020


Please note that entries are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis as places are limited and unfortunately we will be unable to accept late entries.
 

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/door staff - This involves organising gymnasts in the right place at the right time, alongside the coaches. Plus before the round you'll be helping check in ticket holders.  (We'll need your t-shirt size for this role)

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

 

Do we have to be there all weekend?

 
No, the weekend will be divided into 5 rounds of competition. You’ll only need to be there for your gymnasts slot, each of 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 gymnasts 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+)
 
Please note for Silver - that we’ll be splitting by age with the older gymnasts on Saturday and younger on Sunday, it depends on the numbers entered across the levels. Unfortunately we can’t refund if your athlete can’t then compete - so please keep both days free!

 

 

Closing Date for receipt of entries and payment is:

Friday 14th February 2020

 

NOTE: THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EXTERNAL CLUBS. If you are an Affinity Gymnast - you'll find all your details that you need to know here.

 

Bronze & Silver Routines

** HOT OFF THE PRESS **

Bronze and Silver routines for your information . . . particularly with regards to the BONUS AWESOME skill.
 


 

Where is the Invitational being held?

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

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

     

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