Plans to strengthen the Rhythmic Gymnastics National Team Program towards Paris 2024 Olympic Games
OTTAWA, ON (August 6, 2020) – As training facilities slowly re-open after the COVID-19 lockdown, Gymnastics Canada (GymCan) has been making plans to solidify its commitment to the Rhythmic Gymnastics (RG) national team program for the longer term. As an Olympic discipline, GymCan remains committed to building both the RG group and individual national team programs towards improved and consistent international performance, while also recognizing the importance of building the domestic base of RG athletes, coaches and officials towards sustainable club and regional high performance programming in line with the Athlete Development Model and Gold Medal Profile.
“Over the past few years, GymCan has been building the infrastructure of support for the national team RG group while also trying to create more value-added sport science services and competition support for the highest level of individual national team athletes,” said Ian Moss, CEO of GymCan. “While COVID has postponed some of the anticipated outcomes of that investment leading into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, we do know that there is much more to be done for the long term and we must start now with those improved services if we wish to be more successful as a country in the Paris 2024 quadrennial."
Currently, for the 2020 (2021) Tokyo Olympic Games, Canada has not yet earned a quota in the RG individual or group event - the final qualification competition for the Games is anticipated to be in May 2021 at the Pan American Gymnastics Championships.
“While we will ensure the highest level of support possible for our group and individual athletes preparing for these Championships, we must acknowledge from a program perspective that we will only have a minimum number of athletes qualifying for Tokyo – it is not where our program wants to be for the long term,” said Moss. “As a result, we must now turn our attention longer term and begin to put systems and services in place that, we believe, will build the groundwork for a more sustainable and higher level of international performance in the future."
For the Group program, GymCan will continue to invest in the new High Performance Training Centre and sport science support services at the Markham Pan Am Centre, and will start the world-wide recruitment process for a Group Head Coach to be in place through to the 2024 Olympic Games.
“We know that to qualify for Paris, we need to consistently be in the top two Pan American ranked countries and as close to a top ten nation at the World Championships as possible – we need a level of leadership and expertise that has a proven track record in group world class performance for us to succeed in our goals,” added Moss. “We absolutely believe in the abilities of our group athletes to be able to achieve these objectives, but we must provide the athletes with the best infrastructure support possible in order for them to also believe this is possible – four years is not a long time, but it is enough time to be realistic in our objectives if we start immediately."
While COVID has postponed the eventual outcomes of the Tokyo quadrennial by a year, it is critical that GymCan begin its new quadrennial planning in RG immediately. Over the next few months, further information will be circulated in respect to planning and programming adjustments, and opportunities for “town hall” discussions with members will be initiated to ensure that all inputs are considered as we build out a stronger commitment collectively to the RG national elite development system. Much of the results of this consultation and planning will be reflected in the new GymCan Strategic Plan (2021-2026) that will be launched in the early part of 2021.
Gymnastics Canada staff thank you for your patience and understanding as we transition our planning forward, and we look forward to your input accordingly.
ABOUT GYMNASTICS CANADA
First established in 1969, Gymnastics Canada has been supporting the mastery of movement in Canada for five decades as the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in Canada. We work closely with the twelve provincial federations and 700 local clubs to provide a broad range of programs and services to meet the needs of all participants. From athlete development, to coach and judge education, Gymnastics Canada sets the operating standards and practices for the sport in Canada. Our mandate is to promote and provide positive and diverse gymnastics experiences through the delivery of quality and safe gymnastics programming. Visit www.gymcan.org for more information, or follow us @gymcan1. From here, we soar.
For further information, please contact:
National Team Director - Rhythmic Gymnastics
Senior Program Coordinator - Rhythmic Gymnatics