New beginnings, new challenges

Congratulations to everyone who has received their exam results this week – we’re so excited to welcome you to OU Gym in October!

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(cue the excited looks for take #34: you alright there Noah?!)

Boosted by the success of Team GB gymnasts in Rio this summer, it’ll be great to have loads of new people trying gymnastics for the first time or getting back into a sport they enjoyed when they were younger. Gymnastics really is for everyone; there’s so much to try, to learn and so much fun to be had! In case you can’t wait until October and the new term card, here’s a few hints of the excitement to come.

  • Our Men’s Captain, Rusheb, has been busy crafting some cool achievement badges (think back to your swim bag or blazer in primary school days but much, much cooler): so set some targets and we’ll help you reach them! Whether it’s getting the splits or learning a back flick, a front somersault on the floor or a circle on the pommel horse, there’s badges for everyone of all levels because we know how exciting it is to learn a new skill.
  • There might also be a badge for being master of conditioning, so make sure you come along to our FREE fitness sessions now on a Tuesday evening!
  • As well as a term packed with all different training sessions and lots of social fun, we’re also finalising plans to be performing at another college ball in November. Watch this space…
  • And there’s still time to send in your submissions for our #UpsideDownOxfordOnVac challenge: you’ve got until the start of October to upload a gymnastics-related photo, use the hashtag, tag us in it and let us know where you are. Our favourite picture will win a free term’s membership and a bottle courtesy of Varsity Events, so get creative and feel free to send us as many as you like!

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Rio 2016

There’s only 10 days to go until the opening of the Summer Olympic Games held in Rio this August: which means it’s nearly time for the world’s best gymnasts to battle it out for the glory of an Olympic title! If you’ve never watched gymnastics before, then now is the time because the standard of international gymnastics is mind-bogglingly high and it continues to reach new heights. Trust me, you’re in for a treat.

To get you in the mood, we’ll be doing a #countdowntoRio this week by featuring some Olympic gymnasts on our website and social media pages. First, here’s a quick guide to how the competition will work and how you can get involved.

How did we even get here?!

  1. Following the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships held in Glasgow last year, 8 countries qualified teams to the Olympic Team Final (Men’s and Women’s) and a further four were selected after the Test Event in Rio this April.
  2. Additional places were handed out to the host nation/ those who won individual apparatus medals at the World Championships/ and a further one per country from the all-around competition at the Test Event.
  3. Team GB had unprecedented success at the World Championships with the Men and Women’s Teams placing second and third respectively, therefore guaranteeing automatic qualification to Rio. A mention also for London based gymnast Ellis Reilly who secured the first and only spot available for an Irish female gymnast – making history in the process!

When to watch?

  1. On the 6th and 7th August, there will be qualification rounds for men and then the women: these will determine the teams that make it through to the Team Finals (on the 8th and 9th August) and those individual gymnasts who get the highest scores on each apparatus and all-around will make it through to the AA and each apparatus finals.
  2. On the 10th and 11th August, the top 24 male and then female gymnasts will compete in the All-Around Final. That’s the six pieces for men (floor, vault, P-bars, rings, pommel and high bar) and four for women (floor, vault, beam and A-bars). For all around specialists like Max Whitlock for example, this could mean performing on 18 apparatus within four days so rest, recovery and tactics will all play an important role! To maintain consistency across every apparatus under such pressure really makes the All Around Final so gripping to watch.
  3. After a break over the weekend, the apparatus finals where the specialists like Louis Smith and Dipa Karmakar steal the stage, are spread across the 14, 15, and 16th August, finishing with perhaps the two most exciting events. The High bar final for men – expect some insane release moves, some splatting and the gorgeous curls of 2012 champ Epke Zonderland (his bars aren’t bad either) – and the Floor final for women – expect grace from Aliya Mustafina, infectious sass from Laurie Hernandez and the tour de force that is Simone Biles (that’s if they all qualify of course :D).
  4. After the medal ceremonies, where we hope there’s no bees coming to collect pollen from the winners’ bouquets (cough *Nanning* cough), it’ll be time to breathe, drink some champagne and celebrate the incredible gymnastics we’ll have witnessed, and mop up the tears after the inevitable near-misses, injuries and fairytales that will have made the Games so dramatic!

Who to watch?

  1. The array of talent is remarkable, and you’ll find it hard to miss the Gymnast Stars of Rio gracing our screens: from the dishy Sam Mikulak of the USA to 7-time World Champion and King of Gymnastics Kohei Uchimura; from 2012 Champions Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, to Brazilian sweetheart Flavia Sariava and our very own Claudia Fragapane.
  2. But, if you want to learn more about some of the gymnasts competing and their fascinating stories of dedication and often disappointment, then head over to our Rio 2016 page where we’ll be doing profiles of ‘Ones to Watch’ as we countdown over the next ten days before the Opening Ceremony.
  3. Be sure to follow the gymnasts on Facebook, twitter, instagram and other social media platforms to catch behind-the-scenes pics and footage to see what it really is like to compete at an Olympic Games.We’d love to hear from you if you’re watching the gym or even have tickets to go to Rio – tag us in your posts and we’ll share them!

Everyone at OU Gym wishes massive good luck to all the competitors and especially to Team GB (looking all fleeky in their kit here).

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(L-R: Brinn Bevan, Ruby Harrold, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock, Claudia Fragapane, Nathan Bailey, Kat Driscoll, Amy Tinkler, Louis Smith, Nile Wilson, Bryony Page, Ellie Downie and Becky Downie)

Farewell Trinity!

It’s the long summer vacation and many of our gymnasts are about to undertake all sorts of exciting endeavours. Congratulations for making it through another busy term, especially those with exams or projects to complete, and we hope everyone has a well-deserved break after a really productive year! As always don’t hesitate to get in touch, browse our photos on Facebook and Instagram, send us your gym pics (from sunnier climbs no doubt!), and we look forward to welcoming plenty of freshers in Michaelmas! Here’s a quick recap of the end of Trinity Term:

Annual Dinner

What a better way to celebrate our success than a good meal with good friends? This year’s Annual Dinner was full of fun, food and certificates and it was great to see everyone sparkling in something other than a leotard! Thank you to Oxford Leisure for a lovely evening at The Varsity Club.

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feat. many scary eyes, some wine, and Sadie’s leg.

 
Ball Performances

Our video showing snippets of our performance at Somerville-Jesus Ball was posted earlier this term, and we also managed to showcase our skills at Regent’s Park Final Fling – exams and even some stormy weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of our performers! Well done to everyone involved in rehearsing, choreographing routines, moving equipment, and our special thanks and congratulations to the respective ball committees.

feat. lots of sashes, more alcohol and Sadie’s leg.
 

Annual General Meeting

There are lots of people who work hard behind the scenes to keep the Club running, and our Annual General Meeting really demonstrated the enthusiasm and commitment of our members. Thank you all for your discussion points and ideas: we’re really looking forward to the future and implementing them!

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Showing real concentration (on the food) 

 
Photoshoot

Finally, we rounded off the year by inviting photographer Jacob Barrell down to one of our Abingdon sessions to snap some of our skills in action. The fantastic gallery that appeared as a result really demonstrates how much everyone has improved this year, and shows some of the great talent and enthusiasm the Club has to offer. Have a look on Facebook or browse a selection here, and send us your thoughts on social media!

feat. grips, a lot of chalk, some impeccable timing (Sam!), and Sadie’s leg. Again. 

It has been great to see such an amazing range of people train with us right up until the last training session. We’ve recently welcomed the Athletics Club and the Rock and Roll Club as well as new members from a range of backgrounds. We are looking forward to more of the same next year – big plans, big skills and lots to get involved with, so wishing everybody a wonderful summer and see you soon!

Upside-down Oxford

Check out our webpage and Facebook album as we aim to snap a handstand picture in every college before the end of term and before International Handstand Day on June 25th – bingo!

Come, join us and send us your photos via facebook, email (katrina.kelly@magd.ox.ac.uk) or twitter using the hashtag #upsidedownoxford. There’s extra points if you can photobomb your tutor or a porter! If you’re a keen instagrammer and have a favourite #OxfordObject that incorporates gymnastics then do tag us in it! Let’s see the famous sights of Oxford from a completely different perspective.

 

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Somerville-Jesus Ball performance

It’s been a busy start to term but we’re welcoming summer in style at OU Gym, and were pleased to strut our skills at Somerville-Jesus Ball. We put together a few sets to fit in with their ‘Surrealism’ theme based on backing tracks relating to ‘dreams’.

Footage was quite hard to record due to the lighting, but here is what we’ve managed to cobble together! We had a great time rehearsing and planning for the event, and if anyone is inspired to join or get in touch we would welcome your comments.

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With thanks to the Somerville-Jesus Ball Committee, our coach Chris and all our helpers photographing and recording!

Music: ‘Mombasa Suite’ from the Inception Soundtrack, we do not own rights to this track. Our thanks to Hans Zimmer and Warner Bros.

The gymnasts had a great night and hope the audience enjoyed seeing us!

Gymnasts:

Serena Chang, Emilie Heddle, Beth Andrew, Katrina Kelly, Liza Hadley, Brittany Garcia, Sadie Robertson, Lottie Till, Becky Stroud and Linde Wester (our fantastic wheel performer).

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AGM – This week!

Calling all members or potential members, please come along to our Annual General meeting this Saturday (14th May)!

It will be a friendly and inclusive process where we will be able to discuss all things related to the Club, sport and people and most of all can listen to your feedback.

Please submit any motions you would like to discuss here: http://goo.gl/forms/dwDEh1koae

Live agenda will be updated here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tLv0Pa21IIgsKNr71xP0LH0KcwMW0o4QOyQ6XUoih5Q

Don’t forget if you want to amend the Constitution, now’s your chance. The current version is found on this site, at https://ougym.org/safety-documents/.

Come one, come all, there will be snacks and a wonderful view of the high street!

Email me if you have any questions,

Love,

Serena

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TRINITY 2016

Welcome everyone to Trinity 2016!

We have a really great term lined up, and are so excited for Summer and all that will be going on at the gym club.

Some highlights and dates for your diaries:

  • Blues Presentation Evening – come and celebrate our success on Thursday 1st week (28 April, Oxford Town Hall)
  • Annual General Meeting on Saturday 3rd week, 5pm – all members welcome!
  • End of year dinner at The Varsity Club, black tie and great food not to mention great entertainment, Friday 4th week

And of course, training will be on as normal with our regular dinner/Wetherspoons stops afterwards. If you’ve forgotten the times, they’re laid out on our Training page.

It’s never too late to come down, and with such a great calendar of events you don’t want to miss out before the end of the year!

We have updated the Term Card page and it looks like it’s going to be a whopper. Check it out!

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Feel free to contact any of the new committee with questions. Otherwise keep following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sending in any contributions you may have.

Happy 0th week,

Love,

Serena

(President, serena.chang@queens.ox.ac.uk)