Western Australian expert Debbs van Hagen leading the way in Samoa 

In June this year, I had the privilege of travelling to Samoa as a Gymnastics Australia Aerobic Gymnastics expert to assist Brooke Kneebush and Kitty Chiller in delivering a three-day course titled 'Building Leadership Capacity of Women in Sport in Samoa'.

The project is funded by an Australian Government Pacific Sports Partnerships program and builds upon the Oceania Gymnastics Development Plan.  Samoa is the seventh country in Oceania to take on the sport of Gymnastics through this initiative. My club, Spirit Gym Sports formed a sister club relationship with Gymnastics in Samoa late last year and the partnership has grown from there culminating in the recent trip to Samoa. 

The three-day course consisted of:
Day 1 – Leadership in Sport
Day 2 – coaching and judging Aerobic Gymnastics
Day 3 – presenter training and event management

An average of fifteen keen participants attended each day, all keen to learn how to introduce the sport Aerobic Gymnastics to their communities through schools and the local community. 

The participants were a mixture of students and teachers, and everyone was so enthusiastic and engaged as well as being very kind and generous.

In the course itself, a huge amount of content covered in three days, but the candidates were up to the task and were all very successful in completing the course assessments and competencies. It is hoped everyone will take away everything they have learned and start putting routines together for an Aerobics showcase event later in the year.

I would like to thank Gymnastics Australia and Brooke Kneebush in particular for providing me with such an amazing opportunity. 

Debbs van Hagen