2019 Club Conference Wrap 

Keynote address - Tal Karp

The 2019 Gymnastics Victoria Club Conference took place on Tuesday 15th & Wednesday 16th January at Victoria University Flinders Street Campus. Representatives from 55 Victorian Gymnastics Clubs attended the 20 sessions over the course of two days. 

Day 1 of the conference got off to a flying start with a keynote speech from Tal Karp, an Olympian and former Matilda. In addition to her stellar sporting career, Tal is also a lawyer and the co-founder and Director of Sixfold Consulting Group. Tal talked about defining your own path and not letting others dictate your success in life or your career, as well as framing challenges as being an opportunity for growth. She talked of being the only girl on her football team as a young athlete and how her passion for the sport helped her tackle the obstacles she faced in a male dominated sport. 

The sessions continued with presentations from J Orkowski on building positive club culture, GV Child Safe Coordinator Phoebe Pownall talked about social media and safe physical contact as well as a session on the new High Performance Plan. Founder of Summersalt Gymnastics, Chelsea Caple, gave a presentation on successfully recruiting and retaining non-Gymnastics people while Monica Ellis from Casey Gymnastics talked about perfecting day-to-day gymnastics club operations. 

The final session of the day was GymTalk, a TedTalk style panel forum with Lisa Hasker (CEO of Vicsport), Lyndall Russell (Psychotherapist) and Alice Stooke (Director of Club Operations at Melbourne Gymsports). The three presenters each spoke for up to 18 minutes each and were then asked questions from the audience.

 Day 2 kicked off bright and early with sessions from Gymnastics Victoria Business Advisors Sarah Reid and Lucy Fyfield. Sarah focussed on in-house training and maximising gym space, while Lucy talked about effective leadership and finding your next business opportunity. 

The final sessions of the conference focused on workplace behaviour and legislation with Linda Norman from HR Plus, as well as a session from Jets Gymnastics Marketing Manager Aley Toll on creating a user-friendly website. Frank Sahlein from 3rd Level Consulting presented on gymnastics industry metrics and trends. 

Thank you to all of the speakers for delivering informative and engaging presentations. A special thank you goes to J Orkowski and Frank Sahlein who travelled from the United States to present at the conference. We hope that all of the club representatives who attended the conference have gained valuable knowledge that they can take forward into 2019!