Last week was the beginning of a brand new school year, which means it was also the beginning of a new year of fun and flips at Spectrum! We saw a lot of familiar faces come back and got the opportunity to meet a lot of new ones! We have added some new classes this year, including a tumble/Cheer class (taught by the wonderful Miss Lauren), and another group of Xcel gymnasts (shout out to my Xcel Bronze team! They have been working so hard!).
If you are not brand new to Spectrum, you may have noticed some changes in the gym upon coming back. If you were here during the summer, you may have even witnessed those changes happen. We got some brand new equipment throughout the summer, rearranged parts of the gym, and got rid of old, outdated equipment. Safety is our number one priority, and with the inherent risks involved in gymnastics, it is crucial to train and practice on safe, reliable, modern equipment, so we try to update and replace our equipment as frequently as possible! While Elyse, Emily, and I were at National Congress (see previous blog post), we got the opportunity to test out equipment for future purchases as well.
So what kind of equipment did we get?
Vault Training System
I am so excited for this! It's a mat that looks and feels like a vault table. It's portable and can be used in many places for training new vaults and skills. The different pieces of varying height can be mixed and matched to achieve the right height of the table (and can be used as a spotting surface as well!)
New Base/Landing Mats for Balance Beam and Bars
We were able to replace some of the older base mats under the balance beams and under the uneven bars with brand new AAI mats! Because of these new mats, we were able to utilize an extra high beam that was not previously in use. We also rearranged the balance beam and reversed the low to high beams (the high beams are now closest to the tumble track and the low beams are now closest to the wall!)
Level 3 Vault System
While it currently resides under the high beam for storage purposes, we replaced our old resi mat with this brand new one! It also came with two matching 8 inch landing mats with velcro straps that can hook onto to this big resi mat, to raise or lower the height of the mats. The white line is for hand placement when performing Level 3 vaults.
We have two of these brand new blocks! Our old "P-Bar" blocks needed replacing and I could not be happier with these new ones! They can be used for training, for conditioning, for spotting... the possibilities are endless! They are nice and firm and have weight to them so they don't slide when in use. I love them!
Incline mats (or "cheese" mats as we like to call them) are vital to the gymnastics learning process. Whether it's a forward roll or a back handspring, learning on an incline is one of the first and most important steps in learning. I love this new mat because it is bigger and much firmer than the other ones we have, which makes it excellent for training handstands against a wall, and for working back handsprings (sometimes a mat that is too soft can absorb too much and make the skill more difficult).
"Power Incline" Miniature Trampoline
This might just be my favorite of all the new equipment! This was the first thing to arrive and it was like Christmas all over again. I LOVE this trampoline. While its primary use is for vaulting (as an alternative to a springboard), it can also be used in learning new tumbling skills. I love it because it is easier to generate a bounce from than a springboard (which can be hard with smaller children), and it also is really low impact, so our older team girls can train with more vaulting repetitions, as it is less strain on their joints. The extra bounce is also good for learning brand new vaults.
We also have one more big surprise slated to arrive later this fall! I know what it is and I am REALLY excited for it!
As you can see, we have a lot of awesome things happening this year at SGA and we're so happy that you, our customers, have chosen to be a part of it. In a world that is full of activities and sports for children, I for one am happy that you chose gymnastics, and we at Spectrum are happy that you chose us! Thanks for being a part of our family! Here's to having an awesome year!
Peace, love, and gymnastics,
Spectrum Gymnastics Academy
26 Buttrick Rd
About the Author
Coach Sarah is a former Rhode Island College gymnast, NCGA National qualifier, All-American, current gymnastics coach and judge, and contributor for the gymnastics news source, The Gymternet. Find out what's going on at Spectrum and learn more about the incredible sport of gymnastics!