Athletes at the Langley Gymnastics Foundation took a break from front flips and cartwheels to thank the people who are helping them develop as athletes, during National Coaches Week, which runs from Sept. 22 to Sept. 30.
Langley Gymnastics Foundation office manager Tattina Tedaka-Slavik said the club has approximately 30-40 volunteer and paid coaches.
“It’s a nation-wide event to recognize the positive impact all kinds of coaches have on their athletes. For gymnastics, we have competitive athletes coming here for 15 to 20 hours per week, so it’s basically their second home here and their second parent is their coach,” said Tedaka-Slavik.
During coaches week at Langley Gymnastics Foundation, students filled out ‘Superstar’ coach comment cards that are on display at the facility. Athletes also wrote longer ‘thank-you’ letters to their coaches, noting ways they’ve been motivated by their coach.
Athlete Charlotte Trotman is trained by coach Nikki Jarvis, who coaches women’s artistic gymnastics. Trotman wrote that coach Nikki is a great because she makes gymnastics more fun by coming up with new ideas and games.
“She is so nice and caring,” said Trotman. “She pushes you to succeed but never too hard, and is always very supportive.”
Coach Nikki also teaches her gymnasts to ‘give 110 per cent’ according to Trotman.
“Coach Nikki has taught me that you don’t worry about what other people are doing, focus on what you are doing.”
Recreational and Interclub coach Alasia McGregor coaches athlete Ava Hamidnejad.
Hamidnejad said coach Alasia always pushes her athletes to try their best and learn new skills. Hamidnejad learned how to perform hand springs with the help of her coach.
“I used to be so scared of skills that I do now with ease, because with courage and hard work and Alasia helping me and encouraging me, I was able to do so many things. She taught me once I can overcome that fear, I can do anything,” said Hamidnejad.
Coach Nikki Crocker teaches the Foundations special needs program and gives athlete Julia Estacio the time and patience she needs to learn a new gym move. Coach Nikki taught Estacio to be confident and to believe she can do anything, as long as she tries.
Athlete Trevor Ma said thanks to his men’s artistic gymnastics coach, Kris Krunick, for being optimistic and always ‘trying to look at the bright side of things.’
“He taught me that being confident at competitions can be helpful, but being overconfident can be detrimental. It’s best to be humble.”
Tedaka-Slavik said the coaches have been delighted to see the positive comments.
“They’ve been feeling very special and recognized.”