Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Click on a question to drop down to the answer.

General:

How do I register?

What do my fees cover?

– The Alberta Gymnastics Foundation (AGF) registration fee is paid once per year (effective July 1 – June 30). As registered AGF members, all participants are insured under a Sports Accident Policy.
– Class fees primarily cover the cost of club administration, wages, building and equipment maintenance and upgrades and coaching education and resources.

Is there a guideline regarding class size?

Yes. AGF has set the following guidelines for all gymnastics clubs :

Parent & Tot: 8-10 participants/coach

Preschool (3-5 year olds): 6-8 participants/coach

Classes for children 6 years and older: 8-10 participants/coach

Pre-competitive/Competitive: 8-12 participants/coach

*Numbers can increase slightly in classes where both a coach and a CIT are present.

As SAGC we endeavour, whenever possible, to keep our athlete coach ratio lower than these guidelines.

Where can I park my car?

We have limited stalls in our parking lot.  There is additional street parking on the south/east side (gym side) of Riel Drive.

Are there change rooms?

We have washrooms that can be used to change in.  There is one on the main level as well as four additional washrooms on the upper level.

Am I allowed to watch my child’s class?

Yes, you are welcome to watch any of our classes with the following conditions in mind:

– Only AGF registered members are allowed in the gym area (whether using the equipment or not) due to insurance regulations. Only parents/guardians in the Parent & Tot classes or Family Drop-In are registered and insured.

– Spectators are allowed to view from the upstairs mezzanine only. The mezzanine provides the best vantage point for you to observe your child’s class on each of the events without unduly distracting the participants. Our lobby is for drop-off and pick-up only as building safety regulations require us to keep it clear during classes.

– With respect to other spectators, please limit cell phone conversations while viewing classes. Also note that sound travels in both directions, if you can hear what is said in the gym area, the gymnasts and coaches can hear what is said in the mezzanine. Please keep voices low and your language appropriate.

– Calling out or trying to speak to your child during class is not permitted. It distracts them (and other participants and coaches) from the learning process and can be a safety issue. If your child needs your help, a coach or staff member will contact you.

Do I have to stay to watch my child?

You are not required to stay to watch your children during their class.  We do ask that you ensure your child is picked up shortly after class is finished.  Additional children (under the age of 12) who want to stay and watch, must have a parent present.

Are the instructors certified?

All our “coaches” have been trained under the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and certified by the Alberta Gymnastics Federation. They are also required to take the Respect In Sport Activity Leader course, the NCCP Active Start course (specific to teaching preschool children). In addition, our club requires our staff members to submit a Criminal Records Check/Vulnerable Sectors Check.  All our “coaches-in-training” (C-I-Ts) are in the process of being trained, taking their required NCCP courses or have completed their courses and are fulfilling their required practical hours and completing their portfolios.

What skills will my child learn?

Participants will be introduced to and taught age and level appropriate gymnastics skills based on, but not limited to, the CanGym Badge Program and the Junior Olympic Program. This includes development of overall strength, flexibility, skill recognition by name and basic to advanced skills on each apparatus. What specific gymnastic skills each individual participant will learn is dependent on their individual ability, effort, focus and commitment both in class and at home.

Should my child attend if he/she is sick?

For your child’s well-being, as well as the well-being of our other members and staff, please keep your child at home if they are displaying any symptoms of illness.

Can I expect my child to complete a new level every session?

No. Gymnastics is a highly individualized sport which becomes progressively more difficult as they move through the levels. It is important that the children achieve competence in each requirement before moving onto a new level. It is common for recreational participants to take 2 or more sessions to complete a level and competitive gymnasts to participate in the same level for more than a year or two. Each child’s ability, effort and attendance is unique and so is their rate of progress. When a child is recommended for the same level more than once, it does not indicate a lack of progress or ‘failure’, it simply indicates that they will benefit from more time spent mastering certain actions or behaviours.

Why are there children of different ages in each group/class?

While we do our best to group children as close in age as possible, our regular session CanGym (badge),Tumbling and Advanced Recreational programs are based on ability development not age. It is preferable to group participants according to their skill level in order to give them the best opportunity to progress appropriately at their own rate.

Can I register my child in more than one class per session?

Certainly!

Is there anything I can do to become a more involved member of SAGC?

Yes there is! We have opportunities throughout the year for parents to take a more active role in our club. Check postings at the gym for assistance needed at Bingos, Casinos and advertising or for member contests. Also feel free to contact us if you have a special talent, ability or connection you think could be beneficial to the club, our staff and/or the participants.

My child can spend up to 15 minutes of her 1 hour recreational class doing only conditioning and stretching type activities. I put her in gymnastics to learn gymnastics, why is time being wasted not learning gymnastic skills?

Conditioning, stretching, practicing body positions IS gymnastics. Participants must develop their physical abilities in these areas in order to attempt and master gymnastic skills. Without dedicated time to this type of preparation, gymnasts’ minds and bodies are not ready and attempting skills would be unsafe and risk injury. This applies to participants of all ages and levels.

If I put my child into more than once class a week to help them progress faster, when will they be able to join the competitive program?

First we have to understand that there is no set timeline for any gymnast when it comes to progress. Each gymnast, whether recreational or competitive only progress as fast as their work ethic, time and their physical and mental capacity will allow. Attendance, attention to instructions, growth patterns and situations outside of the gym also affect an individual’s rate of progress. Second, moving into the competitive program at any point is not guaranteed simply because a child has reached a certain level in the recreational program (refer to FAQ #1 under “Competitive”).

What do the kids do during a birthday party?

Birthday parties are 2 hours in length. The first hour is spent on the floor with a certified coach and assistant to ensure that everything runs safely and smoothly. The second hour is spent in one of our party rooms that are equipped with a fridge, microwave, tables and chairs.Birthday party participants will get to experience the world of gymnastics through exciting and motivating gymnastic skills. One of our NCCP certified coaches will be sure to set up the gym for age appropriate games, relays, playing with the parachute, skill execution or other exciting activities!

If my child is sick or misses a class due to other commitments, can they make it up in another class/time?

Although we appreciate the disappointment associated with missing classes, unfortunately, we cannot offer make up classes for children who miss their regular scheduled classes.  Given that all our classes are full and the frequency of absences (especially during cold and flu season), it is simply not feasible.

To whom do I address my compliments or concerns?

Please forward any compliments or concerns to office@stalbertgymnastics.com.  It will then be forwarded to the appropriate person, who will in turn, contact you regarding the matter at hand.

Are there classes during the summer?

Our Spring session ends during June, and we host summer camps during the months of July & August.  Classes will start again in the fall (September).

Competitive:

I can’t find competitive gymnastics classes listed for online registration. Why?

Pre-competitive and competitive gymnastics programs are very specialized and not for everyone. Gymnasts who may be considered for entrance into these programs must demonstrate certain physical and mental attributes necessary for potential success in these intensive programs. 99.9% of pre-competitive and competitive gymnasts invited to enter these programs do so as a result of their previous recreational coach’s recommendation followed up by an assessment/assessments by a competitive coach/head coach.

My child loves gymnastics. How do I get them into a competitive program?

Loving a sport is the key to a child’s happy and successful participation. Enjoying being active and gaining confidence, while learning physical, mental and social skills, is the definition of success in sport. However, love, enjoyment and desire alone do not mean they are well-suited to competitive gymnastics.

My child has never taken any lessons but they are always jumping and rolling around the house. I would like to register them in competitive gymnastics

It’s always great to hear of children who enjoy gymnastic-related activities. Our staff will happily help you navigate class options so your child can develop their interests and abilities. However, without appropriate prior experience and instruction, we cannot consider them for the competitive program. A child may spend a lot of time at home in the bathtub but that does not mean they are ready to join the competitive swim team ;-).

How often do your pre-competitive and competitive gymnasts train?

Depending on age and level, they train between 5 and 16 hours a week.

What if my child has been invited to register for pre-competitive gymnastics but I only want her to do one session?

Our recreational program is divided into three different 11-14 week sessions (fall, winter, spring). Gymnasts may register for 1, 2 or all 3 sessions as well as 1 or more of our week-long summer camps throughout the summer. The pre-competitive program requires gymnasts to commit to a full season – September to June inclusive – as well as some training during the summer months. If a child and their family cannot commit to a full season of training, they are ineligible to become pre-competitive team members.

If my child does not or will not possess the abilities to move up to a pre-competitive or competitive level, why should they continue taking classes? They love it but is it really worth it?

The benefits of any type of regular physical activity have been well proven and the benefits directly related to gymnastics are numerous – physically, mentally and emotionally. But let’s look at that question from a slightly different angle … Is a child enrolled in swimming lessons with the expectation that they will become part of a competitive swim team? Are piano lessons of value only if they are going to result in the child playing a complex composition on stage? Children pursue activities they are interested in for their own enjoyment, to gain knowledge and experience and to gain competence and confidence. A child who feels unconditionally supported in their pursuit of recreational activities is happier, healthier and more likely to remain involved in the activity long-term. So, is it worth it? Absolutely!

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