This fall, we asked our Alberta clubs to tell us a bit about themselves – what makes them unique, what are their best qualities, how they got started, and what’s new and exciting about this season for them. Each week (or two), we’ll highlight one club from around the province.
This week, let’s get to know a bit more about…Ad Astra Athletic Academy.
A bit of background…
Ad Astra began in August 2020, during the COVID pandemic. At that time, the coaches and gymnasts chose to part ways with their previous gym setting and form an independent club to enable their athletes and coaches to continue with the sport they love.
The club’s motto "per aspera ad astra" means "through hardship to the stars". Given the challenges of starting a new club during a pandemic, the motto seemed like the right name for the time!
What makes Ad Astra unique?
Ad Astra values open communication in a friendly and caring environment with a strong focus on individual development in a fun way. Their commitment to each athlete is shown through quality programming, which centres around each athlete’s needs.
Online training, during lockdowns, provided numerous opportunities for the team to stay connected. They socialized and explored their creative sides with crafts, learning various dances, and participating in multiple workshops with clubs from other provinces and countries. Connecting with other clubs to build new friendships with other clubs is an integral part of what makes Ad Astra special!
Although last season saw the cancelation of all in-person competitions, Ad Astra continued to inspire their athletes to challenge themselves to achieve new goals by participating in virtual (online) competition opportunities, both nationally and internationally.
What are your club’s best qualities?
Ad Astra is one big gymnastics family! They build connections and caring relationships among all their team members – from the youngest beginners through to their senior national stream gymnasts. Everyone is valued as a whole person, not just as a gymnast.
Their coaching team has almost 40 years of experience, with three of their coaches certified to coach at the national level (NCCP 3). Ad Astra also has three provincial and one national level judges.
Aged like a fine wine, Ad Astra’s coaches and judges are life-long participants in rhythmics – some continue to train as gymnasts as part of their RG Ladies Group!
What will be exciting about the 2021-22 season?
Ad Astra coaches and gymnasts are excited to be back to in-person training, hearing the halls filled with joy and laughter! This season, Ad Astra’s very first Gymnaestrada team is planning to participate in the Alberta Provincial and Canadian National Gymnaestradas!
For now, their focus is on developing their competitive programs, from Interclub XCEL and LEAP to Provincial, Regional, and National Stream. Although they are not currently offering recreational or pre-competitive classes for children, they have ambitious plans to grow these and other sport programs over the next few years.
And, as always, their Ladies Group is looking forward to socializing, training, performing and pretty much just having a great time doing gymnastics together.
If you are interested in learning more about Ad Astra’s programs and activities, you can find them:
On their website adastra-academy.ca (under construction)
And social media pages