This summer, 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…Edmonton Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics Association (ERSGA).
A bit of background…
ERSGA, formerly known as Edmonton Modern Rhythmic Gymnastics Association, is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1978. ERSGA is the only club in Alberta to have gymnasts represent Canada at World Championships (three different gymnasts), the World University Games, Four Continents, the Pan-American Games, Elite Canada, the Canadian National Championships, the Western Canadian Championships, provincial championships, and various invitationals. They have consistently earned top rankings within their respective categories, including selection to the Canadian National Team.
International level coach and Brevet Judge, Judit Berecz, was brought over from Hungry in 1990 to be the Head Coach at ERSGA as well as the Provincial Coach for Alberta. She has been a driving force behind the growth of high-performance rhythmic gymnastics in the province of Alberta.
What makes ERSGA unique?
The club is truly a family affair, Judit and her daughter Judy Martens, are the Head and Assistant Head Coaches at the club. They have a very good working relationship; their common goals and focus for each gymnast, as well as their mutual respect and admiration, has led to many amazing achievements. Many of their former gymnasts transition to coaching following their competitive careers to help inspire the next generation of gymnasts!
ERSGA is successful because it’s a ‘gymnastics’ family. The parents provide an amazing support system for the coaches and the club wouldn’t exist without the incredible work of the parents behind the scenes. This teamwork between parents and coaches all support the goal of bringing out the best from the child, from recreational up to international competitive.
Gymnastics isn’t the only thing on their minds. The coaches work hard to provide a safe place to develop skills, model strong women in all-female sport, and help their gymnasts develop life skills like: self-confidence, respect, hard work ethic, how to deal with stress and anxiety while performing under pressure, how to stay healthy and fit, and how to work towards a goal.
Performances in community events like Edmonton’s Festival of Trees, demonstrations in schools and professional sporting events, and Chinese New Year are among some of the highlights for many gymnasts, coaches and parents.
What are your club’s best qualities?
The philosophy of the the club is to reveal the personal qualities of each gymnast and to contribute to her athletic and emotional growth. ERSGA has a rich history of community involvement, development, and excellence, molding strong young women into society, raising leaders and role models among peers. Preparing, regular training, and performing at competitions and events helped gymnasts to shape their identities and engage in leadership skills. Travel and training have helped shape gymnasts’ worldviews, and develop essential life skills like responsibility, accuracy, and competency while embracing success, discipline, and independence.
What will be exciting about the 2021-22 season?
After a difficult season of online training and adjustments to keep their competitive and recreational gymnasts safe and healthy during the pandemic, ERSGA is optimistic about their upcoming season.
They are implementing a new initiative to make the sport of RG accessible and inclusive, by removing barriers to participation for underrepresented/vulnerable populations.
In 2020, ERSGA became a member of the Edmonton Sport Council with the goal of increasing awareness of rhythmic gymnastics and support its core values that physical activity should be accessible, participant-centred, equitable, and fair.
If you are interested in learning more about ERSGA programs and activities, you can find them:
On their website www.ersga.ca
And social media pages
Or watch a short documentary about Edmonton Rhythmics here: