Tuesday, September 29, 2015

SSE Next Generation Programme to Bring Young Athletes to the 2015 World Championships

Steve Frew, the first Scottish gold medallist at the Gymnastics Commonwealth Games, has collaborated with Irish young gymnast Rhys McClenaghan at the SSE Hydro to spread the news regarding the partnership between the SSE and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.

The announcement came after the ticket sales reached the 40,000 mark, with less than a month until the World Championships takes place on 23rd October

The SSE Next Generation programme, a four year partnership with SportsAid – a charity dedicated on helping young athletes to reach their full potential, started from SSE’s tier one sponsorship of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. There are 100 young athletes, including Rhys that is currently receiving financial assistance and professional coaching as a result of this programme.

SSE’s support for the upcoming Championships symbolizes the company’s commitment to resume its support for sport and the major competitions in Scotland.

Through the help of the partnership, athletes of various sports across the UK will be able to attend the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow to obtain invaluable experience of the unique pressures and competitive environment brought by a major top-class competition.  Aside from that, they can also take advantage of the insights and advices that will be coming from the senior athletes like Frew -- a two-time representative of the Great Britain at the World Gymnastics Championships.

“Being part of the SSE Next Generation programme has been a huge help to me in allowing me to go to more competitions and training camps, which have boosted my performances. The chance to come and experience a World Championships is a dream come true and it will just motivate me even more to pursue my dreams.”  Said young athlete Rhys McClenaghan

Steve Frew, a gymnast who took part in the 1995 and 1997 World Championships to represent Great Britain said “When you are a young athlete there is so much to keep on top of as you train and develop. Support from programmes like SSE Next Generation is invaluable and this partnership with the World Gymnastics Championships will give athletes the chance to see first-hand the unique and inspiring environment presented by one of the world’s biggest sporting events.” 

The competition has already hit a new record, as a record number of gymnasts from different countries are set to take part in the upcoming 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, which will also serve as a stepping stone to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
An impressive amount of athletes – 615 gymnasts from 91 different countries have agreed to participate in the said event, which is currently the largest-selling artistic gymnastics event that was hosted in the country.
This upcoming World Gymnastics Championships, which will begin on 23rd of October until November 1, is by far one of the world’s biggest single-sport events, which will feature Glasgow to a broader global audience compared to the Commonwealth Games.

Acting Head of Sponsorship at SSE, Colin Banks, stated: “Following the Commonwealth Games in 2014 it was really important to us to continue to make a difference through our support of sport in the UK. We are therefore proud to be back in 2015 at  the World Gymnastics Championships, which will give a number of our SSE Next Generation athletes valuable experience and insight into a major event. 

“The Next Generation programme has a real athlete-focus, and our aim is to bring that to the Championships in October. With the world’s best competing for gold, and the added prize of a place at Rio 2016, the event promises to be an incredible occasion for participants and spectators alike.”

Former leader of Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson CBE said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome SSE Next Generation as an ‘Official Supporter’ to the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.
“SSE’s commitment to the development of young people through sport and major events very much mirror’s our own commitment to developing a legacy from hosting the World Championships and encouraging more young people to take up the sport of gymnastics as part of an active, healthy lifestyle. We look forward to working together over the next few months.”

Bianka Panova Academy is a training center that provides its students with various kinds of programs designed to teach its students the most fun and enjoyable way of learning gymnastics for kids. To get more of the latest news and useful information related to gymnastics, you could like and visit the Official Facebook Page of Bianka Panova Academy. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Does Training Through Pain Send Wrong Message To Kids?

In a physically-demanding sport like gymnastics, suffering from injuries, whether it’s a mild or a serious one, is just a common occurrence for the athletes. Usually, if we are injured or experiencing an unusual kind of pain, we do stop our normal activities and rest so that our bodies can have time to recover. However, this is not the case for the professional athletes.

For the elite gymnasts, performing even amidst of pain is just a normal part of their athletic journey. Most of them continue their training and even participate in competitions while suffering from damaged or dislocated bones, torn muscles and other kinds of injuries. Experts are wondering how these things affect the mentality of the young athletes.
There has been a huge growth in the number of gymnastics participants in the U.S. ever since the American gymnastics team Fierce Five made their way to the podium in the 2012 Summer Olympics. According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, there has been an 18 percent increase in the number of participants of the sport since 2009. However, parents should be aware of the risks that are associated in a sport that requires young children, before they even reach the age of ten, to perform 10-15 hours of training per week in the entire year.
“It's an amazing sport but it's also a demanding one," the owner of NYC Elite, Tina Ferriola stated. “Just like any other competitive sport, it can be injury-prone” she continued.

Risk of injury

According to a report that was published by the Center for Injury Research and Policy in Columbus, out of 3 million children participating in gymnastics, around 25,000 of them are treated in U.S emergency rooms every year due to injuries related to their involvement in the sport. That’s comparable with the injury rates from sports that require physical contact such as lacrosse and hockey.
Shoulder pain, wrist injury, and other pain associated with the upper body are the most commonly reported gymnastics-related injuries. Lower body injuries such as ankle, knee and spine injuries are also common. Some of these injuries are an unavoidable result of overuse. Some of them are caused by improper landing and other mistakes while performing a routine or a stunt.
Around 40 percent of these injuries happen inside the gym, and another 40 percent takes place during the school recreation programs. However, for emerging gymnasts that are aged 6-11 years old, sending them to a gymnastics school proved to be more beneficial in preventing further harm – as kids in this age group is more likely to be injured at home while they’re playing around and jumping off tables and bouncing on couches without the proper matting, equipment and supervision.

"When gymnastics is done properly, it looks daring but the athletes have actually been taught the basics of how to move their bodies safely," said Randy Nebel, a gymnastics coach at NYC Elite "A program where there's proper spotting and coaching undoubtedly saves a lot of kids from getting hurt."

The president of the National Athletic Trainers Association, Jim Thornton agreed, and he added that it is also critical for coaches to give more emphasis on balance and flexibility training, and give importance on overall conditioning."They might be sore after a workout and that's OK but they should never workout with pain that doesn't resolve within a few days," he stated.
He also said that parents should keep an eye out for coaches who are pushing kids too hard. "If a coach is telling your child to ignore the pain and keep going, that's a red flag," he said.

Pushy Parents

However, there are times where it’s the parents’ strong desire for success that leads their child at risk. Believing that their child might be the next gymnastics sensation, they encourage their young children to push themselves beyond their capabilities.

Rhonda Dixon, the owner of Excel Gymnastics, remembered a parent that wanted her child to move up the competitive ranks although her coaches think that the child wasn’t ready yet. "She had a terrible season. She was scared of the skills and cried a lot during practices. Meanwhile her mom was on the sidelines asking her why she couldn't do what the other girls were doing." Thankfully, not all parents are like that. However, when parents get out of hand, the Excel Gymnastics owner said that it’s the responsibility of the coach to remind these parents that safety is more important especially for kids that are that young.

As for the message that the elite gymnasts sends to emerging gymnasts, believing that training while injured is not only okay – its expected – they are not seeing the whole picture, and therefore must erase this kind of mindset.According to Nastia Lukin, an Olympic individual all-around champion, even the elite gymnasts take a break if the injury is serious enough and might cause long term damage.

"I've dealt with aches and pains and you certainly put them out of your mind during competition if they're not severe but it's so important to communicate to your coaches, your parents and your medical staff," she said. "If it's spotted early it can be taken care of. If it's really bad, you don't want to make it worse."

Get the most recent news and updates in connection with gymnastics by liking and visiting the Official Facebook Page of Bianka Panova Academy. Looking for a school that offers various kinds of classes and gymnastics for kids? Then you’re on the right path, Bianka Panova Academy is definitely the school for you!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Italian Rhythmic Group Looks Forward to 2016 Summer Olympics

After winning the gold medal at the 5 Ribbons event in Rhythmic Group Competition at the 34th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, the Italian group is more than motivated to move forward as they prepare for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“We will start to work immediately for the Olympic Games,” the team captain of Italian Group, Marta Pagnini said after the competition.
“We’ll have a rest of course, and then we’ll come back to grow as a team, because we are a very young team. Some girls are really new, so it’s important and necessary to grow together.” She continued.

Italy has been the most prominent country in the field of Group Rhythmic Gymnastics in the recent years, being successful at obtaining the Group All-around titles at the World Championships from 2009-2011. Additionally, the country has also won second in Group All-around event from 2013-2014.

In the 2015 World Championships held recently in Stuttgart, the Italians made some mistakes in their routine which kept them off the podium in the All-around competition. However, these things have not affected the persistence of the group to head into the event finals.  The Italian group (Pagnini, Martina Centofanti, Sofia Lodi, Alessia Maurelli, Camilla Patriarca and Andreea Stefanescu) performed last in the 5 Ribbons event, and the group used that as an opportunity to deliver a dramatic exercise, finishing with 17.900 points, the highest score in the said event.
"We knew that we deserved a medal," said Pagnini. "We worked a lot, and everyone said we had very good compositions. We expected a medal from this World Championships, and we are glad that we could do it."

Still invigorated by the 5 Ribbons victory, the Italian group managed to deliver a great routine with the Hoops and Clubs, almost getting the gold after finishing with a score of 18.100, 0.025 points lower compared to Russia.

The Italian team is still unsure whether to keep their old routines for the Olympics or improvise and develop new routines. "With the medals, maybe we will keep the same routines," Pagnini said. "It depends on our coach, of course."

Above all else, the most important thing is being able to stick as a team, said Pagnini, who, aside from Stefanescu, are the remaining Italian team members that took bronze in the 2012 Summer Olympics. "In Izmir (at the 2014 Worlds), we were a really, really new team," she said. "Some of the girls were really young, and we have a big gap in years between each other. It's not always easy to find the right feeling, but we're working on that."

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro from 6th to 21st of August, 2016. All of the gymnastics events will take place at the Arena Olimpica do Rio (Also known as the HSBC Arena.)
Stay in touch with the most recent news and updates in connection with gymnastics by liking and visiting the Official Facebook Page of Bianka Panova Academy. Looking for a school that offers dance classes and gymnasticsfor kids? Then you’re on the right path, Bianka Panova Academy is definitely the school for you! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Record Number of Gymnasts Registered to Compete for the 31st Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships in Odense

Record number of participants has registered to compete for the 31st Trampoline Gymnastics world Championships. The said competition will be held in Odense on November 26-29.

More than 300 athletes from 41 different countries are ready to compete in the said competition, and everyone is aiming to capture one of the 14 World titles that can be obtained in four different categories (Trampoline, Synchronised Trampoline, Double-mini Trampoline and Tumbling.)

With 11 weeks to go before the start of the World Championships, the competition draw, which will determine the competition structure of the qualification rounds, has taken place at the FIG Headquarters in Lausanne on Wednesday. The said competition draw was held in the presence of the Odense Organising Committee. The draw is important for delegations, as it will assist them to tweak their competition strategies.

For the gymnasts that are competing for the Trampoline discipline, the World Championship in Odense will also serve as their stepping stone on their way to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, with the first Olympic places in Trampoline to be attributed at the end of the competition. 
The record number of participants, 132 in the Individual Men’s competition and 87 in the Individual Women’s competition, shows a 30 percent upsurge in participation compared with last year’s Trampoline World Championships in Daytona Beach. 

The sudden increase in numbers signifies the flourishing appeal of the discipline, which made its Olympic debut in the year 2000.

This World Championships are also a significant event for gymnasts performing non-Olympic disciplines, as the championship is the sole qualifying competition for the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw.

As a host country, Denmark has claimed itself as the stronghold of Trampoline Gymnastics events. “After the 2001 World Championships, the 2008 European Championships and World Cups in 2011 and 2013, Odense will be welcoming the elite of the Trampoline world for the fifth time," the Presidents of the Danish Gymnastics Federation and the Worlds 2015 Organising Committee, Flemming Knudsen, stated.

Get more news and updates about gymnastics by visiting the different blog sites of Bianka Panova Academy. If you are looking for a school that teaches gymnastics for kids, then why don’t you check the official website of Bianka Panova Academy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How to Start Doing Gymnastics (Part 3)

This would be the third and the last part of this article. The fact that you have reached the last part of this article is an indication of your intense passion for this kind of sport. So, let us now proceed on discussing the last part of this article.



Don’t! Just don’t. Before doing any kind of intense workout, you need to warm-up and stretch your muscles first. Make sure that you include a set of warm-up and stretching exercises in your daily workout. Without doing so, you are risking of injuring yourself.

  • Always remember, warming up and stretching are two different things. It is often a mistake of some people to use stretching exercises as their “warm-up” exercise. However, you have to keep in mind that you should NEVER do stretching exercises while your muscles are cold, as doing so can lead to injuries. 
  • Always do cardio exercises such as walking in the treadmill or jumping jacks to warm your muscles up and prepare them for a more intense workout.


As a gymnast, you should be responsible to take note of your own progress. You should know what you can do and what you are not capable of doing. It is not a good idea to perform a backflip in front of many people on a hard surface if you haven’t mastered the skill yet. Do not be overconfident, as it might lead to serious trouble.


Gymnastics is not a kind of sport that you can master overnight. Don’t rush! You need to learn how to be realistic with your goals. It would be impossible for you to learn backflips on the first day and then master it on the next day. Becoming a champion doesn’t happen overnight, so you need to be patient!


Protective gears are made for – guess what? For your protection! You probably don’t want to injure yourself while trying to practice complicated types of tricks, do you?


Gymnastics is a physically-demanding sport, so in order to perform at your best; you need to take a good care of your body. You have to make sure that your body is getting all the nutrition it needs, as well as getting enough rest after a day of hardwork.

  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep. When you’re tired, it would be impossible for you to perform at your 100% capability.
  • Also, make sure that you are supplying your body with the proper amount of nutrition. Eat foods that contain a large amount of high-quality protein such as meat, fish, eggs and milk. You should also include lots of fruits and veggies in your diet in order for you to stay healthy. Remember, STAY AWAY from processed foods!

Being a gymnast sure is a challenging life to live, but it is also a fun and satisfying one. If you are really passionate with this kind of sport, the day will come; you will see yourself successful in the field of gymnastics. Isn’t it a nice thing to hear? :)

However, to be a great gymnast, you need to find a great school that can provide you with the most appropriate kind of training. Should you be looking for a school that teaches gymnastics for kids, you can try and visit Bianka Panova Academy :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How to Start Doing Gymnastics (Part 2)

As mentioned in the first part of this article, gymnastics is a sport that involves a lot of physical activities. It is one of the most fun kind of sport you can indulge yourself in.

Being on the second part of the article, I can assume that you are really interested to start doing gymnastics. So, brace yourself and let’s continue to discuss the things you need to do in order to get started with gymnastics.



As you make progress, it would just make sense if your instructor will encourage you to take your training to the next level. However, there might be times where you might feel that you’re not yet ready or you want to take it to a different direction.

The good news is you can actually tell your concerns to your coach. Don’t be afraid or shy that you might disappoint your coach if you disagree with his terms. Remember, in gymnastics, it is very important to be open with your coach. This kind of sport involves terrifying stunts, and you don’t want to see yourself doing back flips if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, right?


Aside from the standard cartwheel and handstand, one of the first skills that you will learn in a gymnastics class is bends. Bends is the foundation of countless other complicated yet exciting tricks. Without learning how to do bends, you probably won’t be able to do flips either. So it is very important to practice doing your bends every once in a while.


As you make progress, you will then proceed on doing different kinds of jump. When you combine jumps with bends, you will be able to do flips. That just means that you are moving to the next step of your gymnastics goals.


After getting used on doing jumps and bends, you are now ready to proceed on doing flips. Being able to do flips is the dream of every gymnast. This is where you will feel like you’re getting more and more advanced.

Before doing any kinds of flips, always make sure that you are being guided by your coach. Also, you should practice doing flips at the gym and make sure you have a spotter and a soft foam or cushion that you can land on. Once you get more advanced then you will be able to perform it in front of other people.


Once you have learned the basics of bends, flips and jumping, you can now start to do more advanced kind of tricks and stunts. You can also combine all the things that you have learned in order to perform a more complicated and impressive kinds of tricks.


Once you are advanced enough and are already confident with your gymnastics skills, then you are ready to compete with other gymnast. This is where you will further improve your gymnastics skills. You will also be able to show other gymnasts what you are made of. Let them know that you trained hard enough to be right where you are now!

Also, by competing, you will be able to show other people – gymnast or not, that nothing is impossible if you will just work hard for it.  You will be able to inspire other people that everyone is capable of achieving what they are dreaming for, if they are really passionate enough on trying to achieve it.

But wait, that’s not yet the end of the steps you need in order to get successful in the field of gymnastics. Stay tuned for the last part of this article (click this link: http://biankapanovaacademy.blogspot.com/2015/09/how-to-start-doing-gymnastics-part-3.html). By this time, you already know how fun and interesting gymnastics is. You might want to encourage your child, or a younger sibling to attend a school that teaches gymnastics for kids. If I am right, you can check Bianka Panova Academy out and see what we can offer for you :)