Friday, 1 April 2011

Welcome to the Girevoy Sport Australia Association Blog!

Hi & a warm welcome to the new blog of the Girevoy Sport Australia Association! 

Blogs are clearly the most accessible vehicles of communication these days and enable everyone to have their say.  We are keen to stimulate thought and action amongst the Australian kettlebell fraternity.  It is well known that “racing improves the breed” and thus a competitive approach to using kettlebells will surely bring out the best in our lifters and their coaches.

The GSAA was formed in 2007, and at the time it represented a personal dream, fuelled by a friendly directive from the legendary Ukrainian Girevik David Klenow whom I met in competition in Germany.  In 2007 kettlebell sport was in its infancy in theWest . A few sacrificial lambs, myself included, allowed ourselves to be humbled by the might of Russian and eastern European lifters in the knowledge that our experiences would ultimately benefit the development of the sport in our respective countries.

Being a new sport in Australia, and indeed not (yet) officially recognised by the Australian Sports Commission, the GSAA has been working to establish itself as a mother body of information, an evolving academy if you like, to empower groups of individuals to form clubs for the purpose of preparing lifters for competition. This is no simple task and being a not for profit organisation we rely on individuals to make sacrifices of time and money in order to obtain coaching qualifications, and prepare for, and travel to competitions.

Our mission is to gather information from a wide variety of sources, recognising that kettlebell sportsmen and women come in all shapes and sizes and from a wide variety of sports disciplines – or indeed off the gym street. This information must be comprehensive and contemporary, and early on it was apparent that the knowledge resided in the areas of expertise in lifting – in Russia and eastern Europe. These places have produced large numbers of highly performed lifters and coaches. The methods are effective and borne from extensive competition and gymnasium experience.

We are an official member organisation affiliated with the International Union of Kettlebell Lifting (IUKL) based in Latvia, and have benefited greatly from comprehensive kettlebell-oriented sports workshops conducted in Australia by Latvian multiple world champion, the very talented and charismatic Vasily Gingko. Two of our athletes have recognised the value in further training opportunities and in July will attend a special training camp in Latvia under Vasily’s tutelage.

In addition our hard working GSAA secretary & professional Girevoy sport athlete Jad Marinovic, owner of Kettlebell Athletica gym & ‘yours truly’, president of GSAA are traveling to Russia in May to gain additional insights from a group of Russia’s most renowned kettlebell athletes and coaches – the International Kettlebell Strength and Fitness Academy (IKSFA) – including names such as Rachinskiy, Rudnev, and Mishin - and the wonderful power juggler Oksana Nikifors!

Kettlebell sport in the countries of origin is highly developed and coaches are not only highly professional athletes, they are qualified academics at universities and sports institutes - specialising in kettlebell lifting sports.

There has been much confusion in the promotion of kettlebells in the West – various ‘styles’ merely represent marketing methods.  The GSAA does not buy into marketing; rather, we provide guidance and allow our coaches and athletes to choose methods which suit their personal circumstances.

We encourage all new & experienced lifters to dip their toes into competition!  Our competitions cater for all levels of ability and provide a great opportunity to pick up tips and inspiration for free!  Please visit our official website and in this blog enjoy the interviews, athlete profiles, stories, words of wisdom, pictures and videos we will provide for the education of all.  We look forward to your support and encouragement as we progress on our mission to develop the sport at all levels, for all ages and all budgets.

Paul Tucker
Founder and current President GSAA

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