Russian ace to help local talent | SASCOC - SASCOC

Russian ace to help local talent

A young Russian choreographer arrives in South Africa next week to spend a month with Golden lions Gymnastics in Johannesburg to assist South Africa’s top gymnasts prepare for the 2010 World championships.

Ekaterina Kalinina comes from Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania. ÔÇ£At the moment it is minus 19 degrees Centigrade here and I can’t wait to experience South Africa’s summer weather,ÔÇØ she says.

She was invited to work with Matome Tshishonga and Natalie Friesling and will also assist the club’s junior gymnasts, Claudia Havenga, Larine Louw, Malik Baaitjies and Emilio Abro with their choreography for the July event which will take place in Poland.

SASCOC president Gideon Sam says that more federations should follow the lead and invite overseas coaches and other technical people to South Africa. ÔÇ£We need to bring in experts with skills to assist us and we need to assist and support our federations,ÔÇØ Sam said. ÔÇ£Kalinina will not only work with gymnasts, but she will also assist local choreographers to improve their skills,ÔÇØ he says.

In 2004 Golden Lions Gymnastics also imported a Russian coach and a choreographer who prepared Monique Steglen and Jolien Dreyer before the duo won the world gold medal in the 11 ÔÇô 16 women’s pairs section of that year’s┬áevent which was held in France.