By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator

Karly Miller, Executive Director and Technical Director at the Manitoba Gymnastics Association, is no stranger to applying for grants. Over the years, she has applied to and received the Grey Cup Legacy Grant, Summer Games Legacy Grant, Coach and Officials Assistance Grants, Special Initiatives Grant, and Tourism Grants (event hosting), to name a few.

Some grants like the Canada Summer Games Legacy Fund help to fund new equipment expenditures, which has helped her organizations grow the number of programs within the province as well as provide competition opportunities for athletes. Others are more focused on helping athletes and coaches develop their skills.

“Grants are so important as they allow organizations to grow and improve themselves without putting the cost back on the participants,” she says. “Grants also help coaches further their professional development, whether it be National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) or non-NCCP training.”


Development Camps

This year, Karly applied for and received the Grey Cup Legacy Grant, which was used to run Women’s Level 2-4 Developmental Camps, bringing together athletes and coaches from all over the province. 

“The content of the camps focuses on the needs of the coaches working with the Canadian Competitive Program (CCP) Level 3-4 gymnasts,” she says. “CCP Levels 3-4 are the first levels of competition for the gymnasts, so it is vital that gymnasts at this level are taught the basic skills correctly as all other skills will develop from this base.” 

In the Gymnastics Canada Long Term Athlete Development Model, these gymnasts are in the Train to Train – Developing Talent Stage: Specialization in a Gym Discipline. All key gymnastics skills should be well-established during this stage and specific skills will be developed. This year’s camp was specifically designed for those gymnasts preparing for the 2022-2023 CCP Level 3-4 competitive season. 

“The main emphasis of our camp this year was the acquisition of skills and the physical preparation needed to perform those skills with confidence,” says Karly. “The coaches experienced hands-on work with all levels of gymnasts and engaged in various discussions on technique and skill development.”

The camp ran from August 5-7, 2023 and included three training sessions for the athletes and clubs, an evening coach workshop, camp awards, and a participant gift. Participants came from Birtle, Selkirk, Winnipeg, Grandview, Cooks Creek, Portage, Steinbach and Neepawa for a total of 38 athletes, 10 coaches, and eight Master Coaches.



Helping Coaches Succeed

This was the first year of a CCP 3-4 program in the next cycle, which is why it was important for coaches to learn drills and progressions to get the best results for their athletes. Karly says they wouldn’t have been able to put on a camp like this without the support of grant money, as it allowed them to provide financial assistance to coaches who experienced higher travel costs, to help pay Master Coaches and assisted with facility rental fees.

“It is a great confidence builder for coaches as we are learning new drills. Everyone feels comfortable and free to ask questions,“ says camp participant Laura Ealing. “It’s a great way to keep in touch with the community while learning new drills. All the clubs that attend always leave with a positive outlook for the year.”

Sport Manitoba offers a wide range of grants that emphasize training and skill development to facilitate the growth of athletes, coaches, officials, and volunteers across the province. Get more info on our grants and funding opportunities by visiting our website.