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Region 8 Mini-Congress: Living La Vida Local!

IMG951503001Mike and Kappy attended the Region 8 Mini-Congress that was held in Atlanta this past June 28 – 30. If you’re not familiar with Congress or a Mini-Congress (where have you been?!), it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the gymnastics industry plus meet a lot of important industry vendors (GMR *hint hint*).

If we’re talking the National Congress or Congress, as it’s called, then you might just run into some gymnastics Olympic luminaries or see a major US Gymnastics competition. This year National Congress will be held in Kansas City, Missouri, August 9 – 11. Alongside, the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show (it’s super official, formal title) will be the 2019 United States National Championships. Attendees to Congress, are able to purchase these tickets at a reduced rate. Pretty sweet!

But we digress…

What happens at a regional mini-congress? A regional mini-congress is a great opportunity for folks of a particular geographic region to get together to teach and learn how to coach gymnastics, run a gym, run a meet and meet gymnastics industry vendors. The best part is that it’s within a modest driving distance because it’s always held within your gymnastics region or localized clumping of states. And, the entry fees are a bit cheaper.

For struggling gym clubs, that’s a big deal because its a lot easier for gym owners to bring more people to a location that’s closer to them for less money.

Mike and Kappy got lucky this year as the 2019  was held in Atlanta at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia which is only a little over 25 miles from GMR’s Lithonia HQ. That’s about 45 minutes, if the Atlanta Traffic Gods are being really nice.

20190618_105601This year Mike and Kappy saddled up the new GMR Trailer for its maiden voyage! Check out the fancy new wrap! Mike and Kappy hope to fire it up frequently and make it to more of your region 8 gymnastics meets. Besides price and proximity, mini-congress is a great opportunity for gymnastics coaches, gym club owners and devoted parents to connect.

The same goes for gymnastics equipment vendors like Mike and Kappy who love the sport and who have lived and breathed it for the last 40 years. Mini-Congress brings people together on a smaller scale, at a smaller venue which allows for more opportunities to connect and learn from each other at a deeper, more personal level. The event is much less overwhelming, so you really get to talk and important for Mike and Kappy: listen.

Mike and Kappy love to hear what’s important to you in your gym. They want to know: what improvements you’d like to see from your vendors; be they something small like more colors in apparel, different shapes in gymnastics landing mats, greater variety in accessories for your pre-school or special needs gymnastics classes or technological and safety innovations at the macro gym equipment level. When it comes to your concerns, Mike and Kappy are all ears.

Plus, Mike loves to get out there and dust off his coaching skills to dole out pointers to young gymnasts. He spent more than 15 years coaching and he still misses it.

Furthermore, when you see the GMR Trailer at mini-congress or at a gymnastics meet near you, you know that Mike and Kappy brought goodies!

This year, Mike and Kappy brought quite a few new products to debut at Mini-Congress. We’ll talk more about them in future blog posts, but here are a few highlights to give you a taste…

Rockys-Roly-Poly-Backhandspring-Trainer_rp_R_24def103Rocky’s Roly Poly or the Ro-Po as we call it around the office. Rocky’s Roly Poly is a funny shaped mat, when viewed from the side it looks a bit like a capital G. GMR! GMR!

The reason it takes on this unusual shape is to assist your budding gymnasts in training the correct mechanics of back handsprings. The Roly Poly trainer helps by giving support once proper “push back” and “reach” happen. It doesn’t do the work for them, it supports your gymnasts as they gain muscle memory. Once the gymnast has completed their back handspring snap-down, the Roly Poly mat snaps back to its original position. Neat, huh?

Also on deck, was the Air Lift Board Vaulting Trainer. It features a lower approach height and longer take-off zone while still meeting FIG heigh specifications as a regulation vaulting board. What sets Air Lift Board apart is that it offers extra bracing to prevent the wobble you get with other industry boards. Plus, you gotta love the new wheel design that makes it easy to move it where you need it and move it out of the way, when you don’t.

For the little ones, Mike and Kappy brought the Little Stars Vault Board. For aspiring Olympians under 50lbs., this board measures 20” x 30”. The shorter length is great for preschoolers who will love the star studded cover!

Of course, what bounces up, always comes down. Why not make it a cotton candy soft landing with our new Cotton Candy Cush mat? The one we took to Mini-Congress was baby blue, but the new one will be pink, just like Cotton Candy! It’s super soft, many washed, denim covering is both durable and flexible with the addition of a 2% spandex to sweeten the landing. It’s designed for use on top of a firmer mat or in a foam pit. Think of it as kind of like the pillow top on a mattress.

What else did we bring? We brought so much stuff! Buying it straight out of the GMR Trailer at a Congress or a local meet means you don’t have to pay shipping!

TenSport-Double-Buckle-Slant-Strap-Uneven-Bar-Grips-FREE-SHIPPING_g814_R_24ef0023Ahhh, yes. We listened when you said you wanted more double buckle gymnastics grip styles. We sold a lot of the new Women’s 501 Blues Double Buckle Grip and our new Double Buckle Tensport. The Tensport has the same features as the Swiss Reisport with the benefits of our easy break-in 501 blues leather at 20% less price-wise than the reisport. Double your buckle, double your fun!

Speaking of fun, no one has more fun in a gymnastics club class than the little ones. They’re learning basic, foundational skills; they’re learning coordination; they’re learning to socialize in groups and take direction. They’re young gymnasts who are also learning life. A quick and easy way to keep them smiling and focused is to augment your pre-school class coaching with our Poly Pads that come in primary colors in tons of fun shapes. Frogs, sharks, stars, hands and feet, smilies, arrows, signs that say stop, slow and go, all get the headed in the right direction!

The GMR Trailer is always packed full of goodies at special pricing! Coming to a local meet near you!

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