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Crushin’ Congress and the Cotton Candy Cush!

20190810_132410Summertime is when the rubber hits the road for Mike and Kappy and the intrepid GMR team!

Since April, Mike and Kappy will have been to Alachua, FL for the Region 8 championships; (very) Hotlanta for the Region 8 mini-congress; Kansas City Missouri for the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show and out to Austin, Texas for the Gymnastics Association of Texas annual convention. 40 years in the business and they’ve still got it!

And, it’s soon to be coming to a southeastern gymnastics meet near you!

The national gymnastics congress is a big deal in gymnastics world. Gymnasts, coaches, parents gymnastics gym and club owners plus gymnastics industry apparel and equipment sellers come from the four corners of the US — and even sometimes from places further flung — to converge and converse in gymnastics. Clinics and classes on everything from business to body bio-mechanics are the main reasons gymnastics community folks come to Congress. Aside from those, there’s a chance to talk gym design and equipment with vendors, build relationships and maybe catch a selfie with an Olympian like Laurie Hernandez, if you’re really lucky and you wait in the huge line.

Also, there’s usually a massive, national gymnastics championship to attend. This year, it was the US National Championships which help shape the US national gymnastics team for the ultimate goal and challenge, The Olympic Games.

20190808_144459Mike and Kappy, Patty and Grant usually spend most of their time tucked away in the trade show hall. And, they always bring some of the best schwag – as no good trade show or gymnastics congress is complete without its share of odd gymnastics stuff to lug home. Pens, thumb drives, pads, water bottles… or if you’re cool like Mike and Kappy… Cotton Candy!

That’s right! 2019’s cool/weird schwag award goes to Ten-o/ByGMR for their new mat themed cotton candy give-away!

To score your cotton candy, you had to “Sqush the Cush”! (Seriously, this is so Kappy!) It’s a good excuse to give sugary goodness to the people and it’s a great way to tie in the softness of GMR’s new skill cushion mat. The Cotton Candy Cush That Gives the Sweet Landing!

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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.

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Another, USA Gymnastics Congress on the books!

2 and big grip.jpg

USA Gymnastics Congress 2018: a resounding success!

Unlike most years, there were no national championships attached to the convention this go’ round. That made for a little less traffic by the booth. What it missed in quantity, it made up for in quality, as people were more leisurely in their time to chat.

Talking to coaches and customers, gymnasts, judges and parents is where the heart of congress lies, for us. It’s our chance to connect. It gives us an opportunity to take the pulse of the gymnastics community writ large. We answer questions about equipment, grips, gym club, pit design… You name it! We listen to your concerns and take them back to HQ where we spend the year tailoring our offerings to meet your needs.

This year, we even got to meet a service pig! Next to the crop of Olympic gymnasts, Bacon was the second brightest star! Isn’t he adorable?!

bacon whole bacon face

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More Region 8 Goodness!

Grips and ChalkOur intrepid By GMR owner-operators, Mike and Kappy will be making another Region 8-oriented trek northward!

June 8 – 10th marks the weekend of Region 8’s Mini-Congress! For the southeastern gymnastics professional, it’s the regional version of the USA Gymnastics’ National Congress and Trade Show that gathers attendees from all over the United States. In the industry, it goes by the moniker “Congress”, sort of like Madonna or Cher, but better on beam.

Not everyone in the gymnastics community can afford the time or money to travel across the country, stay in a hotel and get the big Congress experience. If you can swing it, it’s a great time! There are seminars, workshops and clinics that cover the gamut of subjects of ardent interest to the community: coaching techniques, bio-mechanics, fundraising, sports psychology, rec programs, gym insurance and liability, child safety, gym management… you name it!

If attending a national Congress isn’t an option for you, a mini-congress held in your region makes for a wonderful opportunity to connect with other gymnastics community professionals, attend seminars and see what’s available from gymnastics industry vendors like By GMR and Ten-o!

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