From the start the staff and our pole vaulters knew that the club and the athletes that joined us are a family made up of kids from all over the area. Late October of 2014 we all started the gymnastics program together for the first time, journeying into a new frontier for us all. Many athletes from all over Southern California joined us and we had some great times laughing and learning as the days went by. We went on road trips, had parties, worked our booties off, had guests, competed and more.
The following eight months would be a journey and a wonderful opportunity to gain much needed experience for the kids. For some that journey is still going on with Karlly Feng and Ryan Polakiewicz moving on to the CIF Masters meet this Friday in Cerritos, California.
In November we held our first annual Turkey Vault and athletes came from around the area and San Diego to enjoy some pre-season fun! We feel that these types of events keep the kids active and give them the extra time that they need to prepare for the upcoming season and knock the cob webs off. We had college kids, masters and more come out and join the fun.
In December we kicked the club in gear to get ready for the trip to Reno Pole Vault Summit 2015 in January. We planned the trip and we took around 16 Kids to this event and they had a blast! Many of them made their first ever trip to the pole vault mecca and met some of their favorite elite pole vaulters and made new friends. Coach Garcia helped plan and orchestrated a large part of this event and the kids enjoyed his trust and leadership to make this event possible. We know that the athletes had the best time ever and will be there when we make the trip again next year.
Some of our athletes took video for the Olympic Gold Medalist Renaud Lavillenie, and others we able to go onto the floor and take video and watch some of the best pole vaulters in the world make their mark in front of the Pole Vault Summit Crowd. The day before the elite meet the club watched the elites practice and get some drone footage before the Friday night competition.
The buzz and the excitement of the pole vault summit started us out on the right foot for 2015. After the summit we continued our pole vault gymnastics and started our training session for the new year. Invitationals were the name of the game and we had quite a few at Great Oak High School and others. We were very blessed to see some of the best athletes in Southern California come through our doors and pick up a pole or utilize the rings at the gymnastics facility.
Putting a group of coaches together is key when you have so many athletes come through the door. Coach Derek Bouma, Andrew Lotig, Ryan Garcia, Mark Brown and Doug Bouma all contributed to the effort for developing these young athletes into better pole vaulters. We knew from the start that all the kids needed was a place to get the job done and some guidance along the way. Hard work, sweat and motivation was placed into the mold and in return we saw some great pole vaulting in the Temecula Valley.
Spring break was a time to build up strength, condition and bring a pole vaulting friend in from Bloomington, Illinois to pole vault and work out with the club. Kassadee Ifft from the Flying Dragons Club in Illinois visited and instantly made a lasting relationship with the kids. We had a spring break to remember and hope that she comes and works out with us again soon.
The long story short is the basic understanding that you have to stay active as a young pole vaulter. Never pass up the opportunity to work with all levels of vaulters and coaches to get where you need to be. When the opportunity presents itself, take that opportunity and run with it no matter how tired you may be. Jump higher and run faster each and every day and in the long run you have something to look back at and be proud of.Doug Bouma
Executive Director Vaulter Magazine – Vaulter Club Inc.