From Nov. 13-17, 42 Pan American and U.S. athletes and 39 coaches from 17 countries participated in a rhythmic gymnastics Pan American Sports Organization’s Coaches’ Course and Pan American development camp. A cooperative effort of the PASO, the United States Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and the Pan American Gymnastics Union, the goal was to educate and inspire both new and experienced rhythmic coaches in body and apparatus technique, strength and conditioning methodology, the Code of Points, choreography, and the discipline’s structure within PAGU.

Organized by U.S. Rhythmic Program Director and International Gymnastics Federation Technical Committee member Caroline Hunt, the course’s six-person staff included: Yana Arintseva of Russia, coach of Olympic and World group champions; 2012 Olympic bronze-medalist Liubov Charkashyna of Belarus, who is the FIG athlete representative for rhythmic gymnastics; Paula Gergo of Argentina, president of PAGU’s Rhythmic Technical Committee; Lana Lashoff, the USA’s development squad coordinator; Sonya Yankova, the U.S. Team ballet instructor; and Amanda Scully, the U.S. Team’s physical therapist.

More than 40 hours of practical video footage, with commentary in both English and Spanish, will be available online for all participants and their federations. Coaches were awarded diplomas at the conclusion of the course by the USOC’s Dragomir Cioroslan and legendary coach Bela Karolyi.

The coaches receiving coaching diplomas were: Maday Bauza (Bolivia); Camila Ferenzin (Brazil); Camille Martens (Canada); Marcela Ramirez (Chile); Marta Pardo (Colombia); Marcela Sanchez (Colombia); Natalia Brenes (Costa Rica); Nely Ochoa (Cuba); Adriana Stonescu (Ecuador); Ada Mijango (El Salvador); Iliana de Rivas (El Salvador); Gerardo Villareal (Mexico); Kiara Gonzalez (Panama); Ada Hermosa (Paraguay); Isabel Collas (Peru); Elena Volyents (Puerto Rico); Catherine Cortez (Venezuela); and Irina Polychenko, Anna Loescher, Marina Eremenko, Varduhi Nahapetyan, Pilar Munoz, Ann Colister, Nataliya Greenberg and Tatiana Kartseva (USA).