top title

Ever wonder how our staff got their start in the sport of Gymnastics? Here’s how……

Coach Russ Sands

Coach Russ got his start in the sport of Gymnastics in Jr. High as a member of his school’s Tumbling Performance team. Russ has been coaching Gymnastics for over ten years where he has worked with boys and girls starting in the recreational classes and as high as Level 8 in both the boys and girls competitive program. Coach Russ is a father of a former Level 7 Gymnast and is very proud to be a member of our YMCA Gymnastics Family.

Gymnastics Certification:

  • CPR Certified
  • American Red Cross: First Aid Certified
  • USAG Professional Member
  • U101: Safety & Risk Management Certification

_____________________

Coach Rachel Proto

Coach Rachel started Gymnastics at the age of 4 and started competing at the age of 6. Rachel’s competitive career ended at Level 9 where she started her coaching career in 2002. During her 14 years of coaching experience Rachel was the Head Coach for a local Xcel team and once she moved to Indiana she was the Head Coach for the competitive team of a private club. As an Assistant Gymnastics Director at the Fishers YMCA in Indiana, Rachel has run a number of spotting clinics, helped organize events for the Gymnastics and Dance department, became an E2 Team Member, and worked with athletes as high as Level 9. While living in Indiana, the home of the USA Gymnastics Headquarters, Rachel volunteered at many events and took many courses through the USAG as well as completed her Level 4-5 Judging Credentialing. We are excited to welcome Rachel to the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs.

Gymnastics Certification:

  • CPR Certified
  • American Red Cross: First Aid Certified
  • USAG Professional Member
  • USA Gymnastics University: Instructor Certification
  • School of Competitive Gymnastics: Women's Artistic Gymnastics: Junior Olympic Team Coach Certification
  • U100: Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction Certification- This course provides gymnastics professionals with a knowledge base of key principles and proven coaching techniques used in gymnastics today. The topics of this course are coaching principles, basic safety and risk management, communication, supervision and instruction, teaching gymnastics skills, athlete development and preparation.  U101: Safety & Risk Management Certified - The primary goal of this course is to increase safety and risk management awareness.

Judging rating
School of Judging: Women's 4/5 Rated

_____________________

Coach Cheri

Coach Cheri started her coaching career in 2001 under the guidance of Anna and Alan Hatch. Anna is the Olympic silver medalist for vault and her team also received the silver medal in the team finals at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. In addition to the USAG Congresses, Coach Cheri attends optional clinics annually. These clinics focus on drills, proper skill progressions, and spotting for athletes as high as Level 10. Along with a number of coaching credentials, Cheri has had over a decade of Gymnastics coaching experience. Coach Cheri is a Level 8 rated USAG Judge and is currently working on her Level 9 rating.  We are excited to have Coach Cheri as part of the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs team!

Gymnastics Certification:

  • CPR Certified
  • American Red Cross: First Aid Certified
  • USAG Professional Member
  • USA Gymnastics University: Instructor Certification
  • School of Competitive Gymnastics: Women's Artistic Gymnastics: Junior Olympic Team Coach Certification
  • 2002-2016 Regional Congress Attendee
  • U101: Safety & Risk Management Certified - The primary goal of this course is to increase safety and risk management awareness.
  • U100: Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction Certification- This course provide gymnastics professionals with a knowledge base of key principles and proven coaching techniques used in gymnastics today. The topics of this course are coaching principles, basic safety and risk management, communication, supervision and instruction, teaching gymnastics skills, athlete development and preparation. 

Judging rating

School of Judging: Women's 4/5 Rated

School of Judging: Women's 7/8 Rated

School of Judging: Women's 9 Practical

 _____________________

Coach Jamie-Lee
Gymnastics Director and Head Coach 

Coach Jamie-Lee comes from a Gymnastics family and has been involved in the sport of Gymnastics in some aspect for 26 years. Her first steps were in a Gymnastics Center in Cape Town, South Africa during a mom and tot class. Jamie-Lee competed as high as Level 8 and concluded her competition career after her senior year of High School.   At 16 years old she started working in the recreational program and once she turned 18 years old was promoted as a coach in a competitive team program under the direction of her father Brian Le Roux, South African Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee and USA Gymnastics National Instructor.

Jamie-Lee was the assistant coach for the Hamden, North Haven, and Branford High School Gymnastics Team and then soon after became the head coach of the women’s competitive program for a private gym in the New Haven area for 6 years before joining the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs. Along with 10 years of coaching experience  Jamie-Lee has attended many spotting clinics at private clubs around the state as well as completed one week of  training which included level 9 spotting and lectures by former Olympic Coach Abie Grossfeld at the International Gymnastics Camp in Pennsylvania. Jamie-Lee is looking forward to continuing the growth and success of the program.

Gymnastics Certification:

  • CPR Certified
  • American Red Cross: First Aid Certified
  • USAG Professional Member
  • USA Gymnastics University: Instructor Certification
  • National Junior Olympic Compulsory Workshop Attendee- Florida
  • U101: Safety & Risk Management Certified - The primary goal of this course is to increase safety and risk management awareness.
  • U100: Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction Certification- This course provide gymnastics professionals with a knowledge base of key principles and proven coaching techniques used in gymnastics today. The topics of this course are coaching principles, basic safety and risk management, communication, supervision and instruction, teaching gymnastics skills, athlete development and preparation.
  • Double- Goal Coach: Culture, Practice, and Games Certified- This course is designed to help coaches of all experience levels learn the key to success as a double-goal coach. Individuals gain the tools to create dynamic strategies and practices to get the most out of their athletes both as people and competitors before, during, and after the meet.
  • Double- Goal Coach: Developing Triple Threat Competitors Certified- This course enables coaches to help athletes deal with high pressure meet situations as well as motivating fellow teammates to give their best effort. Through this class coaches learn how to encourage athletes to improve themselves, their teammates, and game as a whole