About Mastergym – The Gym of Champions
The Masters Gymnasts Club, in cooperation with Gym Masters Gymnasts Club, offers coaching in trampoline gymnastics and high performance coaching in acrobatic gymnastics as a sport and health program in East Gauteng for youngsters from different backgrounds. In addition to coaching, the head coaches, Dmitry and Alexander Demianenko, are experienced judges in the trampoline and acrobatic gymnastic discipline. These clubs were established on the achievements of the gymnastics programs developed by Dr Yuri Demianenko for the Gym Masters Club.
Yuri was invited to South Africa to assist in developing different forms of gymnastics in the region. As a former gymnast competing at the highest level of competition in the USSR, Yuri brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to South African Gymnastics. As a gymnast, he was the first acrobatic gymnast in the world to perform the “Forder 360” element in a men’s pair and was awarded the trophy for the “Most difficult and original competition program” which was presented by astronaut Vladislav Volkov, the president of Acrobatic Sport of USSR. In addition to this great achievement, Yuri was awarded the title of “Master of Sport of USSR” at a very young age.
Dr. Yuri Demianenko gained his sports education at the State Azerbaijan Physical Culture and Sport University in Baku and the All Union Research Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow. He returned to his Alma Mata in Azerbaijan where he was a senior lecturer and Docent in the department of gymnastics. In 1990, he was awarded an Honorary Certificate of State Committee of Sport of the USSR for his role in preparing highly qualified teachers and coaches. Some of the students mentored by Yuri went on to become coaches to medallists at European and World Championships and World Games. While teaching at the university, Yuri continued to train gymnasts and for great achievements in coaching, he was awarded the title of “Honorary Coach of the Azerbaijan Republic” by the Ministry of Sport of the Azerbaijan Republic.
Gym Masters Club was founded in 1997 by Yuri, his wife Lyudmila Kerimova and a group of committed parents with a love of gymnastics. The enthusiasm of Yuri and the supporters of the club was the driving force behind Gym Masters becoming a recognised and well respected club in South Africa with members not only from East Gauteng, but also North and Central Gauteng as well as Mpumalanga. Many gymnasts competed and received medals in regional and National Championships in Tumbling, Trampoline and Acrobatic gymnastic disciplines, and some of these gymnasts* performed high level difficulty elements which no one from South African gymnasts has ever been able to repeat.
The support and assistance of parents who joined the club at a later stage took Gym Masters into the international arena. Gymnasts have been able to compete at various international competitions and tournaments around the world. These include World Age Group Competition (WAGC), World Junior Championship, World Championships for Seniors and World Game Test Event, allowing gymnasts to travel to Belarus, Poland, France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Russia, Belgium, Namibia, Scotland and Taiwan where many were awarded medals of different values and trophies. Between 2001 and 2008, at least one group of gymnasts† from Gym Masters were members of the national team and reached the final stages of WAGC where the best athletes in the world competed against one another. Some gymnasts took part in World Junior Championships, World Championships and WAGC several times.
The achievements of Gym masters Club were recognised several times by the Executive mayor of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan. Yuri was a two time winner of the trophy for “Outstanding Sport Official”, awarded to officials from different sporting disciplines. The women’s pair Jaci Ramsay and Brigitte Eybers were awarded the “Junior Sports Woman of the year” while Alexander Demianenko and Elizke Blofield were finalists for the “Junior Sports Person” award for two years in a row. To date, no other gymnastics club in Ekurhuleni has achieved such recognition.
Gym Masters has taught numerous gymnasts from previously disadvantaged backgrounds who have received different medals at both Regional and National Championships. Some of these gymnasts have travelled to international competitions where one such gymnast, Bongani Zim, achieved 5th place at World Age Groups Competition in 2008. In addition to training previously disadvantaged gymnasts in the Gym Masters Club, new clubs at Kids Haven and Sunshine Village were established through efforts of Yuri and Ilse Carr. Several gymnasts from these clubs received medals at Regional and National Championships. For this achievement, Ilse Carr was awarded the Ekurhuleni Mayoral Trophy as the “Special Merit Award”. Yuri was recognised by SAGF as a Coach of the Year.
Gym Masters Club excelled, not only on the gymnastics floor, but in education as well. Being an International Brevet FIG Judge, Yuri has shared his knowledge with young judges. Under his supervision, individuals without any experience in judging became judges in Acrobatic gymnastics and seven of them progressed to the title of International Brevet Judge. Some of them officiated at international competitions and Ilse Carr, Dmitry and Alexander Demianenko officiated at World Championship and World Age Group Competitions. Their work at these competitions was always recognized by FIG Acro Technical Committee as a job well done. Alexander Demianenko and Dmitry Demianenko were recognised for these achievements at a later stage when they were awarded Special Awards by the SAGF in different years.
Masters Gymnasts and Gym Masters Gymnasts clubs work on the same sporting principles and continue to develop gymnastics in Eastern Gauteng. The clubs develop basic gymnastics and competitive disciplines equally.
Dmitry Demianenko, the head coach of Masters Gymnasts Club, started his gymnastics career at the age of 4. Through the years he advanced in performance and levels and later progressing to a coach and judge for acrobatic gymnastics. Dmitry is a National level 4 judge for trampoline and a Brevet 3 judge for acrobatic gymnastics. At the height of his career as a gymnast, Dmitry was a member of the Belarus National team and was a medallist at international competitions. His coaching career started in the mid 90’s. In 2005 gymnasts who trained under Dmitry’s supervision achieved their first international medal (silver) at an International competition in Germany. Through the years of 2004, 2006 and 2008 Dmitry was an assistant coach to some Protea Acro Gymnastic gymnasts for the World Age Group Games and other international competitions. In 2010 he was selected as Junior National Coach in the Acrobatic Gymnastics discipline for the World Age Group Competition in Poland. In 2011 gymnasts Michelle Pieterse and Kimona Moodley, under Dmitry’s supervision, achieved bronze medal at an FIG International competition in Lithuania. The latest results – a bronze medal – was awarded to gymnasts Michelle Pieterse and Carla Brits at a competition in Geneva, Switzerland in 2013.
Being not only a successful coach but also an International Brevet judge, Dmitry represented South Africa as a judge during the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships and World Age Group Competition in Orlando, USA.
Alexander Demianenko, the head coach of Gym Master Gymnasts, is an acrobatic gymnastics and trampoline coach, Brevet level 4 judge for acrobatic gymnastics, and a former member of the South African acrobatic gymnastics Junior and Senior National teams. Apart from being a South African Champion numerous times, the biggest achievement as a gymnast was a fourth place at the World Age Group Competition in the age group 12-19. Alexander Demianenko and his partner Elizke Blofield were the runners up for Ekurhuleni Mayoral Award for the title “Junior Sports person”. Through the years, Alexander grew-up as a coach not only in acrobatic gymnastics, but also in trampoline gymnastics. He showed his great abilities as a coach at the FIG Academy in trampoline discipline where he received top marks during international coaching course.
Alexander proved that his gymnasts are not only becoming stars on a National level but also stars on the international arena, when gymnasts became gold medallists at an international competition in Namibia.
Alexander Demianenko is an International Brevet Judge in acrobatic gymnastics discipline, and represented South Africa as an official judge at the World Age Group Competition in 2010 in Poland.
A passion for trampoline and acrobatic gymnastics together with sound experience and knowledge of the disciplines has ensured that from year to year, gymnasts from both Masters Gymnasts and Gym Masters Gymnasts compete in club level to national level competitions and receive recognition as winners and medallists.
— Gym Masters Hall of Fame —
Gymnasts accomplishing remarkable achievements in local and international competitions:
Janis Hemingway, Nadia Roodt and Jacques Stoltz, Susan Gilbertson and Alyn Erlank, Ansja Davidson, Rudy and Clarisa Coetzee, Madeli and Anriette Vermaak, Elena Dimitriadis, Andrea Hoffer, Nicolette van Niekerk, Simone Rademayer, Natasha Heystek and Leslee Salzmann, Stephanie, Taylor, Tarryn and Cher Williams, Pavel Morris, Jabulani Vunandlala., Nkuly Sibanyoni , Florence Cindy, Reine Botha, Meka-Anne Russell, Monet Haynes, Andrea Haddon, Jaci Ramsay, Sandor Smith and Brigitte Eyb
Gymnasts who competed in the final stages of WAGC
Rudy and Clarissa Coetze – 4th place (2001), Isabelle Carr and Rouxnette Roberts – 7th place (2004), Susan Holland and Paige Duarte – 8th place (2004), Richard Ellis and Dean Fairclough – 4th place (2006), and Alexander Demianenko and Elizke Blofield – 4th place (2006), Richard Ellis and Bongani Zim – 5th place (2008).
Gymnasts who competed at several international competitions
Jaci Ramsey, Brigitte Eybers, Susan Holland, Paige Duarte, Isabelle Carr, Rouxnette Roberts, Petri Geldart, Chantelle Sison, Kelly Hawker, Richard Ellis, Bongani Zim, Alexander Demianenko and Elizke Blofield.
The success of the Gym Masters Club could not have been possible without the support of the following dedicated and enthusiastic parents:
Jenny Holland, Lynn Hemingway, Roelof Cotzee and Frik Roodt who were involved in the initial success of the club.
Ilse Carr, Amanda Geldart, Ernst Roberts and Chris and Hazel Ellis who made it possible for gymnasts from Gym Masters to compete internationally.