Top Tips for International Festivals
1. Keep parents, gymnasts, coaches and leaders regularly updated on the plans – create a private online forum where everyone can share questions and answers etc. or have regular parent meetings starting about 12 months before the event.
2. Let parents know how much fun the event is while you're there. Set up a private Facebook group which you can regularly post pictures and comments on throughout the trip. Parents can also leave messages saving money on phone calls and texts.
3. Work with the gymnasts to put together a code of conduct to agree the rules helping to make sure there aren't any issues while you are away.
4. When needed, ensure the air bed you take is decent quality- there's no alternative once you're out there
5. Produce a gymnast pack for each gymnast. Include a photocopy of their Passport, European health card and personal travel insurance, Club membership/medical form and any medication.
6. Split gymnasts into smaller groups and put a different coach/ helper in charge of each group. You could have mini competitions between groups making it fun - it's an easy way for the coach in charge to keep everyone safe.
7. Provide a packing list for the gymnasts detailing what to include in their hand luggage and what to pack in their suitcase. It's a great idea to carry their display costume in their hand luggage in case their suitcase gets lost.
8. The coach in charge has the most to pack! Remember to take things like; a spare copy of music, spare costumes, a small padlock and key (if staying in a school you are normally provided with a locker), a spare 4 way adaptor and plug, a toilet roll, a sewing kit and a first aid box!
9. When you're at the festival, write up the following day's schedule where all gymnasts can see it. This should include what the gymnasts should wear and pack in their bags. It will save a lot of questions!
10. Take squash to flavour the water and some snacks. Identify the picky eaters within your group; they may want to pack some food to take with them.
11. Make the most of the opportunity and join in everything you can.
12. Take extra GB T-shirts with the union Jack on - these are really useful to swap with other countries' tops.
13. Book flights early and get better deals.
14. Set a timeline for where you need to be with the routine, the payments and all logistics, it will make the planning and organisation more manageable.
15. Take comfortable shoes as there is usually a lot of walking, and ample clothes suitable for the climate.