Life of calisthenics and coaching for award nominee

Calisthenics students Chloe Haliburton (13), Ellashaye Adamos (8) and Kimberley Adamos (12) with coach Christine Polglaze with some of her recent awards including the Ian Halliday Outstanding Service Award to Calisthenics in WA. Picture: David Baylis d497697
Calisthenics students Chloe Haliburton (13), Ellashaye Adamos (8) and Kimberley Adamos (12) with coach Christine Polglaze with some of her recent awards including the Ian Halliday Outstanding Service Award to Calisthenics in WA. Picture: David Baylis d497697

CALISTHENICS has been Christine Polglaze’s life since she was five years old.

“Mum and Dad were involved in starting it here in WA and then when my sister started, Mum put me in too,” the Joondalup resident said.

“The association wanted me to compete for the state when I was six but Mum said I couldn’t until I was seven.”

So at just seven years, Miss Polglaze was heading to Ballarat on the east coast, competing against clubs from Victoria and winning.

“I was most excited about being on a plane and learning from Linley Campbell (née Smith) who became my calisthenics idol,” she said.

“And I’ve been in love with it ever since.”

Miss Polglaze fast became a familiar face, competing in five state teams that travelled to Ballarat before the Australian Calisthenics Federation was formed and held its first national championships in 1988.

She then represented WA again 1989, going on to attend 27 of the next 30 events, first as a competitor then as a coach or stage manager.

While Miss Polglaze saw much success in various disciplines at both club and state levels, her major achievements have come in the coaching and administrative arena where she has given an incredible amount of energy and time.

Students Chloe Haliburton (13), Ellashaye Adamos (8) and Kimberley Adamos (12) with Christine Polglaze who has been nominated for the May Campbell Medal for service to sport. Picture: David Baylis

As a coach, her resume is extensive, from mentoring state and national duo and solo winners, to writing coaching courses, developing DVDs and apps for coaches, and presenting seminars and workshops at conferences.

This includes being on the committee that organises the Australian Calisthenics Coaches Conference held every four years, of which there has been six so far and Miss Polglaze has presented at them all.

She has been on the board of the Australian Calisthenics Federation Coaching Committee since 2001.

“I love organising and I’m passionate about coaches and coaches courses,” she said.

Miss Polglaze was also integral in helping save a Warwick cub from extinction in 2007, rebranding it the Phoenix Calisthenics Club and becoming its head coach.

“My friend was the development officer and she contacted me when they only had seven people left,” Miss Polglaze said.

“So I came in and helped coach and it built up and we then went on to win a championship.”

While Miss Polglaze has retired from team coaching, she still coaches solos and duos around the country and mentors and assesses other coaches.

On top of all this, she is also a high school dance teacher at Sacred Heart College in Sorrento.

Miss Polglaze has now been nominated by the Calisthenics Association of WA for the for May Campbell Medal for service to sport, to be announced at the RAC Sports Awards at Optus Stadium on February 13.

She said being named a finalist was like “a really nice pat on the back”.

“It feels like a big thank you for all my efforts,” she said.

“I like giving back to the sport and I love what I do.

“I wish it had more status out there because when people see it, they love it too.”

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