Dynamic Coaching to help our students reach their potential...

hoto Credit:  Peter Hellberg

Marie Connolly, Director & Coach

Marie Connolly, Director and Coach established the Gymnastics Academy in 2011. A proud level 10 competitor and 5x medalist for the Bay of Plenty at the New Zealand Gym Sport Championships.

As a gymnast Marie also represented South West England over a 10 year career, helping teams to win many national titles at British competition and taking individual placing's.

As a coach on completion of a B.A degree in sport management & GB senior coach certification developed young gymnasts through the high performance program and became the conditioning coach to young divers through Sport England program before moving to New Zealand taking on a coaching position with top Auckland based gymnastic centre.

Starting out in NZ Marie was coach to North Harbor & Bay of Plenty teams before establishing the gymnastics academy. With advanced sport coaching, a diploma in Business & I.T and ongoing research to complete a Masters in health, sport & human performance. Marie’s extensive knowledge & experience in sport inspires many students to follow their dreams and shine. " I would like to see more children improving their fundamental motor skills, increasing their confidence and participating in gymnastics from an early age."


Photo Credit:  dimnikolov

Adrian France, Director & Coach

Adrian specialises in business research and management accounting in his role as principal lecturer at Wintec's centre of Business & entrepreneurship and understands sport on a research level, writing research papers and presenting at conferences as well as an international competitor in 18ft skiff sailing. His academic interest is in sport participation and seeing children participate and develop in their chosen sport. Adrian also has a teaching diploma and you will see him at before school gymnastic academy classes where he enjoys helping out before work, coaching and getting his daughter Emily 9 involved.






Melissa Mathewson, Bay of Plenty Manager & Coach

Melissa has a hands on approach with her students and is renowned for her dynamic coaching. Melissa's goal is to help your child increase their skills, knowledge and confidence and specialises in working with disability children, spotting and overcoming fears in advanced gymnastic skills. Melissa is energetic, enthusiastic and has two children Becca 13 & Maddi 9 who enjoy attending sessions to participate and assistant coach in a junior coaching capacity. Melissa has a lovely parent nurturing approach to her coaching as she takes her students under her wing. 



Anita Jackson, Tauranga Program Manager & Coach

Anita has extensive experience in gymnastics & trampolining. Current National Master Champion for 3 consecutive years Anita lives what she teaches. Her attention to detail and enthusiasum for sport inspires her students who have won the inter- national school competition AIMS Games for 3 consecutive years also. 


Shanae Richardson, Waikato Program Coach

Shanae is a perfectionist! In her second year of a conjoint degree in Law and social sciences studying at Waikato University.  Shanae likes to take time out of her studies to continue her passion of working with children in gymnastics. Shanae was an experienced recreational gymnast herself and has run past gymnastic programs in Bay of Plenty region where she is from. Shanae is also a committed surf life saver and still participates at a National level. Her weekly program is action packed and keeps this attitude when coaching, getting the most out of the children and helping them reach their potential. You will see Shanae supporting Marie during coaching sessions in the Waikato region. 


Simone Francis, Excel Program Coach

Simone delivers our excel programme in Tauranga at Impact Gymsport,s based at the sporting hub in Tauranga (ASB stadium). She is currently also studying to be a primary teacher with Waikato University. She has been participating in gymnastics since she was 4 years old and represented the Bay of Plenty Region and her home club IMPACT gymsports. Simone reached senior level in artistic gymnastics and has now transitioned her path by coaching children and passing on her knowledge and expertise. 


Angela Strang, Tauranga Junior Coach

Angela is our expert cheerleader who is very motivating of our students. Angela was a past student who has gone on to achieve great results representing her school at AIMS Games and a national representative cheerleader. You will see Angela assisting with routines and skills at Tauranga Intermediate School.


Rachel Stratton, Tauranga Junior Coach

Rachel is a multi talented person who started out as one of Marie's young development gymnasts at aged 6 and now has gone on to international sporting success in Volleyball. Rachel studies at Bethlehem College and takes time out of her busy academic and sporting schedule to assist coaching our BC program. Rachel is great with helping students understand importance of work ethic and has a great rapport with our learners.


Tayla Hopkins, Excel Program Junior Coach

Tayla is a year 9 student at Mount Maunganui College and has been a gymnast from the age of 5, competing in the national program for the last 6 years Tayla has a goal to qualify for Nationals later this year. Tayla also enjoys representing her school and in 2017 Tayla won a Gold medal at the inter-national schools competition AIMS Games. "Gymnastics is my passion I love being able to share this with other children through coaching." Tayla is our junior coach for the excel program held at Impact Gymsport on a Saturday and is highly motivating of our students.