About Emmanuel Calisthenics

Katie Leap


Recognised as leaders in innovative Calisthenics, Emmanuel Calisthenics Incorporated may be one of the oldest Clubs in Melbourne but their Team of Dynamic Coaches is determined their vision and training styles will carry on way beyond into history!


Code of Aims

  • To be united and work together as a team
  • To have fun and make friends
  • To have an enviable Club spirit
  • To keep our Club and Calisthenics moving forward
  • To be highly competitive, without compromising the above aims


Emmanuel Calisthenics Mission Statement

To provide a fun, safe and quality calisthenic experience with commitment and integrity, challenging the boundaries of our unique sport.



Our Vision

To be a unified Club recognised as leaders in Calisthenics, inspiring innovation, excellence and positive growth.


Emmanuel Club Song

It doesn't matter if you're big or small
You're young or you're young at heart
Come to Emmanuel old chum
And help us to play our part

Why are we always to happy and fit
It's easier than it seems
Emmanuel is the best in town
Because we work as a team

Yes we have fun!
We love our club!
Calisthenics is our main aim
we do our best and try again

Step up to Oakleigh
Now don't you miss out
It's easier than it seems
Emmanuel is the best in town
YES!  Emmanuel is the best in town
Because we work as a team!!




A Proud Club History


Emmanuel Calisthenics Inc. was formed exact date unknown. (Can anyone help here?) Mrs Colgrave from the Bosworth Physical Culture College conducted classes. During this time, the Fairthorn family had 3 girls & 2 boys attending – one year all receiving an award in their particular section! What an achievement!


When Mrs. Colgrave retired, the class was taken over by Miss Dix for 12 months and then Miss Muriel Dillon. The girls and the class went to bigger and better things under her excellent tuition.


Class closed. Night activities were prevented with 'blackout' restrictions in force during the 2nd World War.


Past pupil Joan Wright (nee Betts) was invited to reopen Emmanuel with pianists Mrs Flora Young & Mrs Tetley. Teams competed in the Bosworth Competitions, run by Miss Vera Hopton at Fitzroy Town Hall. There were 2 sections in each age group: Open & Novice. Teams then performed again to hear the Competition results at the Wirths Circus (National Art Gallery site)! The 1st Annual Display was held with Jeanette Schreck performing as a Tiny!

Mrs Anne Jackson (now Mrs Anne Martin) then became the coach, followed by Emmanuel past pupil Maureen Connelly. Maureen went on to become a well loved Adjudicator, then President of Calisthenics Victoria Inc (CVI) in the mid 1990’s when she employed Emmanuel’s Donna Gabriel as the first Calisthenic Development Officer.

Mrs Joy Smith then coached until the birth of her first child when Mrs Wright returned to Emmanuel for another 10 years. Joy Smith, now a past Secretary of CVI has been actively involved in the Victorian State Team – since its inception in 1988.


Mrs Annette Upstill (nee Jackson) became coach of all sections except Seniors, coached by Donna Gabriel. In 1979, Donna took over the Intermediate Section & Robynne Porter coached the younger Sections for 2 years before Annette returned for another 2.


Donna’s sister Joanne Gabriel became the Junior Sections’ Coach after many successful years coaching at Assumption Calisthenics. Together Joanne & Donna took the club through to Championship & Division 1 Grades.


Donna & Joanne inaugurate the “Gabriel Perpetual Trophy” – awarded to the best club person.


As the Inters ate dinner in Ballarat the night before the big RSS Competition – a message was received to say that our magnificent pianist & friend for over 25 years, Mrs. Nellie Eaton, had passed away. The next week the Senior Team dedicated their big day to her, culminating in a “Turn Back Time” Spec. 32 women danced to Nellie’s last recording – made only
weeks earlier. We brought the house down, winning a Senior Championship 2nd prize!

To honour this truly wonderful woman who had such a genuine love of children, music & Calisthenics, Emmanuel now presents the“Nellie Eaton Award” each year to a younger Team member with outstanding potential.


With Jeanette Schreck as President & Convenor Sally Larwood, Emmanuel inaugurated the Ringwood Calisthenics Competition, filling a need in Championship & Division 1 for the first Competition of the season to provide a full theatre setting & a video. RCC is still Emmanuel’s major Club fundraiser today.


Emmanuel’s 50th Post-war Annual Display celebrated with a Presentation Concert & Reunion Party.


Sarah Carthew became Senior Coach of the Sub Junior Section.


Record 100+ registrations, produced our first Concert program/yearbook & unveiled a Life Members Board. Masters Calisthenics for participants age 35+ was introduced through a Sport & Rec, VicHealth & Active for Life Grant. The program ran successfully for many years, then as Masters Re-Charge, a CVI initiative, coached by past pupils Kristen Skinner & Liz Carroll.


2nd year of Record Registrations! Emmanuel Girls’ Calisthenic Club was renamed Emmanuel Calisthenics Inc


Emmanuel 57th Annual Display in memory of Jeanette Schreck, Past Emmanuel & CVI President.


Emmanuel inaugurated the “Jeanette Schreck Perpetual Trophy” for the winner of the Division 1 March at Ringwood Competition. The Emmanuel Seniors Team had the honour of winning the Award in 2003. In 2006, with the introduction of the Championship Reserve Seniors section, the award was changed to be awarded to the winner of the Championship Reserve Seniors March.



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