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About Emmanuel

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​~ 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

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Mission Statement.png

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

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Our Vision.png

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

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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 so 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!
(Yes we have fun!)
We love our club!
(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
Emmanuel is the best in town
Because we work as a team


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Emmanuel Calisthenics Inc. was formed exact date unknown. Mrs Colgrave from the Bosworth Physical Culture College conducted classes. During this time, the Fiarhorn family had 3 girls and 2 boys attending - one year all receiving an award in their particular section.

When Mrs Colgrave retired, the class was taken over 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.

Classes 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 Mrs Flora Young and Mrs Tetly. Teams competed in the Bosworth Competitions, run by Miss Vera Hopton at Fitzroy Town Hall. There were two sections in each age group: Open and Novice. Teams then performed again to hear the competition results at the Wirthd Circus (National Art Gallery site). The 1st Annual Post War Display was held with Jeannette Schreck performing as a Tiny.

Mrs Anne Martin (nee Jackson) then become the coach, followed by past pupil Maureen Connelly. Maureen went on to become a well-loved adjudicator, then President of Calisthenics Victoria Inc (CVI) in the mid 90's when she employed Emmanuel's Donna Gabriel as the first Calisthenics 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 until her passing in 2019.

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

Donna's sister Joanne Gabriel became the Juniors coach after many successful years coaching at Assumption Calisthenics. Together Donna and Joanne took the club through to Championship and Division 1 grades.

Donna and Joanne inaugurated the "Gabriel Perpetual Trophy" - awarded to the best club person.

As the Intermediates ate dinner in Ballarat the night before the big Royal South Street Competition - a message was received to say that our magnificent pianist and 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 and Calisthenics, Emmanuel now presents the Nellie Eaton Memorial Trophy" each year to a younger team member with outstanding potential.

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

Record 100+ registrations, produced our first concert program and unveiled a Life Member Board. Masters Calisthenics for participants aged 35+ was introduced through a Sport & Rec, VicHealth and 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 and Liz Carroll (nee Sharp).

Emmanuel inaugurated the "Jeannette Schreck Memorial Trophy" for the winner of the Division 1 Seniors March at Ringwood Calisthenics 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 presented to the winner of the Championship Reserve Seniors March. Emmanuel had the honour of winning the award again in 2008.

Intermediates coach Sarah Carthew inaugurated the "Carthew Intermediate Award" which was awarded to an Intermediate member of the club based on a 'Brownlow style' voting system, voted on by the Intermediate coaches each week.

After years of fundraising and searching, Emmanuel Calisthenics purchased their forever home! An old factory that needed lots of work, but she turned into a beautiful new studio for the club.

The Carthew Intermediate Trophy was retired. The "Life Members and Past Collegians Trophy" was introduced to recognise the commitment that the Emmanuel Life Members and Past Collegians have shown throughout the years and is awarded to an Intermediate member of the club who shows excellent commitment to their team. Also introduced was the "Volunteer Award" in which nominations are received and voted for. 

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Nellie Eaton
Linda Turner
Margaret Walsh
Merv Evans
Pat Hill
Frank Hill
Joan Wright
Joan Brownlie
Jeanette Schreck
Irene Tully
Wendy Purves
Robynne Purves
Bev Moss
Donna Gabriel
Susan Drew
Joanne Gabriel
Gail Morgan
Jean Dowling
Rae Gaudie
Sarah Carthew
Heather Naughton
Anne Jenkinson
Julie Turner
Melissa Osborne
Kathryn Buchanan
Leeanne Park
Jane Tucker
Sinead Hamond
Emily Watson

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