Rhythmic Gymnastics is a beautiful and elegant sport demanding strength, flexibility, agility and a combination of technical precision and artistic creativity. Hand apparatuses such as ball, hoop, ribbon, rope and clubs are used.
Ritmika Rhythmic Gymnastics Club, founded in 1980 by Annely Riga and Siina Kasekamp, is one of the largest and leading rhythmic gymnastics clubs in Canada. With almost 30 years of experience, Ritmika has grown into a multicultural gymnastics Organization offering rhythmic gymnastics programmes for all ages and ability levels taught by certified coaches.
Recreational programmes are designed for all ages, from 3-year-old tiny tots to adults. In this programme, the basics of rhythmic gymnastics and basic apparatus techniques are taught in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. The emphasis is on improving strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility. Each year gymnasts look forward to demonstrating their accomplishments by performing for family and friends at Ritmika's spectacular Annual Year End shows. Besides Ritmika Centre facility, recreational programmes are also offered in partnership with Vaughan and Richmond Hill Parks and Recreation departments at their community centres and in private schools as part of extracurricular activities.
Elite performance programmes offer the more advanced gymnasts the opportunity to further improve their skills and techniques. Advanced level skills are choreographed into enjoyable performance numbers requiring countless hours of practice. Acceptance to these groups is usually by tryouts. Gymnasts in these groups train intensively, learn to work with each other as a group and perfect several routines each year. The Elite gymnast requires a greater commitment but in return they enjoy the privilege of representing Ritmika and Canada in many local and International events.
Ritmika gymnasts have always been in demand to perform and delight audiences with colorful displays of rhythmic gymnastics. Our Elite groups have traveled the world & thrilled audiences from local community events to prestigious international events, such as International Gymnaestradas in Denmark 1987, Holland 1991 and Germany 1995, where they were chosen to represent Canada at Gala performances and Sweden 1999, Portugal 2003 and Austria 2007. Expo 1986 was a fun filled week with performances in the Vancouver waterfront exposition grounds. For the Opening of Toronto Skydome in 1989, Ritmika gymnasts played a crucial part in the gymnastics presentation. Estonian World Festivals in 1983 in San Francisco, 1984 in Toronto, 1988 in Australia, 1992 in New York and 2000 in Toronto, FIG Gala performance in Puerto Rico 2006 - Ritmika gymnasts were there and were always applauded for beautiful performances. This list can go on and on.
Aesthetic Group gymnastics (AGG) is one of the newest sports internationally and Ritmika has been a leader and promoter from its first introduction in Canada. The club has actively promoted the sport in Ontario and Canada by participating as gymnasts, coaches and judges. Ritmika's president Annely Riga is considered one of the top experts in this field in Canada.
Ritmika's competitive gymnasts have been the best in the country. They have represented Canada in all major International competitions including World Championships and Olympic Games and traveled to all 6 continents: Asia, Europe, North & South America, Australia and Africa. Ritmika's gymnast Alexandra Orlando has held the Canadian National Champion title for eight years. She also distinguished herself by winning 6 gold medals for Canada at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and became a 2008 Olympian. 2004 Olympian and U.S. National Champion Mary Sanders is also a Ritmika gymnast.
With its exceptional reputation and outstanding results, Ritmika is recognized both in Canada and internationally as a world class rhythmic gymnastics club, whose gymnasts are great ambassadors to this beautiful sport, and who can thrill small or large audiences with exceptional performances.
Over these years over 60 coaches and 15 pianists have been working hard and producing these results. Most of the coaches have high credentials with an impressive list of achievements and many years of experience. They are professionals who take the responsibility of training our young gymnasts seriously.
Ritmika was founded with the goal of promoting the joy and beauty of rhythmic gymnastics by providing quality gymnastics programmes to all, and the club endeavors to continue to reach future generations of gymnasts in the years to come.
Co-Founder and President of Ritmika R.G. Club
Graduate of Tartu University in Estonia with a degree in Physical Education. From 1971-77 she was a staff member of the Physical Education faculty at Tartu University, where she taught Rhythmic Gymnastics. She also coached children and adult classes at all levels in various schools and clubs in Estonia.
For six years she was a member of the Estonian Women's Rhythmic Gymnastics Team (this group was composed of mostly former national level rhythmic gymnasts), winning six USSR Championships in Women's Group competition.
In 1977 she immigrated to Canada. Since 1978, she has been working tirelessly promoting and teaching this beautiful sport of rhythmic gymnastics. Besides conducting numerous seminars, clinics and workshops throughout Canada, she has been also working on many committees and conducting leadership programmes. Annely has been working on the National Gymnastics Development, National Coaching, School Development, RSG Technical and NCCP committees just to mention a few.
She is a co-author of many Rhythmic Gymnastics publications in Canada. In 1988 and 1989 she also taught rhythmic gymnastics at the University of Toronto.
Annely Riga's talent in the field of choreography has been recognized at the National and Provincial level, where several of her routines are taught. She has also been a choreographer and technical advisor for special events such as the International Gymnaestradas in Denmark 1987 and Germany 1995, Four Continents Championships in 1988, Opening of the Sky Dome in 1989 and many others.
She received Coach of the Year awards from Ontario Gymnastics Federation in 1985 and from the Canadian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation in 1995. In 2004 the Canadian Gymnastics Federation honored her as a long standing member with their recognition award - a diamond pin. In 2005, Annely received a 25-year Ontario Volunteer service award from the government of Ontario and in 2009 a service award from the Estonian Central Council in Canada.
Since 1996, she has been promoting and developing Aesthetic Group Gymnastics (AGG) in Canada. In conjunction with the Ontario RG Committee she developed the "Red Ribbon" Ontario AGG program and has been one of the leading experts in this sport in Canada. She is the president of Canadian Aesthetic Group Gymnastics Organization in Canada and 2003 she was elected into the newly founded International Federation of Aesthetic Group Gymnastics as a Board member and Promotion Committee Chairperson. She is also the highest category International level judge in Aesthetic Group Gymnastics and has been judging in all AGG World Championships since 2001.
Annely Riga is considered one of the leading forces in rhythmic gymnastics in Canada, Expert in her field, who's deep knowledge and commitment to the sport has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally. Having dedicated her life to this wonderful sport and her club she is constantly developing new ideas and strategies to improve her beloved club services, programmes to its members.