About Us

Who is Avonde?

Avonde Calisthenics College Inc is one of Australia’s longest running premium clubs competing within the Championship Division across all sections, in Melbourne.

The club was established in 1965 with 67 pupils by Jill Jacobson (now Goss) and very quickly gained a reputation as a club that is vibrant, competitive and strives for excellence. This quality is regularly demonstrated throughout the year at state level competitions plus, with a number of club representatives (both coaches and performers) competing at the Victorian State Team level.

One of the hardest questions to answer for some is “What is Calisthenics?”

Calisthenics is a team sport in which pupils learn routines choreographed to music and present them on stage at competitions and concerts via controlled exercises for example dancing, figure marching and singing. Some students may also choose to participate in solo or duo competitions.

Avonde Calisthenics College teams participate in a series of competitions in the second half of the year, all of which are accredited by Calisthenics Victoria Incorporated (CVI).  At the end of the year, team items are presented at our concert that showcases the club’s amazing depth of talent and skill.

The college welcomes all ages and levels ranging from Tinies (3 – 5 yrs) to Masters (26+yrs)

Our Founding Principal – Jill Goss

Our principal, Jill Goss, has instilled the “calisthenics way-of-life” in thousands of children who have marched and cart-wheeled through the club’s doors. Not surprisingly, many of today’s pupils are second and third generation Avonde girls, even while the high number of new recruits is maintained.

Involved in calisthenics since the age of 4, Jill started coaching at 16. After 7 years of coaching at Essendon Christ Church Calisthenics, Jill established the Avonde Calisthenics Club in 1965.

Based in Avondale Heights, it’s not too hard to see how the club’s name came about. Jill’s hard work, dedication and vision soon paid off and by 1975 all age groups were competing at Championship level – and there they have since remained.

Having coached all sections (including non-competitive classes) for the best part of the Avonde’s existence, Jill now oversees all classes and mentors the club’s talented coaches.

Jill is now a retired Adjudicator and travels all over Australia, lecturing on Coaching Young Children and the items that are close to her heart, Figure Marching and Club Swinging in particular.

Well known in the Calisthenics world, Jill received paramount recognition from her peers and associates in 2012 when she was awarded the Australian Calisthenic Federation (ACF) Coach of the Year Award.