Our Coaches

Joanna Farrow (Principal Coach/Head Coach 2018)

Jo has been addicted to calisthenics since 1990, when she began as a Sub-Junior at age 7. Throughout her time as a competitor, Jo competed at team competitions in Canberra, Sydney and Ballarat, was selected in the ’94, ’96 and ’97 ACT Representative Teams and also competed as a Graceful Soloist.

Jo began her coaching career with Brindabella Calisthenics College in 1997 and in 2001 achieved her Level 1 accreditation. She has worked with all age groups, with a focus on the younger teams of Tinies, Sub-Juniors and Juniors. Jo has also coached many soloists over the years, including both developing and elite athletes. Part of Jo’s love of coaching is the ability to be creative, and also being part of the participants’ growth as performers and assisting them to improve their skills and abilities. Jo truly believes calisthenics gives so much to its competitors, not only dance skills and exercise but also confidence, self-discipline and great (lifelong) friends!

Some highlights from Jo’s coaching career include winning the Langdon Family Award for Young Coaches in 2007, coaching the ACT Intermediate Calisthenic Solo Champion in 2011 and contributing to aggregate win and runners up achievements over the years.

In 2013, Jo was proud to be appointed as a Principle Coach of Brindabella Calisthenics College and changed her focus to mentoring new and upcoming coaches and cadets. In 2014, Jo was appointed the Deputy Director of Coaching and was able to play a more strategic part in contributing to coaching and calisthenics in the ACT.

Leanne Altinger (Principal Coach)

Leanne has been passionate about calisthenics since she started competing at the age of 5.  Leanne’s competitive years included working as a Missie (Tinie), right through to the Senior age group which she only retired from in recent years.  She was also selected as an Intermediate and Senior ACT Representative, both at team level and also as a Senior Graceful Soloist.

Leanne has been coaching since the age of 13 and her coaching career includes the 1996 Junior and 1998 Intermediate ACT Representative teams.  She has also coached a Senior to Nationals for Graceful Solo.

In 1997 Leanne, along with Kerry Sargent-Cox, Lee Hamlyn and Donna Sullivan, created Brindabella Calisthenics College. Although Leanne isn’t currently coaching a team at Brindabella, she is still passionate about mentoring the young coaches and is extremely proud of the caliber of coaches that they have nurtured throughout the years and will continue to do so in years to come.

Leanne’s daughters have inherited her enthusiasm for calisthenics and are both competitive members of the club. Leanne also has a son, Ryan, who chooses to admire the sport from afar.

A highlight in Leanne’s coaching career was being awarded the 2007 ACT Coach of Year.

Donna Sullivan (Principal Coach)

I began calisthenics as a 6 year old in the early 80s. Mum put me into the sport as she thought I was a bit chubby…ah ha ha. Thing is I am still doing it 30 years later, and still a bit chubby! I guess that is where my love of our sport and performing developed. I then went on to perform in teams across all of the existing age groups.

I started coaching back in the very early 90s. I did some time with a junior Team at Chellor calisthenics as a cadet (if we called it that then). I was in charge of warm up and helping out in the class.

It wasn’t long after that I was thrown in to a Sub-Junior team with another young coach. We had a combination of Tinies (then called missies) and sub-juniors making up our little squad. I guess I did a lot of learning on the job.

It was around this time that we were offered the first of the Level 1 courses here in Canberra. I have been a Level 1 qualified coach ever since.

I have taught all age groups from Tinies to Seniors at club level. I was also lucky enough to experience Coaching an Intermediate Rep Team in 1998 with my participant friends and fellow coaches. What a blast!!

The Intermediate and Senior age groups are my favourite to coach, mostly due to being able to experiment with music and creative choreography. This year however I am thoroughly enjoying coaching our Tinies again. The diversity in coaching in each different age group is massive and moving through them keeps you on your toes.

I have also coached soloists from all age groups. I love coaching in this forum to offer a child one on one development. Since having my own children though I haven’t taken on Solo’s for a while. However watch this space for future changes…

My love of teaching others led me to study education and move into teaching as a career. I have also used skills learnt through calisthenics to work with students in my job on a daily basis. A knowledge of performance, rehearsal and commitment have seen me work wonders with high school students in dance festivals, rock eisteddfods etc.

It certainly is a unique sport, but one that can offer the participant so much, including a large group of life long friends. Calisthenics has been a strong directional force in my life to date…and so it continues to be.

Alexandra Andriolo (nee Muir) (Sub Junior Coach 2018)

Alex competed in calisthenics for over 20 years and is now just coaching. She started her calisthenics career at Chellor Calisthenics, competing with them for 5 years. When the club folded she was part of the first Brindabella Sub-Junior team in 1997. Alex competed as a soloist every year from 1997 to 2009 and represented BCC and the ACT as a graceful soloist at the National Championships in 2008 and 2009. She has also been part of the ACT representative teams: 1997 ACT Sub Junior Team, 2000 ACT Junior Team (first ACT team to win closed division), 2003, 2004 ACT Intermediate Team and the 2007 ACT Senior Team.

She has been coaching and cadeting with Brindabella for over 10 years and received her level 1 coaching accreditation in 2008.  She has worked with the BCC Sub-Juniors, Juniors, Intermediates and Seniors teams.  She has also taught many solos, gracefuls and duos and loves to see the improvement in her soloists each year!

Some of her coaching highlights have been her intermediate team winning Division 4 at Ballarat in 2011, winning the Langdon award in 2013, her junior team winning Divsion 5 at Ballarat in 2013, one of her senior graceful girls winning the ACT solo championship and representing ACT at both Nationals and Ballarat in 2013, and her senior team winning the ACT Championship and runners up in Ballarat Div 3 in 2014.

Alex’s favourite item is aesthetics. She loves aesthetics for the softness, the grace and the emotion that can be portrayed through beautiful movements.  She also loves the fancies as the participants get to let loose and have lots of fun.

Ashleigh Costello (Junior Coach 2018)

Ashleigh began participating in Calisthenics at the age of 10 and started competing in solo competitions at the age of 11. In 2009 Ashleigh was selected to compete at the National Championships as a Graceful Soloist, and has also represented the ACT in the Intermediate and Senior teams in 2008 and 2011.

Coaching was something Ashleigh has always seen herself doing, ever since she started with the club. Starting her cadetship in 2007, Ashleigh has continued coaching every year since. Spending one year with the Sub-juniors then moving on to the Junior age group.

Ashleigh received her accreditation as a Level 1 coach in 2011. Ashleigh is also very proud to coaches a mixture of calisthenics soloists, graceful girls and duos.

Grace Cox (Tinies Coach 2018)

Grace started calisthenics when she was two and has enjoyed it ever since. Having represented the ACT in 2004, Grace has also competed in solo, graceful and duo items throughout her 16 years as a competitor.

Starting her cadetting the moment she could at the age of 12, with her mum (Kerry Sargent-Cox – past Principal Coach of Brindabella and Adjudicator) who has been a huge inspiration to her. Grace has loved cadeting and achieved her Level 1 accreditation in 2011 after 5 years of cadetting. Throughout Grace’s time as a coach she has many memorable moments including her soloists and teams achieving high placings throughout her years of coaching.

Grace loves to watch the participants develop and be able to achieve something that they have been working hard to get. Coaching inspires her to achieve better results within herself and to continue to help participant’s progress and develop.

Grace was involved with coaching the ACT Junior Representative teams from 2012-2014, and is excited to be taking on an Assistant Coach role for the ACT Junior Representative team once again in 2017.

Grace absolutely adores teaching the tinies age group, as she loves to watch them grow and improve and cannot wait for another incredible year with the Tinies and her awesome coaching team.

Natalie Langton (Senior Coach 2018)

Natalie has been involved in calisthenics for 30 years, having joined the sport at the tender age of four. A native Victorian, she competed at calisthenics clubs in metropolitan Melbourne, from Tinies right through to Seniors – and even Masters!

Natalie began assisting younger age groups from the age of 14, and gained her Level 1 coaching accreditation when she was 18. Since then, she has coached at clubs in both Melbourne and regional Victoria, primarily working with Inters and Seniors. Career highlights include wins at both CVI State Championships and Ballarat.

Natalie moved to Canberra at the end of 2015 and joined Brindabella in 2016, competing as a Senior. She is looking forward to getting stuck back into coaching this year and sharing her love of calisthenics with her team.

Katrina Williams (Mentor / Associate coach)

Katrina started calisthenics in 1992 at the age of three with Chellor Calisthenics. In 1997 she followed her Tinies coach to Brindabella Calisthenics College. Throughout the years of doing calisthenics she has grown as a competitor to perform in calisthenics solos, graceful solos and duos, as well as being selected in the 1997 Sub-Junior, 2000 Junior and 2007 Senior Representative Teams. As a competitor she enjoyed the challenges her coaches brought and always dreamed of being as fun, competitive and challenging as them.

Katrina started her coaching career in 2003. She received her Level 1 accreditation in 2007 and has gone on to coach successful teams and soloists ranging from Sub-Juniors to Seniors. She strives to push her participants to their full capability (and some) by running strength, conditioning and flexibility sessions, making sure the participants have a full understanding of injury prevention and always pushing that little bit further to reach new limits.

Some major highlights in Katrina’s calisthenics career include winning the 2011 Langdon award, coaching the 2008 Junior calisthenics solo champion, developing participants and mentoring younger coaches and being selected as one of the coaches for the 2011 Intermediate ACT Representative Team. 

Katrina’s favourite item is free-exercises. She loves creating new, exciting and challenging routines for her participants, while continually developing their strength and technique. In all her routines Katrina enjoys creating a strong story line for her team to work with allowing them to connect to the music and endeavor to their full ability.