- Marta Selmeczi came to Canada.

1960 - 64

- Started the YMCA Children's Artistic Program - the gymnasts performed but did not compete.
  - During this period, Marta returned home to Hungary for visits. The new European Modern Gymnastics Federation had been formed after the 1956 Olympics and Marta met a member of this Federation, Mme. Abad. During these visits home, Marta learned a lot about the sport of Modern Gymnastics.


- Came to St. Catherines and began working as a volunteer coach at "Club Heidelberg".
  - The artistic gymnasts at the 'Y', "Olympiquettes" began competing. Some of the talented girls from "Club Heidelberg" also joined this club.
  - At the Ontario YMCA Championships the gymnasts of the club won 15 categories, while competing against 65 other gymnasts.

- Marta attended a summer course at York University, organized by the OGF. Leaders were Dr. Taylor and Anne Letheren.

- Hired by Niagara District Secondary School as a part-time Phys. Ed. teacher. There she began the very first Modern Gymnastics (now called rhythmic gymnastics) program in the area, together with an Artistic Gymnastics program (and a fitness program). They were all very successful and she became well-known.

  - Started an annual Gymnaestrada in the area, inviting other schools to participate.

- Was one of the founding members of the Ontario Modern Gymnastics Federation and (later) also of the National Federation...


... with Evelyn Koop as President of both organizations.

Marta continued as a member also of the Technical Committee, elected in 1982. The photo (on the right) is from an occasion when the committee had a meeting at a farm belonging to one of the other members, Sandy Smith. After digging up the potatoes, Evelyn Koop (left) and Marta Selmeczi (middle) got to take the vegetables home. A productive meeting!


- Marta convinced the Lincoln Board of Education to invite world-class Hungarian gymnast Maria Patocska (5th at the World Championships) to Canada.


- Maria Patocska arrived and conducted a modern gymnastics clinic for Southern Ontario teachers and also participated in the Niagara District Secondary School annual Gymnaestrada. Marta advised Evelyn Koop of Kalev about Maria's visit and Mrs. Koop brought Maria on a tour of the provinces to introduce the sport to a wider audience.
  - Later that year, the first National competition was held in Toronto and Marta's team won gold in both the free and the rhythm stick events.

In this photo of the Doija Club group at
the Hungarian Championships 1970,
Maria is in the middle, in the front row.


- The first Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics club in the Peninsula was registered by Mr. and Mrs. Selmeczi: Lincoln Gymnastics Club for girls and Marta served as Head Coach of both sections for 20 years.

- The same year, Madame Ivanka Tchakarova from Bulgaria gave the first judging course in Canada and Marta Selmeczi graduated with the highest score of the group.

The artistic team earned numerous Regional Championships titles and All-Around Provincial titles on various levels. In 1973, Peggy Campbell became the first Ontario Champion in artistic gymnastics. Brenda Hawrylow, won the Canadian Elite High School Championships in Calgary 1976 and, in 1978, Celia Fenig competed with the Ontario team in Puerto Rico and with the Canadian team and the Maccabia Games in Israel.

The rhythmic gymnasts won more than ten individual all around titles and numerous medals for individual apparatus in national events, and were the first ever to reach the finals on the international level and earned a very respectable reputation for Canada. Seven of them went to the RG World Championships and participated in a total of 10 RG Worlds from 1973 to 1991. They also competed at several Four Continents and Pan-American Championships.
- Her gymnast, Donna Cadwell won the first all-around Ontario Championship in the senior advanced category and also made the Modern Gymnastics National Team in 1973.
- In 1974 Kelly Moligian won the first all-around Canadian title, getting gold in every event.

On the left: Mr. and Mrs. Selmeczi.
In the photo below, all the girls are champions, with the exception of Marta's daughter (the little girl in front)

Above from left: Kelly Molligan, Brenda Hawrylow, Debbie Shugan, Carrie White, Shelly Hawrylow,
Patricia Wong, Cathy Wong, Ann-Marie Wong.


Mrs. Selmeczi formed the first all rhythmic sportive gymnastics club in the Niagara peninsula: The Rhythmic Waves Gymnastics Club.


An Hungarian quarterly RG magazine published an article about Marta Selmeczi - link HERE.


Marta travelled with other Ontario coaches and judges to Finland to observe the first International Women's Group Gymnastics Competition - a new sport, later called Aesthetic Group Gymnastics (AGG)

From left: Maija Ceming, Marta Selmeczi, Joanne McGarry,
Annely Riga and her team of gymnasts

From left: Marta Selmeczi and Maija Ceming, then several coaches from
the Sampo club in Sudbury.


Rhythmic Waves were the champions in the young teens category at the first "Red Ribbon" competition, which is a Provincial AGG event.

Rhythmic Waves competed at the first AGG World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, and placed 5th of 26 teams from 11 countries!







- Marta, together with three other club owners, formed the Canadian AGG Federation, planning to work to introduce the sport to other provinces in Canada. (Photo on the right)

- The same group of people were among the many who, in Graz 2003, signed an agreement to form an international organization for the sport - IFAGG. (Photo below)

The photo above is a collage of pictures of Marta Selmeczi's gymnasts where every single girl is a champion.

Mrs. Selmeczi was a national coach and also judged at several international competitions (at Calais on the right).






Marta Selmeczi at a club banquet with artistic gymnast Debbi Shugan and rhythmic gymnast Kelly Moligian.

Personal Awards and Recognition for Marta Selmeczi

Receiving an award from Mayor Joe Reid for her pioneering
work in gymnastics in the city of St. Catharines.

And in 2005 she was awarded a life-membership of GO :

From the ceremony at Gymnastics Ontario

Holly Abraham presented the award to Marta Selmeczi


Received the Ten Years Service Ontario Federation Gold Medal for Pioneering Rhythmic Gymnastics.


Nominated for Air Canada Coach of the Year Award by the National Federation.
Received the Ontario Sport Achievement Award from Premier William Davis.


Received the Honour Award for the Canadian RSG Federation at the Montreal National Championships.
  Received the Certificate of Sport Achievement from the City of St. Catharines.
  Served as a member of the RSG National High Performance Committee, supported by Sports Canada.
  Coached at the National Training Centre (Toronto) as invited guest coach.
  Canadian Team Coach at several Gymnastics Meets.


Completed two International Judging courses and has judged several times internationally.

Received the Ontario Gymnastics Federation Recognition Award for her years of service to the sport.

Awarded the Ontario Gymnastics Federation Long Service Diamond Pin Award for 25 years of service

Received the Gymnastics Ontario Life Membership Award in recognition of her years of dedication, service and tremendous contribution to the sport of gymnastics.

Received a Diploma from the IFAGG from Finland for 10 years of continuous participation and support of the sport




















Received the Gymnastics Canada Life Membership Award in recognition of her time and efforts for many years to further develop and grow the sport of gymnastics from the community-level through to international competition. Her granddaughter, Kyla Selmeczi, accepted the award on Marta's behalf from CGC President and CEO, Peter Nicol, at the CGC Annual Meeting in Ottawa:

At the time of the AGM, Marta was visiting Hungary, where a great number of friends and gymnastics dignitaries had gathered to celebrate the occasion with her!

Two applications for the GCG Life Membership Award were made, one from club members and one from the webmaster. (Click on links to read!)




















Marta and Ernest were awarded the very prestigious Gymnastics Ontario Award: Dr. Gene Sutton Special Achievement Award 2019, click HERE to read the nomination!


Surrounding Marta are Becky Bridges, Cyndal Janzen, Karina Spencer-Yap, Bev Janzen, Irmi Jahn, Donna Twose, Louise Librock, Linda Crawford, Donna Miotto and Peggy (Campbell) O'Halloran.










Marta also posed with leaders of two other RG/AGG clubs, Evelyn Koop (Kalev) and Annely Riga (Ritmika):































We need to add that the whole gymnastics community in the area will be missing Ernest. Through his steadfast support of his wife, he enabled so many young girls to enjoy a great sport, the joy of performing, competing and winning, both nationally and internationally. His "job" was registration and financial control of the clubs, but he also supported and encouraged the gymnasts and was a great friend to them and their families. We miss him!

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