A familiar face has joined the coaching staff for the UAA gymnastics team. Marie-Sophie Boggasch is a former standout gymnast and now the graduate assistant coach.
Boggasch first came to UAA from Schwarzenbach am Wald, Germany in 2012. Throughout her time on the gymnastics team, she helped break school records and won four letters by competing in vault, floor and bar exercises.
On top of coaching, Boggasch is also a flight instructor and pursuing a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. She is combining courses in aviation, management and education.
“I was a flight instructor for four years,” said Boggasch. “I’m actually still a flight instructor, but I figured that combining education and aviation can really help me continue to better myself as a teacher for other people… Leading and managing has always been my second passion.”
Coaching goes hand-in-hand with Boggasch studying education. As a former gymnast, it is fulfilling to Boggasch to be the one coaching compared to being the one learning the different skills.
“I’m surprised how much satisfaction I personally get when I see the girls performing well,” said Boggasch. “I always knew that I really enjoyed teaching, and I really enjoy seeing how I can make an impact in peoples’ lives.”
When asked if she will be going to be coaching UAA gymnastics again, Boggasch’s answer was “yes and no.”
“I knew that I wanted to stay in Alaska, and I had talked about the possibility of coaching with the old head coach,” she said, “but back then I was still very close to the team and had just graduated, so we both felt like it wasn’t the right time.”
The right time came sooner than later. The idea sparked up again last year when Boggasch decided to go to UAA to study for a master’s degree.
Connecting with head coach Tanya Ho led to an agreement that resulted in having Boggasch on the team once again to share her own knowledge of the sport.
“She just has some different drills, skills and techniques that she learned over in Germany that we may have not seen before,” Ho said.
It’s never too early to mark your calendars for the first gymnastics competition. It will be against Illinois State on Friday, Jan. 4 in the Alaska Airlines Center at 7 p.m.
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