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01/14/2023 08:23 AM

Julie Takes Role as Valley Gymnastics Team Manager to Hartt

Senior Julie Hartt has played a very prominent role as an active and hard-working team manager for the Valley Regional gymnastics team. Photo courtesy of Julie Hartt

Julie Hartt has had a longstanding athletic career in the sport of gymnastics, but as a senior, she has moved into a new role that has allowed her to still vault towards being a major impact on the team while continuing to balance critical friendships with her peers.

The Valley Regional High School senior tried her hand at track as a youngster, before her grandfather enrolled her in gymnastics at the age of 7. Julie really enjoyed the sport, so much so that she continued with it all the way through her junior season with the Warriors. Yet after Valley graduated a key senior in former team manager Regan Ferguson last year, Julie took on the role of being her predecessor, as she is the new team manager for the Warriors following the conclusion of her competitive career at Valley.

“In gymnastics, the team bonding is great, and I love accomplishing new goals, and it is rewarding to gain new skills. I love both the community and independence aspects of it, too,” says Julie. “Being team manager has been a big responsibility because the prior manager did it all four years, and it was very new for me to jump into it. The coaches have been helpful to me. I do things like passing on messages from the coaches to the athletes, and sending meet scores to the papers. I also work with the athletic director with having us in the budget and making sure we have the appropriate leotards for competition.”

There are various aspects of the job that Julie finds enjoyable, challenging, and certainly rewarding. In the end, it is just so special to sit back and see the product of her diligence and it coming into full fruition.

“I love still being able to be involved in gymnastics; the hardest part of it all was quitting, so it is great to still see everyone and be part of the team,” Julie says. “Some of the tougher parts of the job involve the communication to the apparel companies, newspapers, etc. I have an assistant in Sienna Joplin, who has been a big help. It is rewarding to see it all come together and know I worked hard to make it happen.”

When looking at the communal aspect of the Warriors’ club, Julie states that a great source of it is the familiarity between everyone by growing up in the sport’s local youth program together.

“I have been at Flip Flop Gymnastics in Deep River since I was 7. I have known [Warriors’ Head Coach Monica Bauer] my whole life,” says Julie. “Most of the girls on the team started gymnastics there, so we are very familiar with each other, the gym, and the coaches. We are all comfortable with each other. We are able to so easily come together as a team because we are so familiar with everyone. We are basically a family.”

Coach Bauer adds that Julie not only does the yeoman work throughout the season, but also she takes on a great breadth of responsibilities with every single meet and competition in a variety of different ways.

“Julie plays an important role on this team,” says Bauer. “She has helped with distributing information, taking care of score sheets, helping prepare lineups, and organizing the team. We are excited to have her onboard with us this season.”

Through her newfound occupation on the gymnastics mat, Julie denotes that she has bolstered her mental and verbal skill sets with keeping everything in order and speaking to her colleagues. She concludes that going forward, team management is something that is very much in the cards as she heads towards college.

“Being team manager has helped with my organizational skills, because I have a lot to take care of,” Julie says. “It has also helped with my time-management skills with making sure myself and the team are on time for events. It’s really helped with public speaking and branching out of my shell. I want to be an occupational therapist, which stemmed from me being around sports. I would like to be a student manager or coach for a collegiate team.”