Meet The Coaches!

We value our family-oriented environment at Sokol Stickney and want everyone to feel welcomed the moment you walk in the gym. Please take the time to get to know our coaches a little better below!

 

Coach Kimberly Elliott 

Kimberly is better known at the Sokol gym as “Coach Kim”. She has been the Physical Director of Sokol Stickney for 20+ years. She took a brief break to start a family, but has been an essential member of Sokol Stickney for years. She has coached many levels of gymnastics ranging from pre-school/novice to high school/advanced over the past 30 years. She has attended numerous USAG and IPDGC coaching conferences, trainings, clinics and seminars over the years–all contributing to her success as a coach for American Sokol. Coach Kim currently holds USAG safety certifications, pre-school certifications, and recreation gymnastics certifications. To add to her detailed coaching credentials, Kim has also attended many Sokol developmental conferences. Kim’s motto in the gym is “progressive training” and takes a strong approach in implementing this motto with her students and as a coach, ensuring that all gymnasts have mastered basic skill sets before they advance to the next skill. This, Kim believes, builds quality athletes and gymnasts. Beyond just coaching, Kim has helped host many district gymnastics meets, authored many routines and special numbers, planned and executed Sokol exhibitions, attended numerous Sokol Slets, hosted many fundraisers, and thrown many fun parties to keep Sokol Stickney alive and well. The other Sokol Stickney members would call her the “glue” that holds our gym together as she played an instrumental part in ensuring Sokol Stickney had a place to move when we were displaced from our original home gym in Stickney. Coach Kim is also an infamous mixologist bartender at Tuscany Restaurant in Chicago (#KimMonday) and a proud mom to Jordan and Payton and dog-mom to Oliver and Annie (who are also instafamous …@annie.the.labradoodle).

Coach Audrey Austrevich

Audrey started out at Sokol Stickney when she was just three years old and has been a member ever since. She is the current Membership Director and Financial Secretary and has held these positions for almost twenty years running. Audrey has also been an assistant coach at Sokol Stickney for many years and brings a wealth of coaching knowledge to our staff. Her favorite thing about Sokol is the way in which is promotes physical fitness, instills a healthy competitive nature, and teaches teamwork and team building to kids from a young age on. Every year, she looks truly forward to seeing the returning students and class members for the upcoming Sokol season. Audrey is business woman by day, holding the 2nd Vice President position at Northern Trust Company downtown Chicago in the Investment Outsourcing Operations, Foreign Exchange department. Beyond her day job, Audrey is a proud wife to her husband Vince of 42 years! A fun fact about coach Audrey is that she actually had her wedding reception at the Sokol Stickney hall! Audrey is a true Sokol for life.

Coach Jenna Vondrasek

Jenna has been a member of Sokol since she was born 25 years ago. She was first a member of Sokol Berwyn Slavsky and came to Sokol Stickney after Sokol Berwyn closed. Both Jenna and her sister Maria grew up very connected to the Sokol community, as their mother, Jean Hruby, worked in the national office and eventually became the President of American Sokol. Though gymnastics has never been Jenna’s best Sokol skill, she prefers calisthenics, special number, volleyball competitions, and being a coach/volunteer at pancake breakfasts, picnics, and fundraisers alike. She folk dances as a part of Moravian Cultural Society since her childhood and was a Czech debutante when she was 16. She played competitive volleyball through her youth and intramural volleyball at the University of San Diego. Jenna received a degree in Business Administration and Spanish and currently works for Hyatt Hotels Corporation in the city of Chicago. Upon her return to Chicago, she came back to Sokol Stickney to join us as a coach. Jenna most recently rode her bike to the American Sokol Slet in Cedar Rapids with the Ride2Camp crew. In her free time, Jenna is busy teaching cycling classes, training for marathons, and hanging out with her dog Tessa in Oak Park.

 

Coach Maria Vondrasek 

Maria has also been a member of Sokol since birth. Maria was a multi-level competitive gymnast growing up in Sokol and also doubled as a marching star. Her favorite gymnastics event was the floor, as she was always working on improving her skillset. As a natural transition, Maria became involved with competitive cheerleading and hip-hop dancing to work on her gymnastics skills in the off-season. She cheered with Cheer Illinois Athletics out of Bensenville, Il. In her youth, Maria was also a teacher for the Tots class at Sokol Stickney, was a member of the Sokol Stickney Junior Board, and attended many national Sokol camps. Maria also Czech dances with MCS and was a Czech debutante. Maria went to school at Michigan State University where she studied Interior Design/Architecture. She currently works for Whitney Architects in Oak Brook designing commercial spaces. Maria most recently competed with the Sokol Stickney women’s tag team in the gymnastics competition at the Sokol Slet in Cedar Rapids (1st place!). She was in Prague for the last international Sokol Slet and is excited for the upcoming Prague Slet in 2018. Maria currently coaches for Sokol Stickney and co-authors special number dances with her sister Jenna. In her free time, you can find Maria taking extra care of her two cats Moose and Button or looking super chic at client meetings in the city.

 

Coach Jordan Karovic

Jordan is a graduating senior at Lewis University in Romeoville where she studies Social Work and Psychology. She has been a member of Sokol since 1999 and started coaching at Sokol in the 6th grade. Her mom, coach Kim Elliott, had Jordan and her sister Payton involved with Sokol and close to their Czech roots since birth. In her youth, Jordan was a Sokol Stickney class regular, attended Sokol camp, and was the President of the Sokol Stickney Junior Board for many years—helping to organize spaghetti dinners, exhibitions, pancake breakfasts and more. She assisted in the move of Sokol Stickney to St. Hugh’s in Lyons and has authored many special numbers and gymnastics routines. In recent years as a coach, Jordan has attended many gymnastics skills clinics and coaching clinics to perfect her coaching skills. Jordan is the head volleyball coach for Sokol Stickney and was the volleyball captain at her high school. Jordan most recently nominated and chosen as a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society at Lewis University, a program that only accepts the top 10% of social work students. Jordan specializes as a conditioning coach at Sokol Stickney. In her free time, she can be found at the gym doing strength training workouts and weight-lifting, babysitting, or taking very close loving care of her 97-year-old great-grandma, Babi.

 

Girls Class Assistant Payton Elliott 

Payton is Coach Kim’s youngest daughter and also our youngest member of the coaching staff at 17 years of age. She is a senior at St. Joseph High School in Westchester and is deep into her college search for next year. Similar to her sister Jordan, she is also looking into studying social work or the possibility of becoming a psychologist. Payton has been active in Sokol and classes since she could walk. All of the older coaches have funny memories of Payton in Sokol Stickney Tots classes. She was always the sassiest and most outgoing of the group and has developed into an even bolder and sociable coach. Though Payton is only a member of the Junior class, she has been an assistant coach for the last five years and has a tight bond with a lot of the Sokol Stickney gymnasts, attending IPDGC spotting and progression clinics along the way. In addition to coaching gymnastics, Payton has performed in many calisthenics and special numbers and is the current administrator of the Sokol Stickney Instagram account. She has authored special numbers and gymnastics routines and still competes in gymnastics today. If Payton is not at Sokol, you can find her cheerleading at St. Joe’s games or hanging out with her bestie Marcella.

 

 

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