Gymnastics 1

Focus On ... Gymnastics 2023

Scottish Gymnastics are committed to equipping people of all ages with a range of transferable skills to use across their lives

Scottish Gymnastics is committed to ensuring everyone can take part at all stages and ages and equipping people with a range of transferable skills to use across their lives.   

Jacob Brydon, Scottish Gymnastics Communications and Marketing Officer, said:

“The pathways for recreational gymnasts and performance athletes alike focus on developing skills. Scottish Gymnastics programmes are shaped by the development of brilliant basics, allowing participants to learn and develop physical, technical, and behavioral skills which will set them up for a life in sport.”

“We are committed to supporting gymnasts so that they can thrive and providing them with opportunities to develop essential skills at different life stages which are transferable, allowing participants to move between roles for lifelong involvement.”

A wide range of benefits

Gymnastics offers a wide range of benefits and is safe, fun, and open to everyone. Jacob highlighted:

“Gymnastics can lay the foundations for life, ensuring the development of early years physical ability. Specifically, participants work on balance, mobility, flexibility, and strength which can help in reducing the risk of injury or providing the basis for participating in other sports.”

Sport also plays a much bigger cultural role in addressing some of the larger societal challenges we face.

Jacob said:

“Research shows that young gymnasts believe that taking part in sport through their gymnastics club has a positive impact on their mental wellbeing, helping them to feel happy, healthy, confident, included, and gives them a place to make friends."

"The benefits of our sport stretch much further than you think, helping with cognitive development & leadership.”

Developing young people

With a set of shared values for the sport across the UK, gymnastics is inclusive, supportive, and aspirational. Jacob commented:

“Gymnastics brings people together, helping them to build friendships and structure that extends outside of the gym and it’s brilliant to see the #powerofsport in action.”

“This is especially important for young women, who may be missing out on these opportunities if it wasn’t for gymnastics. We have a membership which is 85% female and gymnastics helps break down the usual barriers that women and girls face when trying to access sport and physical activities.”

“The sport also offers a huge variety of pathways to other roles and sports, meaning that people can stay active and continue to be part of and contribute to their community as they get older.”

Future leaders

Scottish Gymnastics runs a leadership award accredited by Sports Leaders for those aged 12 and above.

Jacob told us:

“The four modules focus on the basic skills needed to lead others in any sport or activity with learning delivered within a gymnastics context. Using experience as a gymnast…

“Young learners in clubs across the country have completed the award, allowing them to develop skills and understand themselves and the people around them, and learn how to become an effective leader. This course, along with opportunities for volunteering, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, help develop skills in time management, confidence, communication and recognising achievements, strengths, and skills to continue to develop.”


Pathways in gymnastics

There are plenty of opportunities to develop new skills, both inside and out of the gym. Jacob said:

“As you get older, you can take on a coaching role thanks to our learn to coach course, designed for people aged 14+. You can become a qualified coach in one of eight gymnastics disciplines from the age of 16 and continue to train in the gym too.”

“Our sport wouldn’t run without fantastic volunteers and officials. Clubs such as Alvah have accessed the leadership award with their gymnasts going on to volunteer at our non-competitive display event, Gymfest."

"Many learners on our leadership award become coaches, starting their journey in their own clubs and then taking on paid roles when they move to college or university.”

“There is also a fantastic pathway for judging and other support roles which help keep our sport fair and sustainable. You can become a club judge from the age of 14, using skills you learnt during training to spot what makes a great performance, and it’s amazing where volunteer roles like this can take you – all the way up to international level.”

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