2018 European Gymnastics Championships Heads For The Greatness Of Glasgow

SSE Hydro Arena Glasgow - 2018 European Gymnastics Championships

It may be more than a year away but an exciting new multi-sport event is already capturing the imagination of British gymnastics fans. The Glasgow 2018 European Gymnastics Championships will join together the existing Europeans for Aquatics, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rowing and Triathlon along with a new Golf team championship.

But the cream for club members up and down the land will be the inclusion of gymnastics. Tickets are already on sale, and seemingly going well for an exciting event set to bring 250,000 sports fans into both Glasgow and Scotland as a whole next year.

Gymnastics Set For The Hydro Arena

From the second of August, there will be an exile rating 10-days of gymnastics competition carrying men’s and women’s competitions at both junior and senior level at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow. It’s  a particularly memorable venue for one of the sports stars Ellie Downie, who said:  “It’s going to be amazing to perform on home soil, The Hydro Arena is a very memorable arena for me, it’s where we won our first World team medal, so it will be nice to be back there. I think the atmosphere is going to be incredible with the home crowd, and there’s going to be a lot of hype around it.”

This sporting extravaganza will be staged every four years and is certain to become a top highlight on the world’s sporting event calendar. In fact, this will be an 11-day festival of world-class sporting excellence broadcast across the globe.

The initial event will certainly enhance Scotland’s reputation as a high-end sporting host – and a potential 1.03 billion viewers across Europe alone will watch the ongoing action. Indeed, as you might expect, the BBC will be a major player.

52 Nations Set To Be Involved

More than 4,500 athletes from 52 nations will be involved in a bid to be crowned European Champion, with the athletics themselves being hosted in Berlin. For the gymnasts, this will also provide the opportunity of mixing with all the other athletes, in itself creating a truly wonderful atmosphere – with an almost Olympic feel.

Ellie added: “It’s going to be unreal going in as reigning all-around champion. I’ve never been in that position before at a European Championships so it will be different in that respect, but it will still be really exciting.”

Dubbed ‘The friendliest city in the world’, Glasgow is one of the world’s top 10 sporting cities offering a number of world-class venues such as the Emirates Arena and The Hydro. This won’t be just a welcome sporting feast but also a cultural celebration everyone involved will enjoy.

Yet again, however, this sparkling event will propel the sport of gymnastics into the hearts of many new fans. It will also continue to raise the profile of some of our most talented performers, like Nile Wilson who told the media: “It’s fantastic to have it in this country, I have competed in Glasgow numerous times at the Commonwealth Games and World Championships and each time it was fantastic. To have a multi-sport event as well is really exciting, as it’s a chance to meet athletes from different sports and interact with them.”

It will be the biggest sporting event hosted in Scotland since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The gymnastics will be an exhibition to savour, adding to the greatness of Glasgow and the event as a whole.

Fans can buy tickets for 84 thrilling sessions of sport starting at just £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s and over-60s.

Tickets for all events can be purchased from www.glasgow2018.com/tickets and will be sold on a first come first served basis, with fans encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment.

What Makes A Great Gymnastics Coach?

Gymnastics Coaching

There is one question that troubles me greatly, and it’s one that arises in nearly ALL gymnastics coaching courses and workshops I have attended:

‘What makes a great gymnastics coach?’

Just writing it is making my blood pressure rise!

Some years ago, I would have put together a long list of qualities that great coaches have … but not today.

The thing is, I’ve travelled the world and worked alongside a tremendous number of coaches, many of whom are at the height of their respective fields. And it is during this time that I’ve come to recognise that many high performing coaches are totally flawed in the characteristics we often associate with high performance.

High technical knowledge? Not always important.

Organised? Quite the opposite.

Positive? Nope.

‘People person?’ …. Definitely not!

Growth mindset? … I wish.

You get the gist

Jigsaw Pieces Or Cogs?

I used to see the gymnastics coaching world as a jigsaw puzzle, with coaches who are lacking in important qualities as being ‘incomplete.’

I’ve now moved to a ‘cogs’ model.

The more cogs that are moving, the more efficiently a system runs. But even with fewer cogs (or in our case desirable qualities) the system still runs, albeit not quite as efficiently. The coach can still produce results, but it might require more work, or have a few more bumpy roads to ride down first.

What Makes A Great Gymnastics Coach Anyway?

Yes, there are some characteristics that many great coaches will have in common, and it’s wonderful to dream about what qualities a ‘complete’ coach would have, but we shouldn’t delude ourselves that ‘great’ coaches hold all of these.

Besides, what does it mean to be a ‘great’ gymnastics coach anyway?

The status of being a great coach often gets attributed to those who produce gymnasts that can (and do) win medals at an international level. But I’m often a little more curious (don’t mistake this for being pessimistic or cynical) as to how those results happened.

A coach whose gymnast’s win international medals, but are left emotionally broken wouldn’t earn my badge of being a ‘great coach.’ That would be mistaking being a great ‘technician’ for being a great coach. A BIG difference.

Neither would I consider a coach great who manages to squeeze one gymnast into the top spot, but in the process manages to physically or technically ‘wreck’ another 40 gymnasts.

You could say a wealthy drug dealer knows how to make money, but you’d question their ethics and are unlikely to hold them in high esteem. In much the same way, this is how I view unethical coaches who leave a path of destruction in their wake. They don’t get my vote, regardless of the size of their medals haul.

Some of the best gymnastics coaches I know have never actually coached at a high-performance level. They are, however, in the elite at running a recreational gymnastics class or a class full of pre-school children. That’s an art in itself and requires a mass of experience and skills.

So what do YOU think? I’d be interested in what you attribute the status of being a ‘great coach’ to?

Article by Nick Ruddock, Gymnastics Club Manager’s resident coaching expert and International Gymnastics Coach and Consultant.

FIG New Duty Of Care Initiative: Safeguarding Gymnasts

Safeguarding Gymnasts

The Federation of International Gymnastics is to develop a duty of care code for safeguarding gymnasts and everyone involved in the sport. Their determined commitment means gymnasts will be able to compete safe in the knowledge they perform under an umbrella of prevention, education, reporting, investigation and sanctions.

Both male and females should be able to immerse themselves in the sport free from any form of abuse, sexual harassment or bullying of any kind. This marks a clear move toward ensuring those very high standards already employed are enhanced further within the gymnastics world.

Making Gymnastics Safer

FIG President Morinari Watanabe has wasted no time since taking over in January, organising a working group charged with reviewing existing rules of the federation with the aim of re-enforcing them.

The group includes Slava Corn, Jane Allen and Steve Butcher, who held their first meeting in Lausanne between May 31 and June 1, starting from the premise ‘everyone in sport has the responsibility to develop a culture of dignity and safety.’

The group has based its work notably on the strong recommendations of the international federations of the IOC’s Agenda 2020, providing a framework outlining the key components required for the quality care of athletes. A solid duty of care code has since emerged utilising a series of supporting procedures intended to serve as an acceptable standard when both adopting and protecting policies.

Mr Watanable said: “As FIG President, I declare we will not tolerate abuse or sexual harassment in the gymnastics community. We observe the rules because we are educated to do so. But rules cannot be observed only through education and legislation. Severe sanctions are needed. The same level of severe measures as anti-doping is necessary for eradicating harassment.”

Developing Positive Methods of Safeguarding Gymnasts

In any sport of course, where coaches are working so closely with athletes – where there’s regular travelling involved, and where there are close working relationships involved, it’s vital to protect everyone. The group have since insisted, it will be the responsibility of each member federation to ensure the implementation of such policies is carried out professionally and with due care and attention.

As the governing body of one of the world’s leading Olympic sports, the FIG fully endorses these principles and is committed to strengthening the support offered to all its members. In truth, the safety, well-being and welfare of gymnasts across the world must be at the epicentre of everything the FIG does. Both now and in the future.

It was emphasised, everyone in the sport has a responsibility to both recognise and prevent misconduct, harassment and any form of abuse at the source. The FIG will also develop educational material and provide opportunities to share case studies of best practice to further assist its member federations.

This hard working group also recommends the establishment of an Ethics and Welfare Unit within the Federation’s headquarters in Switzerland. They will collaborate with other FIG bodies and their activities in the process of delivering a duty of care to other members.

Slava Corn. FIG Honorary Vice President of the group told the media: “Our member federations, in particular, must demonstrate strong leadership by identifying and eradicating unacceptable practices and implementing preventative programs.”

The Ethics and Welfare Unit will work closely with the FIG Academy programme for coaches to develop and enhance educational resources and examples of best practice when it comes to safeguarding gymnasts.

This will encompass FIG courses, World Championships, events and congresses. The whole project ensures the sport consolidates itself around leading principles as the 21st century gathers pace.

Driven Daniel Purvis: What It Takes To Become An Olympic Gymnast

Daniel Purvis: Become An Olympic Gymnast

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to become an Olympic gymnast take a closer look at the highly talented Daniel Purvis. We all hear stories of hard work, discipline and dedication, but sometimes fate can also lend a helping hand.

And it seems for this internationally elite three-time British all-around champion in men’s artistic gymnastics, being a hyperactive child, actually created a catalyst for future glory. Along with most parents of youngsters with an energy overload, Bob and Denise Purvis suddenly had their hands full.

An outlet was needed, and what could be better than a sporting activity to both focus the mind and take care of that excess energy. After all, both were PE teachers.

But what?

Finding An Aptitude For Gymnastics

By his own admission, he was hopeless at football and other related activities just didn’t work. One of his teachers suggested visiting a gym, so off they went to Southport YMCA – a converted egg factory.

Within a few visits the coaches were remarking about his strength and ability – and then the penny dropped with Bob as he explains: “From a very early age – probably around two – we would take him to the park to do his monkey climbs on the bars just because he enjoyed that kind of activity and it helped him let off some steam. There was obviously a link between the two. We said: ‘Right, that’s enough for us’. If this is where he needs to be, this is where we’ll make sure he is as regularly as he needs to. By the time he was eight, we had to make sure he had enough fuel in his stomach once home from school and before driving to the gym. It would then be a three-hour training session.”

For Daniel himself, it was a case of finding something he really loved. And It was clear he felt very comfortable in that environment, even though many at that time still thought of gymnastics as a girls sport.

The Burden of Support

He admits to being a shy boy, and gymnastics helped him to develop socially. Mum and Dad would take him to the gym six times each week, and when he had competitions in London they’d drive him there and back.

He learned to drive as an 18-year-old, but by then his parents had already given up so much to support him. Daniel added: “It was a massive burden on them. But at the same time they were so supportive and without them I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have achieved. In the early days, there were only a couple of hundred people in different school venues. When we moved to where we are now there were about 450 members. Now we’ve got 1,300.”

The Role of Jeff Brooks

In the most part Olympic gymnasts have been heavily influenced by a quality coach and mentor, and in Daniel’s case, it was Jeff Brooks. He said: “When Dan was a young boy he was very introverted and didn’t have a lot of confidence. Even when I realised how good he could be, it was a long time before he accepted what I was saying could be true. That’s the biggest achievement on my part, I think.

Apart from the long hours and complete discipline, Daniel’s regime has affected life at home. From shopping in the supermarket for perfectly balanced meals the whole family can eat, to rest and relaxation, everything is geared to his performances.

His dad retired early to help support his son explaining: “It has certainly been a massive part of Daniel’s progression in this sport that as a family we have been able to support him and give him all the extra time that he needed. Gymnastics is a sport, of course, where you can’t just go in the back garden or go to the park and run around. It has to be so specific, with specific apparatus.”

It’s true athletes actually do give up so much for a chance of a medal, something fans should really appreciate.

To Become An Olympic Gymnast…

As a Junior in 2006, he came fourth in the team for Great Britain at the Junior European Championships in Greece. Two years later in Lausanne, he helped the British team win the Gold medal and individually won the all-around silver at the Junior European Championships again.

From The Commonwealth Games to The World Championships, amongst his other achievements was a bronze at the 2012 London Olympics in the all-around competition alongside Kristian Thomas, at the North Greenwich arena.

Dan stepped up to the plate with vigour in 2015, performing for Great Britain at the World Gymnastics Championships. His superb and disciplined performances across all six events played a leading role in helping the team qualify for the Rio Olympics.

All involved parties recognise success at the highest level can’t be achieved without an excellent support strategy and a lot of personal sacrifices. Dan now has his own gymnastics club called Dan Purvis gymnastics, based in the Nac Netherton and Dunes, Southport.

Who knows – there could be another star in the making, very much in the Dan Purvis mould.

Oksana Chusovitina Enters The International Gymnastics Hall Of Fame

Oksana Chusovitina

There can’t be a greater example to up and coming gymnasts than the charismatic Oksana Chusovitina. She may have been inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t mean her career is over.

The Sporting Legend And Role Model Just Keeps On Going

In fact, at the age of 42 the only woman to have competed in three Olympics for three different nations, is still going strong. She most recently performed on balance beam, floor exercise and vault at World Cup meets back in March. It would also seem Tokyo 2020 is still a realistic target for this disciplined gymnast who has also performed for the old Soviet Union, Germany and her native Uzbekistan in various other events.

Speaking at the induction awards ceremony in the States last weekend she told the assembled throng through her translator, former team-mate and now coach Svetlana Boginskaya: “It seems like this award is for people who retired. In this case, I am not, and you will never be alive until I retire. So keep waiting.”

Her sense of mischief is legendary of course, and she is naturally the only woman to be inducted into this supreme role of honour while still competing. When she arrived at the 2016 Rio Games, she became the first gymnast to compete in seven consecutive Olympics. And she wasn’t just there to make up the numbers either.

Chusovitina qualified to the vault final, where she threw a Produnova (handspring-double front), the hardest vault possible. She’s also won vault medals in an incredible nine World Championships. The Hall of Fame, housed in the Science Museum, Oklahoma, has now chronicled the exploits of 95 individuals from 22 countries.

And for the first time, the entire ceremony was streamed on Facebook LIVE.

In a colourful speech, she added: “I would like to thank my mother for longevity in the sport because she’s the one who didn’t want me to do it,” Chusovitina said Saturday. “I wanted to prove her wrong. With any child, you just want to do the opposite of what your parent tells you. So, thank you, mom. She always wanted for me to be scientist or piano player, or someone that was not an athlete, so thank you, mom, for making me an athlete. And I think when my mom actually will say, “Honey, I’m OK with you being a gymnast, maybe that will be the time where I will stop.”

Tribute To Her Son

Her son was diagnosed with leukaemia in October 2002, but made a full recovery and will turn 18-years-old in November. Her move to Germany was tied to her young son’s diagnosis, so they moved there to receive treatment. She went on: “As a mother, I would like to thank the gymnastics community all over the world. Because of their help, my child in cancer-free. He didn’t take a passion for gymnastics; he is afraid of heights. He is short, like me, but he likes basketball. And he believes he’s going to be a basketball player and be in NBA. He is short, but I don’t want to kill his dreams.”

Chusovitina’s career as an elite gymnast has spanned more than a quarter of a century. She won the USSR Junior Nationals in 1988 and began competing at the international level in 1989 before many of her current rivals were even born.

Chusovitina has also competed in 10 World Championships, three Asian Games and three Goodwill Games. She also holds the record for the most individual world championship medals in a single event (nine, on the vault).

The Petroleum Club also saw three other gymnasts inducted: Japan’s Shun Fujimoto helped Japan to the 1976 Olympic team title competing amazingly with a broken leg, Alexei Nemov, the 2000 Olympic all-around champion from Russia, is 11 months younger than Chusovitina but retired after the 2004 Olympics. She also received a warm welcome along with 2008 Olympic silver medallist Alicia Sacramone from America who retired four years ago.

Supporters and guests covered 15 countries, and it seems fitting the 21st coming of age ceremony should feature the exploits of one, Oksana Chusovitina, perhaps the greatest role model the sport has ever seen.

The Love To Move Programme: How British Gymnastics Is Helping Dementia Sufferers

The Love To Move Programme: How British Gymnastics Is Helping Dementia Sufferers

A recent report has revealed British Gymnastics Foundation’s chair-based gymnastics exercise programme for dementia sufferers, has been a great success so far. Research carried out by Age UK has confirmed the scheme was found to offer demonstrable benefits for those with mild to advanced forms of dementia. These included physical, emotional and cognitive aspects.

The Love to Move programme has the goal of getting older people moving and functioning better, with a view to improving the lives of those living with this life changing disease. Based on a similar programme developed by the Korean and Japanese Gymnastics Federations, the BGF has taken its core principles and adapted it for the British culture.

More than 150 people have been enjoying specially designed and unique ‘bilaterally asymmetrical exercises’ where the individual draws different patterns with the left-hand side of their body to the right-hand side. The exercises carried out over a long term period bring positive changes to posture, movement and memory as well as the social engagement of those taking part.

Providing Life-Changing Benefits

British Gymnastics Foundation Manager, Patrick Bonner, said: “This age and dementia friendly programme is astonishing people with its life-changing benefits. So many people involved are seeing their lives improving as a result of the programme and it is remarkable that people are regaining functions which were thought to be lost because of the Love to Move gymnastics based exercises.”

Recent assessments made by care home staff have revealed 10 out of 14 participants have noticed physical improvements. A total of 86% is now socialising with other residents and staff better. 13 out of 14 residents are reported to be happier and more settled. And amazingly 100 per cent of participants are now easier to connect with.

Several individuals are able to use their hands again to feed themselves, do crafts and play games. And to the delight of all involved, one participant, who began taking part in the sessions twice a week and who previously showed few signs of improvement, has now regained her independence. As a result, she’s been able to move back into her own home.

Many other people have been taken off hypertension medication, been lifted from depression and are now sleeping much better.

Positive Early Results

These are early findings of course, but it does seem as though much can be achieved through this ground-breaking project. All results in Asia have been positive with every aspect being state-funded, and now the scheme run by the BGF is set to become more widely available.

Vinal K Karania, Research Manager (Evaluation and Impact) at Age UK said: “For many of the older people participating, their external environment changed little and one can, therefore, be confident that much of the improvements observed will have been because of this programme.”

Programme ambassador, gymnast and two-time Olympian, Kristian Thomas, added: “It’s amazing to see what the Love to Move programme has achieved. Dementia affects so many people and to know that gymnastics is making their lives easier and improving their quality of life; it’s something I’m extremely happy to be a part of.”

Meanwhile, the Foundation has been striving to secure extra funding through a number of outlets including a crowdfunding campaign which you can now donate to. More staff will be trained in the next few months and a booklet containing some of the key exercises is available for people to download and try for themselves.

It’s more proof gymnastics is a sport also putting a great deal back into the community Why not visit www.britishgymnasticsfoundation.org/lovetomove for more information and to access the full report and Love to Move booklet.

Why The Attraction of Drills Could Be Hindering Your Gymnastics Training Plan

Gymnastics Coaching

It can be said of many coaches, that they are magnetised by preps and drills. The proverbial moth to a flame. But why? You would think a press conference had just commenced each time a new drill is introduced to the gymnastics training plan – such is the buzz that ensues.

Don’t think me judgmental in my assessment, I do understand the appeal – I’m not averse to introducing a good drill too, even to the point of filming it for my archive. Yet I recognise that the inclusion of drills is just another ingredient in the training pot, that too often does not attract the attention or thought it deserves.

Less is Definitely More

There are many things we use to train our gymnasts that probably don’t matter, and I always look for ways to reduce the number of steps or processes used in training.

An example would be a caddy advising a golfer, the number of good options when it comes to which club to use next are often limited, especially when there aren’t many to pick from in the first place!

For context let’s use a back flick (or ‘back handspring’) as an example.

There are thousands of drills and exercises to choose from to teach a gymnast a flick. Some good, some fantastic.

So how many do you need?

In my experience you can teach most skills in just a handful of stages – 4-5 steps say, assuming the gymnast has refined the prerequisite skills already.

4-5 drills which include specific performance and learning benefits is sufficient to teach gymnastics skills. More than this and your training plan could actually hinder a gymnast’s rate of learning and retention.

Balancing Gymnasts ‘Needs’ With Your Own Desires

If we were to leave out the impressive or glamorous drills we spend hours searching for on YouTube, we can teach an exceptionally good ‘flick’ in just 4-5 drills, simply by focusing on teaching high quality, basic movement.

Yes, the internet is a great place to find ideas and to share content, but it lacks any form of quality control. This means before you charge ahead implementing a new idea into your gymnastics training plan, you should stop and consider the following first:

  • Is it what the gymnast needs?
  • Is it simple enough to implement?
  • Can my gymnast already perform the pre-requisites?
  • Is the video from a credible source, with someone of experience?
  • Do I know what the learning outcomes are of the drill?

What is important to remember is that what your gymnast needs, may be at odds with what we like the look of as coaches…

I like to think of it as ‘shiny object attraction.’ The new Galaxy S8 smartphone looks amazing, but my current ‘older model’ will still perform just as well for the tasks I want it to do – make calls, send emails, receive texts etc. Having the latest ‘thing’ is not necessarily going to improve performance and there are better things to spend money and time on.

There are often many better ways to improve performance than perhaps some of the drills and preps you might be coaching your gymnasts.

It’s All In The Details

It pains me to say that I’ve failed to see significant improvements in gymnasts coached by those who spend many hours each week scouring online for more drills and exercises to add to their training program. It’s safe to say the internet has not helped them at all – they should really have been looking for the best recipe, rather than the individual ingredients.

Techniques do not really change much over time, but innovation has. Gymnasts of 30 years ago were performing some of the highest complexity acrobatic elements we see today but without the luxury of modern day equipment.

How?

It all comes down to using simple methods and exercises, and concentrating on the attention to detail when it comes to technique. 30 years ago much of the innovation we enjoy was not there, and neither was the virality of sharing ideas and content.

Let’s use a chef baking a dessert as an analogy here.

How many recipes do you think an experienced chef could come up with given basic, quality ingredients such as sugar, eggs, flour, butter and chocolate.

I’m guessing it would be a pretty extensive list and one which, with the right love and attention, would include a masterpiece or two.

My point is that you don’t need lots of ingredients. You just need the right recipe and attention to detail.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t be obsessive in other areas. I often see the top performing coaches excel in these three areas:

  • Being PRODUCTIVE.
  • Being ACCOUNTABLE.
  • Having exceptionally HIGH STANDARDS.

No matter how awesome your drills are, without these 3 qualities, you will never progress in the high-performance world.

So before you start searching YouTube for more drills to use, take a moment to reflect on your gymnastics training plan and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are my gymnasts able to perform the current drills with great execution (if not then a new drill won’t suddenly help them to perform it better either.)
  2. Are the drills the problem, or is it the ratio of drills to practice?
  3. Do I have clarity on exactly what the finished skill should look like?
  4. Are the gymnasts physically prepared for the elements?

When you have the answers…then head off to YouTube 🙂

Article by Nick Ruddock, Gymnastics Club Manager’s resident coaching expert and International Gymnastics Coach and Consultant.

Team GB Trampoline Gymnasts: Bouncing To Glory

Laura Gallagher Team GB Trampoline Gymnasts: Bouncing To Glory

Both Laura Gallagher and Andrew Stamp have been bouncing with joy following their French Masters Open success. The likeable Team GB trampoline gymnasts have been hitting new highs in the sport for a while now.

So it was no surprise to see Laura take the women’s title with a total of 53.765 marks. This, having qualified for the final in second place. Andrew clearly took charge of the qualifications in the 15 to 17 year’s group. And it was glory all the way as he went on to win the final with a score of 56.730.

And we mustn’t forget the talented Corey Walkes of course who finished in 16th place in his own category. The whole event proved to be an exciting and sociable competition, thanks to the commitment and ethos of all those gymnasts, clubs and coaches who took part.

Trampolining is Terrific

In terms of gymnastics, trampolining is one of the most thrilling categories, and one of the most fascinating for those looking to take up the sport. How many children have enjoyed playing on a small compact trampoline in their own back garden?

It was George Nissen who, in the 1930’s watched trapeze artists performing tricks when bouncing off a safety net. He constructed the first modern trampoline in his garage to reproduce this on a smaller scale and enjoy his diving and tumbling activities.

George created a  company to build trampolines for sale and used a variant of the Spanish word trampoline (diving board) as a trademark. He’d enthral onlookers inviting them to participate in his demonstrations as part of his marketing strategy. It was, of course, the beginnings of a new sport.

Bouncing All Over The World!

It wasn’t long before trampolining became commonplace in American schools as part of physical education programmes. The sport declined there however largely because of inadequate training, but elsewhere in the world, the sport was most strongly adopted in Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Since trampolining became an Olympic sport in 2000. More nations have followed suit with China producing world champion athletes in less than a decade. The International Trampolining Federation became part of the Fédérationn Internationale de Gymnastique in 1999. FIG is now the international governing body for the sport, paired with Tumbling as the skill sets overlap.

International competitions are run under the rules of FIG. Individual national gymnastics organisations can make local variations to the rules in matters such as the compulsory and optional routines, and a number of rounds for national and local competitions.

Pike, Twist, Tuck…

Currently, individual trampoline competitions are made up of two or three routines, one of which may involve a compulsory set of skills. These consist of various combinations of somersaults, shaped bounces, body landings and twists performed in various body positions such as the tuck, pike or straight position.

In each routine, the athlete must perform 10 different skills on a standard 14 foot by seven-foot trampoline complete with a central marker. They must always finish on their feet. The routine is marked out of 10 by five judges with deductions for incomplete moves, moving too far from the centre mark or poor form.

Usually, the highest and lowest scores are discarded. Additional points can be added depending on the difficulty of the skills being performed.

Here in the UK, you can discover a number of clubs specialising in this thrilling sport. All have professional and well-qualified coaches – they are welcoming and openly encourage new members with a taste for adventure. Trampolining is fun and you can go at your very own pace, developing some simple routines as you go.

As for Laura Gallagher and Andrew Stamp? The sky’s the limit!

How To Send Group Emails To Your Gymnastics Club Membership & Check Delivery

Sending group emails with gymnastics club manager

Does this sound familiar? You need to send out an important communication to your gymnastics club membership, via email. But, all your member email details are stored on a separate spreadsheet meaning you not only need to locate the most up to date list but also copy and paste all email addresses over to your email service.

Worse still, your current email service isn’t set up to send to hundreds of email addresses all at once. You may also have concerns over the reliability of delivery and worry that your messages may end up in the recipient’s spam folder.

The upshot is you end up copying and pasting not just email addresses, but because you need to send the email out in batches, you have to copy and paste the message too. And let’s not even mention trying to personalise every email to each member.

Setting up email communications like this is super time consuming and we are betting it’s a task you (or your administrator) dread.

With Gymnastics Club Manager you can create and send emails directly from your membership database. As the video below will show you, with our software we make it really easy, and quick, to select your recipient list (choose everyone or just specific groups/classes), create your message, add personalisation with a simple mail merge tag and send.  And if some of your members do not have an email address, you can simply print your message as a letter and post it to them instead.

The title of this post also mentions checking delivery of your emails.

How many of your members tell you they didn’t receive an email from you? How can you check if all your messages were sent, if they were opened or landed in a spam folder? With our software, we will show you how many emails were delivered, how many were opened, as well as those that bounced back or contained an invalid email address. Just watch the video below to see this in action.

Sending out club wide communications needn’t be a task to dread. Ditch the copy-paste, spreadsheet-sorting tedium and switch to Gymnastics Club Manager. Not only can we make communicating with your members a breeze, but we can help you better manage your member information, collect and reconcile class fees and make registration quick and easy for new members.

Why not book a free consultation and let us show you more?

Barry Hearn: The New Face of 21st Century Gymnastics

Barry Hearn

There are many both younger and older involved in the sport of gymnastics who stayed up late to see the end of The World Championship Snooker Final. Those who did would have seen a familiar face during the presentation ceremony. A face now very much part of the furniture, but a face many still associate with snooker, darts, boxing and crown green bowls.

That face belonged to the enigmatic Barry Hearn, mentor of the great Steve Davis and innovator of so many events in sports across the years. It may come as a surprise to some, however, to discover Barry was behind the recent Sky television coverage of The World Cup of Gymnastics. What’s more, he’s also a huge fan, which is great news for every youngster and club member out there.

Promoting The World Cup of Gymnastics

Hearn, renown for jazzing up the coverage of sporting events in order to make them a more exciting product, announced a four-year partnership with Matchroom Sport to promote an annual World Cup of Gymnastics at the O2 Arena in London. The first event was a huge success as you might expect. Why? Because it was shown in its entirety, drawing in a whole new legion of fans.

The first one-day event – featured eight national teams competing in six men’s events and four women’s. What’s more all 18,000 seats available sold out extremely quickly, proving there’s a strong fan base out there much like snooker.

“I cannot believe the number of people who’ve told me they love gymnastics since the Olympics,” he said. “10.8 million watched Max Whitlock win gold on television. I was one of them. The trouble is, in the past, this was a sport that only surfaced every four years. Not anymore. It’s not just about a provincial domestic event, it’s about taking these guys and making them global superstars. Not just once every four years, but every day.”

Bringing Gymnastics To A Wider Audience

It’s already been noted next year’s event will bring with it a few new innovations, in true Barry Hearn style. But the sports traditions will be totally respected. This hasn’t been lost on gymnasts like Rio bronze medal winner Nile Wilson, who said: “When I first started competitions were held in sports halls in front of 50 people, all of whom were the parents of competitors. This is so exciting for the sport. “I’m going to call myself The Wilsonator – That’s got a ring to it.”

Jane Allen, the chief executive of British Gymnastics, added “The number of Britons who participate in gymnastics has grown by 10-15 per cent every year since 2011. When you’re having that sort of growth in your numbers, you feel a real benefit,” she says. “Our clubs are expanding too, and we’ve got better business models out there. They’re not just family clubs, they’re business clubs. They’re attracting investment. We’ve been very fortunate, we’ve got some very good athletes and without them, we wouldn’t have the product. But we’re also represented by 1,500 gymnastics clubs across the country. We haven’t staged a non-Olympic gymnastics event in London since 1975.Our strategy has been for some time to bring this event to London to bring it to the attention of a wider audience.”

Let’s be honest – why shouldn’t gymnastics become a mainstream sport? After all, those competing can do more with their bodies in terms of fitness and flexibility than most footballers. It could be argued they also work much harder at their game.

Viewers at the Olympics, of course, are spellbound by the amazing movement of everyone involved of course. The answer must be, let’s see more of the sport on television and on a regular basis. There’s no better way to bring youngsters into the sport.