This page of the website is designed to explain a little about recreational gymnastics at VGA and answer some questions which you may have.
What does recreational gymnastics mean?
Our recreational gymnastics programme is designed to engage children in gymnastics in a fun and friendly way. The aim is to develop your child’s physical literacy skills through gymnastics. This means that we will develop their strength, flexibility, coordination, fitness and confidence. Whether children continue with gymnastics or wish to specialise in another sport, their experience at VGA will provide them with an excellent basis for progression.
Gymnastics also provides a fantastic opportunity for children and young people to develop social skills – and this is something we take very seriously at VGA; interaction, teamwork and leadership skill development are a key part of our delivery. If you would like to register your child for a recreational gymnastics class at one of our 7 venues, please click on this LINK.
What happens when my child starts gymnastics?
We run sessions for 2 age groups; 4-6 years and 7+ years. Your child will enter our recreational programme at Level 1 where we will always assess their attitude and skill level and will place them in the most appropriate group. We aim for children to work with the same coaches each session so that they can develop the rapport which we deem essential.
At Level 1, children attend once each week. At this stage they will develop basic movement patterns (hopping, jumping etc.), rolling, swinging, balancing and rebounding, using apparatus which is appropriate to their size and experience.
Our youngest children spend their time working to develop their physical literacy using our smallest pieces of apparatus. It is essential that children have fun and develop the movements and coordination to enable them to progress to working on larger piece of apparatus safety and appropriately.
In these classes children may begin working on the British Gymnastics proficiency awards.
What happens next?
Once children have developed the necessary Level 1 skills and demonstrate that they are eager and able to learn additional skills, they will be invited to progress into an alternative group. This may mean that your child moves from a 4-6 years class into a 7+ class or from a Level 1 class to a Level 2 class. At this stage children will be asked to take part in 2 sessions per week. In these classes, the session is structured around the British Gymnastics award scheme. When your child achieves an award you will receive a letter from reception and will be invited to purchase a certificate. We feel that children thrive on rewards so we continually seek for your children to improve and achieve their Awards.
Selected children who have achieved the Level 1 and Level 2 requirements may be invited to join our Competitive Recreational classes. This level of training is for children aged 6+ and will involve a minimum of 2 sessions per week.
This group requires a higher level of effort and commitment compared with Levels 1 and 2 as children will be invited to take part in 3 / 4 competitive events each year.
Recreational Assessment Programme
It must be recognised that being asked to be part of a squad is a privilege few children achieve. Therefore, the vast majority of children will remain within our recreational programme, enjoying gymnastics and developing their skills.
However, where children demonstrate certain, rare, attributes (body shape / type, attitude, strength, flexibility, confidence) they may be invited to join our Recreational Assessment Programme. The aim of this Programme is to give gymnasts the opportunity to gain experience, working alongside our squad gymnasts and coaches and for coaches to assess how a child may cope with the demands of squad gymnastics.
Recreational Important Information for Members
Recreational gymnasts must always wear an appropriate leotard.
No jewellery, including belly piercings, can be worn for gymnastics sessions. There is a no tolerance rule regarding this and no fees can be refunded if children are excluded for this reason.
Hair must be tied back securely.
Gymnasts should attempt to attend every scheduled class and any absence should be conveyed to the office prior to the class start time as our classes are in high demand.
Gymnasts should always be on time, the warm up is an essential part of any session. Gymnasts who arrive more than 10 minutes late will not be permitted to join the class.
Please ensure that your children are collected promptly so that coaches and volunteers can dedicate themselves to children in follow-on sessions.
Gymnasts should always bring a drink of water to training. Your child’s body will work best when it is hydrated. We also have drinks for sale in the office / vending machines at public venues.
Coaching time is precious so if you need to talk to a coach please do so before or after a training session or ask to liaise with one of our Welfare Officers who will arrange a meeting (where appropriate).
We will always aim to get the very best out of your child. If you have any queries please speak to your child’s coach or one of our Welfare Officers who can arrange a meeting (where appropriate).