A guide for new parents and gymnasts
First of all, Welcome!
We at Furness Gymnastics Club pride ourselves in being a warm, welcoming, and friendly club, where gymnasts become part of the 'family'
As we all know, joining a new club and starting a new activity can be quite daunting for children. So we have included a few tips, and a FAQ section below to help you learn a little bit more before your class begins.
When you join the club, you will need to pay for your British Gymnastics membership, this provides insurance for your daughter to take part. Its paid annually and a child can attend two sessions before committing to the annual membership.
For Pre-school children the charge is £13/year, for non-competitive its £19/year. More details on all the tariffs can be found here
Once you have made payment, you will them be provided with a leaflet, with the details on how to complete the membership. You will be directed the the British Gymnastics website, where you will need to complete an online registration form.
After two trial sessions, a gymnast cannot train, until the membership has been completed
Payment is made on the first week, via cash or cheque (payable to Furness Gymnastics Club)
The amount varies per term, depending on the number of weeks in the term
Fees due are posted on the board at gym
Payment is made on the first week, via cash or cheque (payable to Furness Gymnastics Club)
£60 for Tuesday
£65 for Wednesday
£12 for Friday (paid half-termly)
Payment is made in advance when first joining the class. After this, gymnasts secure their space for the next half-term, by making payment on the last week of the current term. Payment is via cash or cheque (payable to Furness Gymnastics Club)
All our main classes run during school term time only. All the dates for the current term, are listed on the board at gym, we are open on Bank Holidays.
Please make sure you arrive 5-10 minutes early for your session. This allows the class to start on time, and allows you to ease your daughter into the class, if she is nervous. We have coaches on hand to help with any children who are a little bit shy, or need a bit of extra support.
Watching the Session
All our recreational and pre-school classes are open for parents to watch. For competitive squad the sessions are closed. We run occasional open sessions for squad, for parents to come and watch.
What to Wear
Recreational and Pre-School gymnasts can either wear a leotard, or wear shorts/leggings and a t-shirt. Clothing must not have a zip/buttons etc on it. No jeans or inflexible materials. Socks, jumpers are worn for warm-up only.
Squad girls must wear a leotard, shorts and leggings on top are fine, as are t-shirts and jumpers to warm-up in.
All members of the club are welcome to buy a club sweatshirt, available at the desk
Squad girls can also buy the competition squad leotard
Pre-school gymnasts have the option to purchase the pre-school leotard and t-shirt
Hair, Make-up and Accessories
Gymnasts hair should be tied up and neat. Away from the face. Many parents use french plaits, buns and pony tails. If your daughter is working a roll on beam or floor, we recommend a middle parting, from front to back, so that there is nothing in the middle of the head to restrict the move. No headbands, bows or jewellery allowed. If your daughter has just recently had her ears pierced, these must be taped prior to arrival.
What they will learn
Gymnasts will always start with the basics when joining a class, and will then move on to more challenging skills once their ability has been assessed and they have the required strength/flexibility and pre-skills to learn them. Each skill is generally broken down into segments, and then put together once they have achieved the preps.
Competitive gymnasts and children in our mini squad will be expected to do exercises at home. Other gymnasts may ask their coaches for exercises if they would like to do some core work to help improve.
What to Bring
Make sure you bring a water bottle to keep your gymnast hydrated. We also have a water fountain. There are no snack breaks in our sessions.
Children who are in the competitive squad may need handguards as they progress on bars. This prevents rips when they are doing more hours, and more complicated work. Ask your coach for information and advice on sizing. We stock these at gym. Gymnasts may also need shiny bar gloves and loops if they are working on giants. We provide chalk free of charge.
Changing Room and Facilities
We have a changing room and toilets for the gymnasts to get changed. We also have baby changing facilities for those who require them.
How the sessions are run
Children will start their session with a game and group warm up, led by one of our coaches. The gymnasts are then split into groups of around 8 gymnasts, this is birth year age (Under 10) and ability levels (Over 10). The gymnasts then have the opportunity to work on the apparatus. We also sometimes work circuits as a group, where all the coaches work will all gymnasts to give extra support on things such as tumbling and vault.
What are the benefits of Gymnastics
Gymnastics is a great all around sport, which teaches many key skills that can be applied to many sports. The key fundamentals to being successful in gymnastics and gained from taking part in the sport, are dedication, determination, balance, friendship, co-ordination, flexibility, strength and artistry.
Gymnastics not only teaches you how to do amazing skills that look effortless and beautiful, but it also teaches you many lifelong lessons.
Gymnasts learn discipline, to be consistent and patient, to have respect for their peers and their coaches, to work as a team, but also to stand on their own two feet.
Gymnasts are extremely hard working and learn to deal with failure, to not give in when they do, and then to push past those problems to achieve their goal. All skills that will help them tackle whatever life throws in their path in the future.
How to Support your Gymnast
Coaching your gymnast involves a three way relationship, with the parent and coach working together to bring out the best in your gymnast.
The coach's role is to offer support, encouragement, technical knowledge and development while the parent's key role is to give support, be a good listener, give encouragement, and a hug or two along the road.
It's also important to back up the coach. Sometimes a gymnast can be at challenging stage in their development, where they need to push through their fears to achieve a move.
The coach is experienced and will only ask a gymnast to work a move they are ready for, but sometimes, for the gymnast, this can seem like an impossible request.
Providing your gymnast with the emotional support and encouragement they need, is very helpful in giving the gymnast, the courage they need to take the next step.
The most important thing as a parent is to make sure your child knows that her best effort is good enough. Medals are wonderful and of course we aim to win them! But it is more important to us that our gymnasts achieve their personal best and can feel a sense of achievement and self worth.
A happy gymnast, that wants to do the sport for herself, is a key attribute to success.
The Floor is 12x12meter and is sprung to make it a soft space for landing moves
The floor exercise is performed to music ranging from 30 seconds to 90 seconds long. Gymnasts perform tumble runs, normally across the diagonals, consisting of acrobatic moves like round off, flic flacs and somersaults. They must include dance and dance elements such as leaps and jumps.
Marks are also given for artistry, the use of choreography and the ease at which they express it.
Children begin by learning how to use a spring board, and then progress to various vaults
The vault varies in height from 110cm to 125cm depending on the gymnasts age and level.
Gymnasts run down a padded runway and with the use of a spring board launch themselves onto the vault. They can approach forwards or backwards (from a roundoff).
Gymnasts are expected to land cleanly and demonstrate good technique. Falling or stepping on landing incurs deduction, as will lack of height off the table, or distance from the table
Children start with learning the basics on a single bar
Gymnast perform linked moves moving up and down the bars as well as on an individual bar. A fluid routine with no pauses.
The distance between the bars are adjustable depending on the height of the gymnast from 130 centimetres–180 centimetres wide.
Gymnasts use chalk to grip the bar and also wear handguards. The idea is to create a fluid routine that links moves from one to the other with no pauses.
Balance is key when it comes to beam. A confidence builder
The balance beam is 16 feet long and only 10cm wide.
Gymnasts work along the beam doing acrobatic moves such as flic flacs and somersaults and dance such as leaps and jumps.
The beam is about 4 feet off the floor and gymnasts have 1:30 minutes to complete their routine.
Gymnasts build up difficulty by linking moves together. Just like on floor, gymnasts are also marked on their dance ability