We are pleased with the Sport England announcement today which allocates £8,330,000 to British Gymnastics to grow and develop gymnastics in the UK. The investment will help us meet the current high demand for gymnastics, help us to give more children and young people a great start in life as well as nurture talented gymnasts to explore and realise their potential.
Our expansion initiatives
Participation in gymnastics has never been higher, highlighted by Sport England’s recent Active People Survey results and our own data which shows record numbers. Demand for the sport continues and we’ve been successful in supporting our valued network of registered clubs and leisure providers to grow, but we need a significant volume of extra gymnastics classes for children. A recent survey into demand showed there are over one million people on waiting lists in the UK. Whilst our work with existing delivery partners will continue, we will also focus on recruiting new delivery partners and supporting them to deliver a high-quality gymnastics experience.
Gymnastics recognised as providing a foundation for the future
The Sport England investment recognises gymnastics' positive impact on young people’s lives and its wider contribution to their new strategy - 'Towards an Active Nation'.
Gymnastics involves lots of activities young people love, from bouncing on trampolines to performing handstands, somersaults and finding other fun ways of moving but importantly taking part in gymnastics provides a range of desirable and in some cases, proven benefits.
Insight we provided to Sport England evidences gymnastics can help develop great physical competencies such as motor skills like postural control and coordination providing the ability to jump, land and fall safely. Also physical attributes such as strength, flexibility and balance. In new research involving representatives from ten other sports, many listed those physical attributes as important or essential to their sports. The survey respondents also identified positive outcomes they believe were gained as a result of participation in gymnastics namely ‘strong / developed fundamental movement skills’, ‘risk taking and trying new things’, ‘strong training ethos and disciplined approach to training’, ‘positive attitude’, ‘physical skills’ and more general ‘life and foundation skills’.
Funding will allow us to give even more children a great start and help them to develop physical competency and a positive attitude towards sport and activity at a young age.
The Sport England investment will also support our National Talent Development Programme, to continue our work to improve our talent development system to underpin the World Class Programme funded by UK Sport. There will be a focus on the development of coaches involved in the talent programme, aimed at improving the quality of delivery to athletes and an increase in results from athletes.
Jane Allen, CEO of British Gymnastics comments "We are pleased with Sport England's investment in gymnastics which allows us to focus on the core business of providing more participation opportunities for children and young people. Sport England recognises the important role gymnastics can play in society by providing children with foundation skills for life. Perhaps some of those young people will go on to represent their country, but we are equally as passionate about being inclusive and giving children a great start in life - whatever their ambition.
“We want people of all ages and abilities working with our coaches, clubs and partners to enjoy their experience of being involved with British Gymnastics. We would like to thank Sport England and The National Lottery for this investment.”
Results summary from the last cycle – 2013-2017
- Participation within the 11-13 age group has increased from 17,500 to 34,000 participants
- Bronze / recreational membership has increased by 100,000 participants
- 160 satellite clubs have been established leading to an increase of 4,000 participants
- In our Further and Higher Education enrichment programme, implemented in 2013 there has been 9,000 participants taking part in gymnastics activities.
- 60,000 participants are now engaged level in Level 2 UK school games gymnastics competition
- 231 gymnastics clubs are now delivering disability gymnastics leading to an increase of 500 disabled participants, our total is now 1500
- 15,000 people have taken part in gymnastics festivals designed to give more people non-competitive display opportunities
- Over 200 facility projects have been completed with over £10m invested into gymnastics facilities