Rathgael becomes first club in Northern Ireland to achieve I’M INclusive Accreditation


Congratulations to Rathgael Gymnastics and Trampoline Club who have become the first club in Northern Ireland to be accredited with I’M INclusive Accreditation as part of our I’M IN Programme, joining 10 clubs in England who have already done the same.

The INclusive Accreditation acknowledges the steps that the club have made towards inclusivity and recognises their commitment to get even more disabled people participating in gymnastics.

With our support, some of the things that the club have done over the last year include:

-         Making connections to local Special Schools who access the facility during the day to introduce their students to gymnastics

-         Delivering a series of Discover Disability Gymnastics Taster days to local disability organisations, charities and schools, for disabled people who haven’t previously taken part in gymnastics to give it a go

-         Supporting their staff to access training around disability specific knowledge and inclusion, including attendance at I’M IN Coaching Clinics and the first Disability Gymnastics Conference held in Feb 2017

-         Securing funding to make accessibility improvements to their facility and to purchase equipment that will support Disability Gymnastics sessions

-         Regularly seeking feedback from their disabled members and continuing to understand from them how they can further develop their services to be inclusive of everyone

As a result of their work, the club have been able to establish two new disability gymnastics sessions (with a third starting in September), as well as welcoming more disabled gymnasts within their mainstream sessions. Since getting involved in the I’M IN Programme they have seen the number of disabled members within the club increase from five to more than 30.

The club have been recognised for their commitment to inclusion, with their Head of Disability Gymnastics, Stephanie Martin winning British Gymnastics Northern Ireland’s Inclusive Club Award, and outside of British Gymnastics, Disability Sport Northern Ireland awarded the club their Mainstream Inclusive Club Award this year.

Any of our clubs can access the Disability Gymnastics Guide via GymNET to support them to become more inclusive of disabled people and can work towards INclusive accreditation. Any interested clubs can contact Participation@british-gymnastics.org for more information.

For those individuals who might be looking to try our fantastic sport, why not find your local club and discover disability gymnastics.

Photo: Elaine Reid from Disability Sport NI presenting Rathgael Gymnastics and Tumbling Club with the Inclusive Club Award