British Gymnastics turns 130 - British Gymnastics

British Gymnastics turns 130

2018 is a milestone year for British Gymnastics as we reach our 130th birthday!

The inaugural meeting of the Amateur Gymnastics Association, (later to become the British Amateur Gymnastics Association and now British Gymnastics), took place on 21 June 1888. The meeting was held in response to a national call for a single organisation to take responsibility for setting standards, certificating coaches and organising competitions in the sport which was relatively new in the UK but growing rapidly in popularity and participation. 

It’s been quite a journey and we are delighted that 130 years on, gymnastics is thriving; participation is rising and our medal-winning teams have never been so decorated. We have much to celebrate and we want to extend a sincere thank you to all those who’ve contributed - past and present.

We are very proud to have played a part in growing and supporting grass roots participation, developing top-level talent, delivering world-class events across the UK and upholding the ethical standards expected. We are thrilled with what’s been achieved and it's been a team effort. We couldn’t have done it without the dedication and efforts of the wider British Gymnastics members, community and the support of all our partners.

We want the next chapter to be just as successful, so we are focused on the future and making big plans. We want to grow gymnastics and ensure all those involved have a positive, inspiring experience. We want more people to feel the joy and excitement of the sport we all love. A sport that's breathtaking to watch, thrilling to perform and amazes millions across the nation. We believe by working collaboratively, we can guarantee gymnastics in the UK continues to flourish. 

Look out for more news on our big plans for the future. 

Key moments in our history:

  • 1888 The Amateur Gymnastics Association formed, we then became British Gymnastics in 1997.

  • 1908 First Olympic gymnastics medal won by Walter Tysal (silver).

  • 1936 We became a member of the FIG and a founding member of the UEG in 1982.

  • 1953 Britain's first participation in the global celebration of gymnastics - the World Gymnaestrada.

  • 1964 First Trampoline World Championships was staged in the UK and we won our first World medal. In total, we have hosted 11 World Championships and claimed over 100 World medals.

  • 1969 Our first badge and proficiency scheme launched for recreational gymnasts.

  • 1970s Rhythmic and Acrobatic Gymnastics are recognised as new disciplines. Aerobic Gymnastics was added in 1992. 

  • 1984 We pledge to give all disabled people greater participation opportunities - Disability Gymnastics is recognised as an official discipline. 

  • 1988 Our World Class training facility is built at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. Opened by Princess Royal, the centre becomes the home of British Gymnastics.

  • 1993 Neil Thomas wins the first World medal for a British Artistic gymnast.

  • 1997 Neil Griffiths & Emily Crocker win Britain's first Acrobatic World title and Kathryn Peberdy our first Tumbling World gold.

  • 1998 UK Sport award National Lottery funding for elite sport programmes. Sport England also becomes a crucial funding partner.

  • 1999 The British Trampoline Federation joins British Gymnastics uniting the disciplines ahead of the 2000 Olympics. Double Mini Trampoline is also introduced.

  • 2006 Beth Tweddle MBE becomes our first Artistic Gymnastics World Champion.

  • 2008 100 years after Walter Tysal, Louis Smith MBE wins Britain's next individual Olympic medal at the Beijing Olympics. 

  • 2012 London 2012, GB win 4 gymnastics medals, marking a new era of success for British Gymnastics.

  • 2014 Launch of the British Gymnastics Foundation charity.

  • 2015 The award-winning Artistic World Championships is staged on Glasgow. Max Whitlock MBE becomes our first Men's Artistic World Champion.

  • 2016 Rio 2016 - a historic Olympic Games! 7 medals and 2 Gold. Bryony Page wins Great Britain's first Olympic trampoline medal. 

  • 2017 First TeamGym medal secured for Great Britain at the European Championships.

  • 2018 British Gymnastics turns 130.