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With the profile of sport in England so high, and in light of the successful Olympic bid for 2012, the opportunity for participation in sport in this country has risen dramatically. The government recognises this opportunity and has always tried to link its self to sporting success, to help promote patriotism, social values and education.
The game plan is a strategy for delivering the governments sport and physical activity objects. With the government setting an ambitious task of: increasing sport and physical activity. With the target of achieving 70% of the population participating in 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five times per week. (Sport development.info Oct 2009)
The twin track approach in this country is designed to increase the number of people participating in sport on a regular basis. The assumption being that more people participating means the need for more modern facilities, with better coaches which will lead to more medals at elite levels and the country hosting more mega events.
This report will show how the national governing body of gymnastics is tackling the challenge that the government has set them at grass-roots and elite levels of performance, as well as hosting mega events.
British gymnastics is the UK governing body for gymnastics it is dedicated to developing levels and quality across a range of discipline. British gymnastics is a non profit organisation. Hundreds of thousands of young gymnasts enjoy the sport in school, recreational sessions at leisure centres and at British gymnastic registered clubs that complete the path way from beginner to Olympian. British gymnastics works along side, English gymnastics, sport England, sport UK, lottery funded and many more. (British gymnastics Oct 2009)
Gymnastics is a foundation sport, this is because it develops, speed, co-ordination, balance and agility. These physical qualities are inherent in most sports, for this reason all British children would benefit from this and most do in their first eight years. Participating in gymnastics from an early age, will acquire physical literacy, which is the foundation for a lifelong participation in physical activity and for a successful performance at elite level of sport. (Gymnastics England Oct 2009)
National school games
The new key stage 1 and 2 competitions, incorporates body management, floor and vault exercises to develop a young person’s core skills. This not only strengthens the first tier of the gymnastics pathways but also: encourages partnerships to engage in gymnastics, strengthens school club links, encourages talent identification, standardises competition in schools, encourages an appropriate competitive environment is set, ensures an increase in the number of children accessing gymnastic competitions, provides a foundation for other sports, nurtures each young person’s confidence to continue with an active life style.
England gymnastics is working towards creating a single structure for gymnastic competitions in schools. England gymnastics have created an accessible standardised local gymnastic competition for beginners. The programme aims to provide safe enjoyment that will improve learning and lead to a lifelong participation in physical activity. (England gymnastics Nov 2009)
The UK school games
The UK school games is used to bring a change in the content, structure and presentation of competitive sporting opportunities for young people whilst promoting the work underway in each home nation to improve sport and physical education. The show case opportunity provided by this event offers opportunity to promote and secure change within existing competitive structures. It is used to involve more young people in volunteering in sport, create first class child protection and for identifying young sporting talent. Gymnasts competing in the games have developed through the talent development programmes and will hope to go on to represent their country at international level. The British gymnastics association is working with the schools association to implement national school completion framework to establish development pathways. (Gymnastics England Oct 2009)
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Schools that register with the British Gymnastic Association (BGA) are allowed to register their details and record levels and nature of participation in gymnastics in a school setting. Registration is free and schools receive the following benefits, e-news featuring profiles of gymnasts, expert ideas for warm ups, competition and judging advice, case studies, and success stories from other schools. Information about: professional development. Free preview resources. Access to: British gymnastics recourses. (British gymnastics Oct 2009)
Government announces grassroots grants 2008
Grass root grants aim to make a real difference by working with small local community groups, with an annual income below £20,000 this could be for new kit, coaching new volunteers, or simply just a lick of paint in the sports hall. Local regional and national businesses are invited through investing in the schemes innovative endowment match challenge, the first of its kind in England. The government has set aside a pot of £50 million from which it will match endowment investments from businesses, this offers businesses the chance to support and contribute in the communities they operate. (British gymnastics Oct 2009)
A commitment to sport
The present government has been committed to the development of sport in school since 2000. The launch of the strategy a sporting future for all in 2000 included the following provision, funding for primary schools to provide facilities for pupils and the wider community, the establishment by 2003 of 110 specialist sports colleges, the appointment of 600 sports school co-ordinators and the development of more after school sport provision.
Further allocations in funding in 2002 were followed in 2004 by an announcement that a further £500 million was to invest in school sport for, the completion of the network 400 sports colleges, improving the quality of coaching provision, improving links between schools and sports clubs and training and developing PE/sports teacher’s skills. (Teaching experience Oct 2009)
British gymnastics provides British gymnastics registered clubs with information to support their development. It identifies key areas that can help strengthen the club structure and philosophy programmes that can ensure the best environment is available for the gymnasts. (British gymnastics Nov 2009)
The introduction of sport England’s club mark has encouraged British gymnastics to adopt its own criteria to enable gymnastics clubs to work towards nationally recognised accreditation. Gym mark is British gymnastics club accreditation scheme that recognises a quality club.
Gym mark addresses issues such as equality and child protection, which gives confidence to parents choosing a club for their children. Gym mark provides an excellent template for continuing club development, especially its junior structure. Gym mark also gives help and advice in developing skills for everyone including coaches, officials and volunteers. Clubs will be listed with relevant sports directory which will help attract new members and raise clubs profile. (British gymnastics Oct 2009)
British gymnastics has a coach education programme in place to ensure enough fully qualified coaches provide the highest quality of coaching at all levels from grass roots to elite gymnasts to realise their full potential. British gymnastics is approved by the qualification and curriculum authority (QCA) as an awarding body for official gymnastic qualifications in the UK. (British gymnastics Oct 2009)
English gymnastics has just been awarded a three year grant of £2.14 million from Sport England to provide high quality coaches in its clubs throughout England. Clubs and other regional associations have come together and raised £1.8 million to match the funding and maximise the benefits of the programme. (English gymnastics Nov 2009)
Between March and May this year 45 funded sports including gymnastics were surveyed to measure levels of satisfaction in the individual sport. Over the next four years Sport England will be working with these sports to help improve quality of sporting provision to people in England. (Sport England Oct 2009)
Gymnastics and movement for people with disabilities
Gymnastics for people with disabilities is an adaptation of main stream gymnastics covering all aspects and can be recreational or lead to competitive opportunities; British gymnastics have been developing a programme for disabled gymnasts starting with motor skills for those with more severe mobility problems, and leading on to a foundation programme for the more able gymnasts. The disability groups can be split into four major areas; learning, physical, hearing and visual impairment. Currently a motor activity programme is being developed which will provide a frame work through which even the most profoundly disabled gymnasts can participate. A competitive programme has been established in artistic, tramp lining, rhythmic, acrobatic and aerobic gymnastics. (English gymnastics Nov 2009)
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With the government saying that hosting mega events, will heighten the profile of the sport, which in turn will increase participation, which will lead to better athletes and more medals. Britain has already got the 2012 Olympics, but in October 2009 the artistic world gymnastics championships were held in London for the first time, the championships brought together elite gymnasts from China, France, Korea, Croatia, Japan, USA, Romania, Poland, Spain, Germany, Ukraine, Great Britain, and many more counties, (world gymnastics 2009)
The event was a great success for team GB as Beth Tweddle just four days after falling from her favoured uneven bars, won gold on the floor, having become Britain’s first ever world champion in 2006 on the un even bars Tweddle, became only the 5th woman in history to claim world titles in both events. Beth said “I had to prove to myself that I was one of the best on the floor, it is the best feeling in the world”. (Daily mail web site 2009)
Olympic and paralympic sport has come a long way in recent times, it typically takes athletes around eight years to reach their peak once their talent has been identified and nurtured, this involves lots of support from coaches, doctors to bio-chemists. Nothing is left to chance from the food they eat to the kit and apparatus they use. UK sport is dedicated to the delivery of medal success at the world’s biggest events, mainly the Olympic and paralympic games. They are set to invest £10 million in the next four years in gymnastics to help gymnasts get the best coaching, kit and equipment available. (UK sport)
Plans for success
After winning 5 medals at the European artistic championships, British gymnastics plans to step up things for success at London 2012, by further developing sport, science and medical services within their elite programme. Louise Fawcett will join the English Institute of sport as head of sport, science and medicine for British gymnastics, co-ordinating support services for the world class funded Olympic performance programme. Fawcett says “having worked with high performance sport for many years, having the opportunities to co-ordinate support services for such an exciting Olympic sport is a great challenge”. (British gymnastics Nov 2009)
With the 2012 Olympics round the corner, and the success of the world artistic championships, the profile of gymnastics in England will never have been so high, thousands of young gymnasts at their local clubs will be hoping that they can go on and become the next Beth Tweddle or Daniel Keating. Schools are doing there up most to ensure that everyone takes part both on a recreational and elite level. Now British gymnastics has introduced its disabled classes it means that everyone can take part. British gymnastics working alongside English gymnastics and sport England means the future of our counties gymnasts is very bright, and with the £10 million pound being invested in our gymnasts of the next four years the chance of more medal success has never been so great.
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