Women's Artistic Gymnastics:
- Enhances co-ordination and agility, for body awareness and balance
- Develops posture and fundamentals of movement
- Enhances creativity and builds self-confidence
- Develops fitness, strength and flexibility, for life's constant challenges
- Develops healthy minds and bodies for now and later life
Women's Gymnastics is composed of four components as explained below:
Vaulting shows off the gymnast's athletic qualities, as the movement is performed after a run up of about 20 metres. The gymnast must put both hands on the horse. As far as marking is concerned, the judges will evaluate the complexity of the movement, the position of the body, and the landing, which must be perfect.
The uneven bars are by far the most spectacular apparatus of the competition. Imagine the strength, the precision, the rhythm, the concentration and the courage that these girls need to perform their exercises with such simplicity. The gymnast moves from one bar to the other, alternating grip changes, releases and regrasps, saltos and changes of direction with circular swings
The beam has a certain magic about it. Many people wonder how the gymnasts manage to perform on an apparatus the width of a brick - where balance, acrobatic sequences with or without flight elements, gymnastic jumps and turns all play a role. It is an exercise not only of flexibility, but also of concentration, rhythm and expressio
They fly, do pirouettes, touch the floor and then leap high again into the air. This exercise is the public's favourite and they are ready to clap as soon as the music begins. Many gymnasts will tell you that they have had their greatest ovations when performing floor exercises to music. The floor is the area where a gymnast can fully express all her grace, her personality, and her technique, combining acrobatics, gymnastics and dance.
Although Swallows seek to provide competition opportunities at a level appropriate for all gymnasts and ensure each individual reaches their potential, girls who show the ability and desire to progress towards taking part in competitive Gymnastics are invited to join the Development Classes. The coaches in charge of these classes are Robin Leeworthy and Jemma Maskell, who liaise with our Gymnastics coaches and regularly visit their sessions to monitor gymnast's potential.
The members of the competitive club are organised into groups according to their age, ability, experience and individual needs. Competitive Squad gymnasts train from 1 to 5 sessions a week for between 2 and 4 hours at a time according to their ability level.
Competitive Development Squads include:
Novice squads - 1-2 sessions a week
Club Squads- 2-3 sessions a week
Pre Elite- 3-4 sessions a week
Competitive squads train with the aim of competing in Club, County, Regional and National Grade, and Voluntary Competitions. Gymnasts are encouraged to trial for County, Regional Squads as appropriate to their age and levels.
From the development squads, gymnasts are selected to train in the elite section of the club. These gymnasts train 3-4 hours four or five times a week.
Gymnastics is a complex sport, which requires careful development and commitment. Elite squad members and their families should realise that entry into a squad demands commitment and the development of self-discipline to facilitate a high level of body preparation and skill acquisition.