Innovation Sees Growth in Gym For All – Wellington and Manawatu

Anna RobertsonCentral-Wellington, e-News

Over the past five years Clubs in the Wellington region have been working hard to grow, develop, honour and celebrate GFA (Gym For All/ Recreation) across the region. This space has only grown because of the passion, hard work, hours of dedication and enthusiasm for providing opportunities for children in our sport. Below is a summary of how programmes have been implemented. If you are interested in any of the programmes please feel free to contact Megan or the Clubs mentioned directly.

Wellington GFA Festivals – Preschool Stage 1 -3

Wellington GFA routines have been used in the region for over 20 years. Because of the support given by Clubs, they continue to grow and it is not unusual for these competitions to have over 100 entries.

Iron/ Bronze/ Silver and Gold Competition

In 2017 Comp B was introduced to Wellington based off the Top of the South competition routines. Comp B was introduced to help address the drop-off in the early levels of the STEPs programme. The first competition was hosted by Capital GymSports and attended by 40 athletes, by November competition entries had already grown to 120 athletes.

Team Gym Competition

TeamGym competitions have grown considerably in interest over the last 7 years to a point where the Waikanae Gymnastics TeamGym Competition had record numbers of 22 teams from 8 clubs (with a total of 190 athletes). Between Wanganui and Wellington there are now four competitions annually and with continued growth in the Wellington and Manawatu and roll-out of the TeamGym Programme Nationally, this is set to grow in 2018.

Testing the waters at GFA festival – Display Stage

Waikanae Gymnastics Club created a Display stage competition which was added to their GFA competition.
The Display stage event was divided into three sections:
1. Floor,
2. Spring & Vault,
3. Beam
Athletes performed in pairs and the routines incorporated the pairs using synchronised and canon formations. Performing to music was also an option for those gymnasts who wanted to. This competition was a success on so many fronts and will be considered as an addition to the Wellington routines for 2018.

It is exciting to see Clubs looking for new ways to keep their members coming back to gymnastics.