9th November 2023, 18:26p.m. | National
We are proud to announce the launch of Gym4TEENS, the new Gymnastics Ireland programme targeted at retaining teenagers in gymnastics as well as growing teenage participation rates across our sport.
The first initiative under the umbrella of Gym4TEENS is “Keeping Teenage Girls in Gymnastics” which has been in development for the past 14 months and has been guided by the gymnastics-specific research funded by the Sport Ireland Women in Sport Programme and carried out by Women in Sport (UK). This research was compiled in 2022 in partnership with our member clubs, coaches and gymnasts to shed light on the needs and wants of teenage girls taking part in gymnastics.
One key highlight of the research included the benefits and effectiveness of display gymnastics to retain teenage girls in our sport. Attributed to various aspects such as the focus on team work, the social aspect, the fun, a reduced time-commitment with less pressure and competition and the opportunity to explore the more theatrical side of gymnastics.
The first Gymnastics For All (GFA) display workshop for teenage gymnasts and coaches was held recently during the Gymnastics Ireland Exchange week in the National Indoor Arena in Dublin with over 80 gymnasts taking part from clubs from all around the country.
Commenting on the day, Gymnastics Ireland Participation Manager Aimi Baker said:
“Wow... what a day! We had 80 gymnasts collaborating with each other, working with our 5 fantastic tutors. There were big smiles all around all day and so much positive energy! This GfA Display workshop is part of our new Women in Sport strategy and our Gym4TEENS Programme, and work is underway to develop more workshops and educational opportunities for clubs interested in display gymnastics".
Gymnastics Ireland CEO Ciaran Gallagher added: “Life long enjoyable involvement in sport has to be one of our main aims. In the context of women in sport doing all we can to address and prevent teenage drop out is crucial to this aim, particularly in an overwhelmingly female sport like ours so it's great to see this new iniative launch building on the research conducted last year!”
To access research document 'The Gymnast's Voice - Harnessing Opportunities to Retain Teenage Girls in Gymnastics' click here...
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