For starters, it’s not just for girls. By Deborah Lin
Gymnastics conditions the whole body. (Photo: Gym With Me)
The scene at Gym With Me is such a happy one that you can’t help breaking out into a smile. Little children – in the cutest leotards, mind you – excitedly bounding for the mats to do rolls, while older ones practise impressive moves deftly on the fast trak (think a long-ish, less bouncy trampoline to afford more protection than the ground) and balance beams.
Gymnastics isn’t just about tumbling on mats and swinging around though. Former competitive gymnast and founder of Gym With Me, Rosanna Trigg, debunks four misconceptions that non-gymnasts have of the sport.
Girls, and boys alike, have the potential to go far in the sport. (Photo: Gym With Me)
1. It’s not only for girls
Gymnastics might be more popular with the girls, but that doesn’t mean the lads aren’t making waves too. The bronze win by the men’s gymnastics team from Great Britain in the 2012 London Olympics put the spotlight back on the guys in the sports. It was a defining moment as the men’s team weren’t expected to win, but they did in front of the 16,000-strong home crowd and it was their first podium finish since 1912. All strapping and athletically strong individuals, the men’s team also dispel notions that gymnasts need to be thin and willowy to do well in the sport.
2. Not everyone needs to start when they are three years old
The good news is that the starting point for budding gymnasts is no longer as soon as they can walk. Passion and talent aside, the coaches are just as important in grooming the skills of every gymnast and providing a conducive training environment.
At Gym With Me, there are 20 professionally trained coaches, who have certifications from international organisations International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and British Gymnastics, and National Coaching Accreditation Programme (NCAP) locally. The outfit also offers coaching courses to staff from other gyms across Singapore so that children will be in safe hands, even if they are in other clubs, says Rosanna earnestly.
Gymnastics is a tough sport. (Photo: Gym With Me)
3. Gymnastics isn’t just fancy, prancy dance
Yes, there’s an element of grace that gymnasts need – but what most don’t see is how tough this sport is, says Rosanna. A lot of hours, dedication and physical preparation are required for gymnasts to rise to the top, and they need equal parts resilience to support themselves through the training.
The sport conditions the core and upper body, down to the lower body, and strengthens coordination as well, so gymnasts are athletically able all-rounders. Through gymnastics, children learn to better manage their energy levels, and parents have shared with Rosanna that their kids have also performed better at school. Not just fancy, prancy dance indeed.
4. Recreational gymnastics is just as important as competitive gymnastics
The focus on both recreational and competitive gymnastics will push the sport as a whole, Rosanna explains. Recreational and competitive gymnasts share the space at Gym With Me, with the non-competitive getting inspired and having a go at the specialised equipment. There are multiple units of equipment available, so no one has to wait very long.
Gym With Me offers gym classes, trampolining, freestyle gymnastics (or parkour), holiday camps for children, and competitive squads.