Posted on 19/07/2021 in Rhythmic

Introducing Rise Gymnastics!

We are so excited to be bringing our community a new direction for recreational gymnastics!

Created with the community, for the community 

Exclusive to British Gymnastics member clubs and partners, Rise Gymnastics is an exciting, fun packed programme that provides a progressive journey through recreational gymnastics, gradually replacing our current proficiency badge scheme. 

Designed using insight in consultation with the gymnastics community and by working together with the four home nations, Rise Gymnastics is one comprehensive gymnastics programme available UK-wide, providing consistency and synergy like never before. 

Gymnasts will experience an immersive, creative, and exciting gymnastics programme, achieving amazing results at their own pace and building key foundation skills. 

One programme. Three Phases

Giving all gymnasts a fun, well rounded experience from the very start. 

The phases of Discover, Explore and Excel take gymnasts on a journey, from their first steps into gymnastics all the way to advanced skills, competitions, festivals and beyond. Children of all ages and abilities have the power to shine with Rise Gymnastics. 

Clubs and Partners

If you are a British Gymnastics member club or partner, you will be able to sign up to Rise Gymnastics from 1 September. 

In the meantime, you can find out more through our eLearning or by attending one of our online workshops, all of which you find out about on our Rise Gymnastics club page.

If you are a parent, carer or gymnast wanting to find out more about Rise Gymnastics – watch this space as we release more details over the coming months!

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Posted on 22/06/2021 in Rhythmic

Leadership Award: Dylan's story

Dylan is a gymnast with City of Edinburgh Trampoline Club and was in the Scottish Gymnastics double mini-trampoline performance pathway programme (DMT PPP) last year before Covid-19 disrupted activities. He recently completed the Scottish Gymnastics Leadership Award online. He and his dad Frank told us what they thought about the award.


Why did you decide to take part?
I wanted to learn about leadership skills which will help me with my training and other areas later in life.

What did you learn during the course?
I learned that it is important to read and fully understand instructions before completing tasks.

What were the best or biggest things you learned that you feel were most useful to you?
Learning what my strengths were and what my goals are.

How do you think you’ll be able to use your leadership skills in gymnastics?
It will help me be more confident when I start coaching.

How do you think you’ll be able to use your leadership skills elsewhere in your life, education, career?
It will help me be more confident at school when sharing my views/opinions in class.

Has this sparked an interest in learning more about leadership?
Not just now, maybe later when I am older.

Did you do the course in a room with others or the online version?
It was the online version. I could understand the teacher as good as being in a classroom.  Instructions were clear and I knew what to do.

What would you say to anyone else thinking about doing the course?
It will help with being more confident around people in a debate or leading something

Frank, Dylan’s dad

How did Dylan engage with the course?
Dylan seemed motivated and it was good that it was done in lockdown as it gave him something to concentrate on.

Did he share any experiences of his learning?
Yeah we discussed the subjects and what they covered on each session.

Have you noticed it has impacted on him in any way?
I think Dylan did learn quite a lot and it should help him with his future education.

> City of Edinburgh Trampoline Club

> Find out more about the award and our leadership pathway

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Posted on 12/06/2021 in Rhythmic

Brian Ewing OBE

Scottish Gymnastics chair Brian Ewing has been honoured with an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2021.

Brian became chair of the board during one of the toughest years for gymnastics in July 2020, bringing his vast knowledge of sport and business to the association.

Brian has dedicated four decades to working in higher education during which time he was Director of Sport and Exercise at the University of Dundee for 25 years. He also taught at the University of Strathclyde and Moray House Institute of Education, University of Edinburgh.

His work at local, regional, and national level has seen him heavily involved with many organisations including sportscotland Institute of Sport, Scottish Football Association, National Coaching Foundation, British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Dundee City Council. 

A former non-executive Director of Scottish Golf, Brian was chair of Scottish Student Sport for six years and was awarded Honorary Life Presidency in recognition of his contribution. He also received an award from British Universities and Colleges Sport for outstanding contribution to higher education sport.

Speaking on his recognition, Brian said: “I am deeply honoured first of all, but also overwhelmed and very proud. This is one of the proudest moments of my career, to be honoured in this way particularly by my peers. 

It reflects not just on me, but my family and all my colleagues who have been with me throughout my journey with their unstinting support over the years I’ve been working in sport.

Chief executive officer Doc McKelvey added: “I am absolutely delighted that Brian has received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He has been with us at Scottish Gymnastics for nearly a year now, however, it is just a short part of his dedication and service to sport. 

“Brian has been a huge support to me personally over the last year and has led our board through a challenging period. Today’s award OBE is richly deserved.”

Congratulations Brian Ewing OBE from everyone at Scottish Gymnastics!

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Posted on 26/05/2021 in Rhythmic

Leadership Award: Rebekah's story

Rebekah has completed the Scottish Gymnastics leadership award with other young members of Enigma Gymnastics Club in Buckhaven, Fife. She explains how this will help her in the gym and in her voluntary work with children with special needs.

I decided to take part in the Leadership Award because I have a love of taking part in different sports and it’s those who lead these sports who have inspired me to want to lead, seeing what it is like, and helping others so they can have an enjoyable experience of taking part in sport like I have. 

By taking part in the course, I learned how to work as part of a team, the skills/qualities needed by a leader and the many different roles leaders can have in a club.  

One of the biggest things I learnt from the course was how to be more confident when speaking to others. I’m looking forward to putting my newfound confidence into practice when I am delivering as part of the young leader role I have in classes. When working with young children I know I need to be able to “speak up” to help them.

This award will help me with my future, not only in the gym club but also with the multi-sport classes for children with additional support needs that I help at as well.  In fact, leadership is part of my everyday life. I never really noticed this before I did the course. 

Most of the course was delivered virtually using zoom. I thought the format worked well and each session was planned well too.  

For anyone thinking about taking part in the course I would say “Go for it, it will be worth it. You learn so much and gain so confidence in yourself.”

Young leader

> Find out more about the award and our leadership pathway

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Posted on 07/05/2021 in Rhythmic

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Being in and around nature can be great for our wellbeing, which is why this Mental Health Awareness Week, SAMH is encouraging everyone to connect with nature. 

SAMH is Scotland’s mental health charity and the week runs from 10 to 16 May. Scottish Gymnastics is in the process of becoming a signatory of Scotland’s Mental Health Charter for Physical Activity and Sport.

Research shows that contact with nature can provide multiple health and well-being benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety; and increased mood, self-esteem, and resilience.

Over the past year, most of us have had to spend more time that usual indoors – which is why it’s more important than ever that we make space for fresh air and nature. And sport and physical activity is a great way to do this!

Throughout the week, we’ll be sharing resources and stories on our social media accounts

You can follow SAMH on 
Twitter @SAMHtweets
Facebook @SAMHmentalhealth
Instagram @samhscotland

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Posted on 29/04/2021 in Rhythmic

April 2021 Update

After the recent guidance from the Scottish Government and sportscotland, we submitted additional frameworks for approval.  

Coach Contact
Our Coach Contact Framework outlined how we could support our members with their return to contact coaching in an effective, safe and progressive manner. We are delighted that this was approved and can begin from Covid-19 level 2. Members must opt in with their club and complete self-declaration survey before each session. Full details with relevant guidance and templates will be available in our Step Forward page next week (from Tuesday 4 May onwards). 

Coach Education
The approval of the coach contact framework also allows us to progress with the planning of our education courses and assessments. We will be looking to re-introduce our activity from the end of May starting with those who were due to attend courses or assessments for level 1, level 2 and preschool. If you were due to attend activity, the education team will contact you directly. 

The interim online safeguarding CPD courses are still available for those who require a current award for their role. If you are unsure which course you need to complete, please contact safeguarding@scottishgymnastics.org. A new education and safeguarding calendar for 2021 will be released in due course.

Over 18s contact
Our Team Sport Framework requested indoor contact between gymnasts aged over the age of 18 when working within a defined pair or group, which may also include a gymnast aged under 18. Unfortunately, this was not approved for the second time and as it stands gymnasts over the age of 18 are only allowed to take part in non-contact activity until level 0. However, we have submitted further information on why we believe indoor contact between adults can resume safely at an earlier level, which sportscotland is considering in its ongoing discussions with the Scottish Government. 

Following feedback in the recent UK-wide club survey, we have made the decision to reinstate our reduction in Scottish Gymnastics membership fees effective immediately to cover the last few months of the membership year. Membership was a key focus for clubs to help them at the start of this recovery period. 

This price reduction will be for both new and renewing participants between 26 April and 31 August 2021.
•  Preschool membership - £13 reduced to £9 
•  Recreational membership - £19 reduced to £13 
•  Competitive/assistant coach membership - £43 reduced to £23 
•  Coach membership is already reduced to £62 so there will be no change to this as it is rolling

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Posted on 29/04/2021 in Rhythmic

UK Coaching Awards 2021

Keeping us active through Covid – search is on for the nation’s coaching heroes

UK Coaching has re-opened its national awards to mark the incredible innovations and achievements of great coaches who have inspired and motivated the nation to keep moving, delivering sport and physical activity sessions during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Through UK Coaching Hero, the British public can nominate coaches who implemented great coaching ideas and made considerable differences to people’s mental and physical well-being despite the adversity that faced the nation.

Nominations are open until 9:00am on Monday 17 May. 

UK Coaching is looking for nominations of coaches who have:
  •  connected people utilising sport and physical activity, and had a positive impact on people’s well-being
  •  created an environment where people felt empowered and motivated either to get active or to stay active during the COVID-19 lockdowns
  •  made a difference and had an impact on others (eg family member, friend, participant).

Originally set to take place last year, UK Coaching decided to extend its awards initiative into 2021 as the ongoing pandemic meant restrictive measures remained in place across the country.

Entries submitted during the first nomination period in 2020 have been received and will be included in the shortlisting process. 

During this year’s UK Coaching Week from 7-13 June, people will be able to vote for their favourite coach from a shortlist of finalists. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in September.

> Make your nomination

UK Coaching’s Director of Coaching, Emma Atkins, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the actions of many great coaches from across the nation, who have persevered and re-thought coaching techniques to deliver digital and one-to-one training, whilst they too have struggled with the parameters of this third lockdown.

“There has been an immense strain on the physical and mental health of the nation, with winter months and financial constraints playing a huge part. 

“Yet, throughout the pandemic, coaches have found innovative, safe and legal ways to deliver sport and physical activity sessions and it is not an exaggeration to state that they have been a constant source of hope for many people during these isolating times. 

“Coaching heroes is our opportunity to give back to the coaches that have enriched our lives in lockdown – when we needed them most.”

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Posted on 28/04/2021 in Rhythmic

Leadership Award: Niamh's story

Niamh is a member of City of Edinburgh Gymnastics Club and the Scottish Gymnastics youth forum. She recently completed the Scottish Gymnastics Leadership Award and tells us how she found it.

I was very keen to join the leadership award because with City of Edinburgh Gymnastics Club I have had many amazing opportunities and I would love to share them with others. 

During the course I have learned to recognise my own achievements and what skills I used to achieve them. I have also learned that I can confidently express my opinion in front of others and have my opinion acknowledged. 

I think the best thing I learned, that will be most useful to me is recognising the value of feedback. Giving feedback to others makes you think about your own performance, “did I include that myself” and “did I do this part confidently”. This makes me feel like I am self-assessing while assessing others.

I also really enjoyed learning how I can motivate a group while coaching them and use different ways to keep them keen and entertained. I will be able to use these leadership skills in gymnastics by being able to work as part of a team and be there to support others. 

These skills will definitely help me in the future because I can confidently speak to others in a public environment. This will also help me recognise my own skills and never doubt myself.

I have enjoyed this leadership program and it has made me more keen to lend a helping hand in a sport I truly love. I completed this course online and I enjoyed the way the course was delivered. We got to experiment different ways to communicate, share our opinions and share feedback.

I would 100% recommend this course to anyone who is thinking about it because it will open up many opportunities in the future whilst providing you with life skills.

City of Edinburgh Gymnastics Club

> Find out more about the Leadership Award

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Posted on 08/04/2021 in Rhythmic

Helping Reduce Stress

Stress awareness month is held every April to raise awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. 

Stress is a significant factor in mental health problems including anxiety and depression. It is also linked to physical health problems like heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia and digestive problems. Individually we need to understand what is causing us personal stress and learn what steps we can take to reduce it for ourselves and those around us.

For some of you, the return to the gym in the next few weeks may make you feel slightly anxious and nervous as you return to coaching or training after the break. Katie Richards shares her thoughts during our return to training sports psychology webinar which brings together her own experience as a gymnast and  in sports psychology support which you can watch on our YouTube channel

Watch > Sports psychology & mental well-being of return to training

When your body is in stress, your autonomic nervous system is fired up which overrides all the other electrical nerves in your body in order to turn on fight or flight mode and it releases cortisol which reduces the ability to think clearly and can affect how you function. 

A key thing to do to combat stress is to be aware of your stress triggers or stimulus and psychologically and consciously assign a different meaning to it. There are three podcasts within our mental fitness that can all support how you manage and react to stress.

Listen >  Breathing Tools for Athletes 
Listen >  Body Scan Meditation 
Listen >  Visualisation & Competitive Anchoring 

Our Mental Fitness resource also covers some of these topics around stress.

Read > Supporting gymnasts' mental fitness  

You can also find additional resources from SAMH stress support.

Read > Understanding Stress

Even in 60 seconds, SAMH suggest how you can be less stressed:

1  Breathe
Take a long, deep breath in, feel your lungs expand like a balloon, hold for a moment, and then release slowly out through your mouth.

2  Laugh
Laughing increases your blood flow, boosts your ability to fight illness, and it feels really good.

3  Move
Jumping jacks, squats and burpees can all be done quickly. Moving relaxes the muscles, uses up adrenaline and releases chemicals that help depression.

4  Smile
Smiling releases chemicals that lower your blood pressure and increase relaxation.

5  Music
Listening to music can improve mood, reduce depression and anxiety, and boost self esteem. And singing has been found to reduce levels of stress hormones.

6  Stretch
Stress can make us tense. When we stretch our muscles relax, blood flow increases and endorphins are released.

7  Declutter
Feeling like we have too much can increase stress hormones and overload our sense. Try donating things you don’t need to charity.

8  Thankful
Reflect on the things you’re grateful for – people who do this regularly are less anxious, more engaged and have more fulfilling relationships.

9  Sigh
Relaxing your mouth and shrugging your shoulders sends a message to your brain to turn off stress hormones.

10 Nature
Even if you’re not close to nature, just looking at photos of nature can reduce stress levels and improve self-esteem.

This framework from UK coaching highlights some useful questions to consider as you support your coaches returning to the gym.

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Posted on 24/03/2021 in Rhythmic

Additional Covid-19 Funding to Support Sport

Scotland’s national agency for sport is set to provide an additional £450,000 in funding for three sports as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting the sporting system during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The funding from sportscotland is being invested in Scottish Gymnastics (£250,000), Badminton Scotland (£120,000), and the Camanachd Association (£80,000). It forms part of a £1.5million Scottish governing body (SGB) Covid-19 Recovery Support Fund, which is being delivered with National Lottery funding. A further £1.05million is expected to be allocated across the SGB network over the coming months.

The investment is being made in the form of grants and interest free loans and is in addition to earlier steps taken to support the sporting system, including accelerated annual funding and the relaxation of associated delivery targets. A total of £32.4million has been accelerated to local and national partners, helping protect up to 1,600 jobs across the sector. 

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: "It has been an incredibly challenging period for Scottish sport but the sporting system has shown real resilience in its response. There has been a shared commitment across the sector that has allowed us to make progress at the appropriate times, and to support each other, as we make our way through the pandemic.  

"That collective work is ongoing and there are still a number of challenges that lie ahead. The release of the first phase of additional investment as part of the SGB Covid-19 Recovery Support Fund, will allow partners to focus on their continued recovery and has been made possible thanks to National Lottery players. 

“We all want to see sport return safely and we will continue to do all that we can to help achieve this. Sport and physical activity can play a key role in the nation’s recovery and that will be central to our approach over the coming months.”

Chief Executive of Scottish Gymnastics, Doc McKelvey, said:

“We are grateful to sportscotland for Covid-19 support funding to help us through the pandemic. Our membership and commercial activity accounts for 70 percent of our annual income. With clubs closed, membership across the sport has dropped by 35% and we cannot generate income from normal activities because of restrictions.

“The funding will allow us to deliver core services to our members in the next financial year and the loan will help with cash flow while we recover from the pandemic and return to previous levels of activity and income.”

Chief Executive of Badminton Scotland Keith Russell said: “The support from sportscotland has not only offset some of our losses this year but more importantly has given us the confidence to actively plan the continuation of our challenging modernisation programme in the coming year. 

“It also means that we can support our talented athletes who, even with the constraints of the restrictions, have been able to perform at a very high level. In the current circumstances, where we still have no guarantee that it will be practical for indoor sport to restart before the new season, the financial and practical support from sportscotland is extremely helpful.”

Chief Executive of the Camanachd Association, Derek Keir, said: “Mitigating the challenges of Covid-19 has been hugely challenging, however, securing this funding from sportscotland provides vital protection for our core services to all clubs and communities this year. It is part of our purpose to protect shinty and to provide high-quality support and expertise to our communities so the timing of this support is greatly appreciated and builds on the incredible support we had in 2020 from the Scottish Government, sportscotland and our sponsors. 

“Our priority this year is to restart shinty when it is safe to do so and to do this with opportunities for all in line with best practice and government guidance. We are optimistic that the coming months will see a return to shinty and we would like to thank the Scottish Government and sportscotland for their continued support.”

                                                                          Loan                    Grant                        Total

Badminton Scotland                          £72,000                 £48,000                 £120,000

Camanachd Association                    £48,000                 £32,000                   £80,000

Scottish Gymnastics                       £150,000               £100,000                £250,000

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