The Scottish Amatuer Gymnastics Association was founded as a voluntary organisation on 24th May 1890
Following suit from the British Amateur Gymnastics Association, the organisation was established in order to represent the participating members, to provide a central structure for the administration of finances and membership and to establish a competition structure.
The first president of the sport, Mr Walter McGregor from Dundee, developed Scotland’s national organisation for gymnastics, creating a strong competition arrangement which led to a great deal of early success.
By 1950, Scottish Gymnastics was gaining popularity, and the sport began to expand and evolve, creating new disciplines and becoming far less militarised. We broke away from the Boxing and Fencing as they set up their own autonomous governing bodies. Here in Scotland, Artistic Gymnastics, Acrobatics & Trampolining took off and the country soon began hosting international events in these disciplines, whilst also sending teams to various competitions across the country that had been established by British Gymnastics. Membership grew quickly, and soon people from all over Scotland were becoming involved in gymnastics training.
As the first 100 years as an established association approached, Scottish Gymnastics began to receive funding in the form of sponsorship and grants which helped to grow the sport even further. The association moved into their first offices, allowing for greater expansion plans to be put in place. Rhythmic Gymnastics was established in Scotland with the help of a number of British gymnasts & the first dedicated gymnastics facilities had been handed over to the association in order to develop new talent. The presidents during this period, Alex Strachan & David Watt both played pivotal roles in developing Scottish Gymnastics, increasing membership numbers again and ensuring the sport has a strategic future in Scotland.
In 1994 Scotland had their first world level medal, coming from Joanne Walker’s impressive bronze winning performance at the Commonwealth Games Rhythmic Gymnastics competition in Victoria, British Columbia. This marked a significant moment for Scottish Gymnastics, as funding for the future began to arrive. The West of Scotland Institute for Sport and the Bellahouston School of Sport were each opened and continued the increasing world class aspirations of a number of young gymnasts that now had the opportunity to train in state of the art facilities with dedicated national coaches.
With this potential for success and a new millennium on the way, Scottish Gymnastics made the very best of every opportunity that came their way. The association gained their first female president, Louise Martin, and with that the success of Scottish gymnastics in all disciplines which now included disability gymnastics and pre-school age gymnastics programmes was set to rise again.
Sportscotland, the national agency for sport became a major funding provider in the early 2000’s, and the success of Scottish team members Steve Frew & Barry Collie at the Manchester Commonwealth Games followed suit. Sportscotland funding ensured Scottish Gymanstics could implement a national squad programme and development staff to aid club development.
In recent years artistic gymnasts Daniel Keatings, Dan Purvis, Shannon Archer and Louise Christie have been at the forefront of Scottish Gymnastics recent successes. The last five years of gymnastics have been incredibly successful for Scotland, with a great number of medals won across the various disciplines both nationally and internationally. Expansions to gymnastics facilities and increasing members, the legacy build by our founding members continues to this day.
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