In the run up to the current structure and operation, a number of changes occurred and Scottish gymnasts experienced even more success than before. Since 2006, the Scottish Gymnastics association has moved offices twice, between Falkirk, Airthrey Castle in Stirling and Edinburgh where it is currently based.
Scottish Schools gymnastics programmes became a major part of the development plan, with around 250 schools in Scotland running some level of gymnastics training, affiliated to British Gymnastics. New rules for Scottish Schools gymnastics competitions, particularly floor and tumbling events ensured that there are levels of progression available for each participant, with skill sets based upon difficulty in each age category, including a category for those pre-level 1 but above pre-school level. Along with this, in 2007 the Scottish Gymnastics PE Teachers Award was launched, with a view to help to develop young children’s access to extra-curricular sports. The award provided qualified or final year PE teachers with the coaching skills to teach young people beginner to intermediate floor or vault routines, and the ability to recognise talent and direct them to further gymnastics training.
Also in 2007, Lorna Macleod was employed by Scottish Gymnastics as a representative for development, who took the sport in a new direction in Scotland by helping to establish more showcase events. In 2010, due to the successes of the new style events, a new awards scheme was launched with additional levels of skill progression, taking the scheme up to 8 levels to ensure that people from other sport disciplines could become involved in gymnastics with transferable skills. The following year ‘freestyle gymnastics’ was also launched in the UK, by creating partnerships with dance and cheerleading bodies to hold competitions with skills in rhythmic gymnastics and tumbling.
Continued support from sponsors and Sportscotland have ensured that gymnasts with world class potential have been able to train in facilities that match their requirements and have access to coaches with the same world class backgrounds and experience. Notably, in 2012, Sportscotland invested £350,000 in the expansion of the Inverclyde Institute for Sport in order to commemorate the lifelong support given by Ex-National Coach, Gordon Forster. The expansion of facilities at Inverclyde and Bellahouston alongside the employment of coaches Sandy Richardson and 1988 Olympic Medallist, Marius Gherman have formed strong Scottish teams for international events.
In 2014, the Commonwealth Games were held in Glasgow, with gymnastics being competed in the newly built Hydro Arena in the SECC Precinct. Scotland fielded their largest ever team with 310 athletes from various sports being involved in the competition, with 10 gymnasts representing the artistic and rhythmic disciplines. By the end of the two week competition period, it was clear that from a gymnastics point of view, the Glasgow Games had been the most successful for medals, ever. The men’s artistic gymnasts took team silver, with Daniel Keatings taking Individual All Round Sliver and Pommel Horse Gold & Daniel Purvis taking Bbronze on the Rings and Gold on the Parallel Bars.
In 2015 Scottish Gymnastics had further successes, with the 30th Gymfest event being held in Perth, attracting teams from the largest number of participating clubs. National competitions continued to grow, with more gymnasts reaching squad selection and further devlopment plans set in place for individuals showing potential. Scotland sent a large number of gymnasts to the World Gymnaestrada in Helsinki, and Frank Baines who represented Scotland in 2014 was selected to compete at the first European games held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
As Scottish gymnastics looks ahead to an exciting year filled with a programme of events, including the World Gymnastics Championships being held at the SECC Hydro Arena during October & November, the 125th Anniversary and the legacy created by all the previous influencers of the sport in Scotland have created a strong focus for the future.