Competitive Squad Gymnastics offers gymnasts the opportunity to fulfil their potential in any one of our squad disciplines. Movement from one discipline to another is possible but the basic commitment is the same for every squad.
Punctuality – Gymnasts must arrive promptly at the start of each training session. The opening warm-up is an essential part of their training, it improves their performance and minimises the risk of injury. Obviously there are occasions when it is not possible to be on time but gymnasts should aim to arrive five minutes before the start of their session, not consistently ten minutes late.
Attendance – To Gain maximum benefit from their training and for the fees paid, gymnasts need to attend every training session. Again, there are exceptions; important family events and weddings, etc. A best friend’s birthday party or sleepover is not an acceptable excuse to miss squad training. Please ensure you notify the office if your child is having to miss a training session. Please do not rely on telling another gymnast and expecting the message to reach their coach.
Squad holiday dates are very similar year on year; at least one week in Easter, then in the summer, the last week in July and the first two in August. At Christmas squads break for two weeks. Half term breaks are also available. If gymnasts have a competition shortly after a holiday period, additional training may be offered during these holidays, with the mutual agreement of coach and gymnast/parent. If holiday’s are taken at any other time it is detrimental to their training programme.
This is a particular problem in Acrobatic Gymnastics; if one gymnast is missing, his or her partner will lose half the benefit of the training session they have paid for. Coaches cannot structure a successful programme when gymnasts are frequently absent. No one can help being sick, but any child who is frequently unwell should probably not be trying to undertake a physically demanding training programme.
Competitions– All Bromley Valley squads train their gymnasts to compete. If a child does not wish to compete he/she should not be a member of a squad. It is unfair on the child and on the coach who is training them. Sadly we do not have places for gymnasts who enjoy training for many hours each week but are not prepared to compete for their club.
Fees– There is no extra charge for an additional session prior to competition or major event. Equally, sessions unavoidably cancelled due to things like squad coaches having to accompany other gymnasts to Regional, National or International events are not refunded.
N.B Coaches are not paid for the extra time they put into these competitions.
Uniform/Dress– It is a requirement for every squad member to own the correct squad leotard, etc. All squad members must also have a Bromley Valley tracksuit, which they must wear to every competition where they represent the club. If a new uniform is required please ensure that it is ordered several weeks before a competition, do not rely on the fact we may have one in stock. All uniform can be ordered from the office. Please ensure all uniform is clearly named.
T-shirts or polo shirts worn with the BV tracksuit must be plain white. Black or White trainers are the only footwear permitted with your tracksuit.
Gymnasts train in leotards and shorts. Older boys may wear shorts with close fitting t-shirts, but the shorts should be suitable for training. (not baggy or knee length beach shorts). Sweatshirts and jogging bottoms may be worn at the start of a session in cold weather. All training clothing should be sports wear. Girl’s hair must be securely fastened, earrings and bracelets of any kind and hair accessories other than plain clips are not permitted.
Commitment– Membership of any squad is a big commitment for gymnasts, parents and coaches. If anyone in this partnership is unable to give this commitment then the work of others is wasted. Where there is a problem e.g. at exam times, please discuss this with the gymnast’s coach so that an acceptable plan of training for this period can be put in place.
Squad training is intended to be enjoyable, but hard work. It is not “FUN”. Fun is a day at Alton Towers, Play Station or a game of paintball, or even an hour a week recreational training! High level gymnastics is difficult, which is why most people cannot do it. Many people are born with natural talent but to acheve at high level they have to work hard and commit to their training. We do not expect this from a five or six year old , although we sometimes get it! By the time they are of competitive age, eight or nine, commitment to training is essential.