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Vision for Disability Gymnastics in Wales 

As part of the Communities and Champions Strategy 2022, Welsh Gymnastics stated that it would strengthen and grow the opportunities within disability gymnastics in Wales and help clubs to become even more inclusive.


We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Welsh Gymnastics community for their contribution to helping shape how we achieve this goal.

Over the past year we’ve asked the community to take part in surveys, forums and visits to share their thoughts and opinions as often as possible, so that we could dedicate 2019 and beyond to making the changes and improvements that our members really want to see.

Thanks to your honest, valuable feedback and input we’ve been able to shape the direction of disability gymnastics in Wales and create a strategy for the coming years that will above all else recognise inclusion and the importance of each gymnast, regardless of age, ability or discipline, enjoying a high quality experience of sport.

Helen Phillips, Chair of Welsh Gymnastics said: “I would like to thank both the Gymnastics community and our key partners for helping us to shape this strategy. Your honest and open feedback during the review has been instrumental to the approach we have taken.

“Using your insight, we have been able to create an exciting and impactful vision that will result in increased opportunities in the coming years for people with disabilities to participate, compete, coach, judge, lead and particularly enjoy the benefits of what our sport has to offer.”

What changes will you see?

The priorities of the Welsh Gymnastics Disability strategy are split into four key areas:

1) Everyone is a champion for inclusion

You said – we don’t know who is responsible for disability gymnastics and who is the lead for Wales

We listened – It’s important that every person challenges and takes responsibility for driving inclusion forward and therefore everyone is responsible. To achieve this ambition is to:

  • Identify champions who already exist in our community – whether that be coaches or club leaders, who act as role models, mentors or advocates for the positive changes taking place
  • Ensure all key decisions, projects and strategies are equality impact assessed

What’s already changed?

  • We have created a ‘check and challenge’ system for all projects and policies to ensure decisions are equality impacted
  • Working and Project groups have been formed to review, monitor and ensure progress and work is being carried out in line with the strategy
  • Our initial champions have been identified


2) A confident, innovative and inclusive workforce

You said – Many of our coaches feel apprehensive about the best techniques for guiding those with certain disabilities: “What are reasonable adjustments in coaching education and how can I best apply them?”

We listened - A fully inclusive workforce strategy has been developed and will be released into the community in the coming months, including (but not limited to):

  • New coaching CPD workshops that focus on various disabilities
  • Additional training and support for other key club roles / non-coaching roles
  • Upskilling and training for tutors and assessors
  • Improved understanding of reasonable adjustments in courses and workshops

What’s already changed?

  • We have been working with the National Autistic Society for Wales to deliver specific courses for coaches
  • We’ve also partnered with the Down Syndrome Society to develop an informative course that will be delivered this summer
  • We’ve developed an adapted version of the Disability Inclusion Training course for management roles in clubs


3) To raise the profile of disability gymnastics

You said – “It can be hard to find information and I’m not always aware of what’s happening or whether there are any current opportunities in Wales.”

We listened - A fully inclusive communication strategy will be developed to ensure that perceptions are challenged, and information can be easily found. The strategy will include:  

  • Using a variety of media platforms to speak to different audiences
  • Highlighting what disability gymnastics looks like across different disciplines – as well as entry opportunities and celebrating successes
  • Promotion of Insport success
  • Sharing case studies sharing of good practice happening in the community
  • Challenging perceptions around disability gymnastics

What’s already changed?

  • We’ve shared profiles and challenges that clubs have faced on their journey to achieving Insport and inclusive practices, as well as promoting their disability gymnastics offering.
  • We have been acknowledging and celebrating our Insport successes

4) To offer more opportunities across the gymnastics pathway

You said – “It’s not clear what events are running and how to get involved in the different disciplines.”

We listened – Disability opportunities are now to feature in all discipline strategies. To achieve this, we will be:

  • Reviewing the current offer to Disability Gymnasts and establish if they are fit for purpose
  • Developing more grassroots opportunities
  • Developing pathways from school events to competitions
  • Working with other sports on talent identification and transfer

What’s already changed?

  • We have introduced new Gym for All competitions and opportunities for the community
  • Introductory competitions in Men’s and Women’s Artistic gymnastics are being piloted in 2019
  • There are opportunities to compete being introduced in both Rhythmic and Tumbling