A group of eight fantastic leaders from Ruthin & Denbigh Gymnastics Club’s Academy have pulled together in recent months as part of their BG ‘I Can, I Am’ course.
Tom Billington (aged 17), Annie Blundy (17), Bea Blundy (15), Lilly Davies (15), Nia Hill (17), Gracie Parker (17), Siwan Williams (16) and Alice Wynne (15) have all participated in the ‘I Can, I Am’ resilience programme and have met regularly throughout the lockdown online to complete the course together.
The ‘I Can, I Am' programme provides learners aged 14-18 with a series of challenges designed to test and build their resilience, preparing them for a return to education and gym environments following the impact of lockdown and the coronavirus.
Run by British Gymnastics, in partnership with Sports Leaders UK, it is designed to give members the opportunity to gain a sports accredited leadership award, through online learning.
The challenges focus on five key skills – communication, self-belief, teamwork, self-management and problem solving.
After completing the challenges, members are then asked to complete a ‘Community Builder Profile’, a short reflection piece on what they have learnt throughout the programme.
They are also asked to pledge a positive action they will carry out within their community.
Those who finish the programme are awarded with an accredited certificate from Sports Leaders UK.
Louise Blundy, Ruthin & Denbigh’s club secretary and Academy coordinator, explained: “We started the programme last summer and have taken it one module at a time, meeting once a month on average online to discuss the content and set tasks for the following session.
“This helped make sure the leaders could also meet online socially and keep in touch with their gymnastic community.
“The leaders all fully embraced the concept of the five key skills and developed experience and knowledge in a number of different areas.
“Having then also developed their confidence, they started to work on a video together to showcase what they have achieved as a group.
“This also fed into the building communities’ section, as they wanted to make the video inclusive to other members of the gym community whose friendship they value too.
“Not all members were able to attend the courses, so they wanted to reach out to them.”
It has proved to be a massive success.
Louise added: “I think that the course has enabled a group of fantastic young people to come together to share their worries and concerns and then find a way to address them together.
“In doing so they have been able to set each other tasks and challenges which really helped with their confidence and to understand that they are not alone.
“They all feel ready to go back to the gym and put this knowledge to good use.
“They have thoroughly enjoyed it and they would like to extend their thanks to British Gymnastics and Welsh Gymnastics for all the support they have shown our amazing young people throughout a difficult time for all.
“It is very much appreciated by us all.”