Working to develop our clubs in 2023
This year the area has retained 23 clubs. Furthermore, the area has welcomed one additional club, Swansea Acrotricks. This club was supported by the new club fund and a total of £400 was invested, which enabled the club to become a part of Welsh Gymnastics.
Meanwhile this year has seen membership grow by 334 members.
The majority of clubs have received financial support from Sport Wales Be Active Grants, Welsh Gymnastics Support Funding and the Allianz Fund. Over £133k was secured – and funding has been imperative in ensuring clubs were able to sustain and grow gymnastics provision within their communities.
Building on the success of GFA competitions, last year entries also saw an increase across the area – with over 345 entries combined at the 2022 Regional Gymspire and the 2023 Regional Preliminary Championships from six clubs.
This year, Afan Lido in partnership with Welsh Gymnastics, provided free gymnastics sessions throughout the summer holidays. A total of 420 children attended over the seven-week period. This initiative aims to provide more opportunities for children and young people to have the opportunity to access gymnastics.
Priorities for West Area will be to continue to strengthen workforce. The ambition is to strengthen clubs’ sustainability and to look for new provision where there is currently no gymnastics provision.
Clubs in the area have continued to grow and thrive – expanding and creating satellite venues meaning gymnastics is now accessible in over 39 different venues across South East Wales.
The area’s clubs have been successful in applying and obtaining financial support from various funds and pots including the Sport Wales Be Active Grants, Business Relief Funding, Allianz Sports Fund and Welsh Gymnastics Support Funding.
In total the area has received £73,738 of funding and this has been used for various projects such as helping clubs to obtain new equipment, to upskill workforce and, in some cases, create brand new community spaces in the heart of their gyms.
The GFA competitions have seen over 900 entries across the regional and national prelim and Gymspire events from the South East, with the area also making up a huge 41% of entries into the National Prelims for 2023.
Fantastic representation from gymnasts accessing the grass roots competitions and events!
Priorities for the South East Area will be focusing on workforce, looking to help create a larger pool of workforce involved in gymnastics across the area. The ambition is to strengthen clubs’ sustainability and to ensure clubs remain visible and vibrant community settings for their local areas.
The area has remained stable since last year and seen many clubs expand or move into new facilities.
Delyn Gymnastics moved into their new facility, after starting in a local school, the club run a strong leadership programme to support young people with employment skills.
17 Be Active Wales and other sport grants were awarded across over half of the clubs within the area.
Wrexham Gymnastics, Deeside Gymnastics and Dreigiau Dyffryn received a total of £8,000 from the Allianz Sports Fund to support rising utility costs and equipment.
Over £85k in total for grants was secured throughout the year with Moelwyn also benefitting and funding has been imperative in ensuring clubs can access new floors, coach education and additional accessible equipment to ensure the North remains inclusive to all.
North Wales have developed two new educators to drive Level 1 and 2 courses in the local areas. More recently six Sports Leaders courses ran over the summer of 2023 to train over 96 new leaders now deployed into their community clubs.
This year, three clubs across North Wales were allocated Be Pre-School funding to support the growth of re-school sessions, train new coaches and working closely with local nurseries and childcare providers.
Priorities for North Area are continuing to make more local opportunities available through increasing workforce and satellite provision.
The past 12 months has been quite an impactful year for clubs in South Central.
Many clubs in the area were fortunate to receive financial support through the Be Active Wales Grant or through Welsh Gymnastics funding such as Be Judging, Be Pre-school or Be Gymnastics.
The area received a total of £127,604 in funding which has allowed clubs to purchase new equipment, building on workforce and expanding its gymnastics offer.
Three clubs in the area – YMCA Barry, Fusion Gymnastics Wales and Valleys Gymnastics Academy were given a contribution of £5,000 each as part of a Welsh Gymnastics project to support elite men’s artistic facilities in Wales.
Four clubs were successful in Be Active Wales Grants, totalling £104,234.
Gymnastics in the South Central Area continues to grow with 12 clubs in their own facility, five running out of leisure centres, two using school facilities and four operating satellites.
As membership grows in the area, we also seen an increase in the number of participants in GFA competitions. This year we had 800 entries across both the 2022/23 Regional Gymspire and Preliminary competitions with representatives from nine different clubs reach national finals.
It should be recognised that there has been a great representation of boys and girls across these Gymnastics For All competitions, with 20.5% of competitors being male. We also seen an amazing increase in the number of disability gymnasts competing across these competitions.
This membership year also seen some coaches achieving huge milestones. Julie Proctor celebrated 20 years of Caerphilly Dragonflies, Jenny Hignett retired from coaching after 45 years, and Sue Williams retired from Maesteg Trampoline Club after the club being open for 39 years.
St Tydfils won GFA club of the year at the Welsh Gymnastics Awards, Gareth Slocombe Community Coach of the Year and volunteers from VGA were recognised too.
The focus for the South Central Area will be to continue to provide gymnastics opportunities to every member of the community from pre-school, recreational through to elite squads.
We also aim to grow workforce, particularly judges whilst upskilling the current workforce we have.