This Freestyle gymnastics Satellite Club aims to encourage girls aged 14-19 to be more active out of school hours. The session is delivered by coaches from Bounce Back Freestyle Gymnastics, consisting of freestyle parkour based movements involving jumping over equipment, climbing, agility and balance alongside social engagement with other girls of similar age.
Astley Sports Village is located in the heart of Dukinfield, Tameside, operating 7 days a week for community use offering a wide range of facilities and activities for the local community. Historically we have found women and girls’ sport in the 14-19 year age group has been a challenging audience to engage in regular health and fitness.
Following consultation with this age group within the school and discussion with other partners such as Tameside School Sports Partnership, it was decided to hold girls only gymnastics sessions to engage this audience of girls. The sessions had to be something more appealing than the standard gymnastics, so we came up with the approach of freestyle gymnastics using parkour based movements and routines developed by the qualified coaches from Bounce Back Freestyle Gymnastics.
Initially, confidence in their own ability was a barrier at the start to the girls, some were ok to just go ahead and try the routine in front of their peers but others had a fear of failure.
However 10 girls have attended each week, which is a good start to the project. It has been good to see that in just a small timeframe the girls’ confidence has been built. There is a wide ability level, but each of the girls encourages each other no matter whether they complete the routine or if they fall half way across. This is really positive to see as the fear of failure and looking daft is a huge barrier to this audience. This session is proving to be a big success in overcoming this specific barrier. It has also been positive to see some of the girls’ parents positively promoting the session through social media, with one parent saying how great the session was for preventing the girls just being sat around at home or walking the streets.
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The campaign aims to inspire, reassure and support people to be active by showing people living with a variety of conditions – both visible and invisible – on their own journeys to being active.