CLUBS AND OLYMPIC HOPEFULS BAND TOGETHER FOR THE FUTURE OF COMMUNITY GYMNASTICS
In a turbulent year for sport across the globe, the gymnastics community has rallied together to stay connected and showcase the love of their sport with the help of clubs, members and Olympic hopefuls.
At Gungahlin Gymnastics, owners Joel and Megan Moss teamed up with Australian National Squad members Tyson Bull and Mitch Morgans, both who are also coaches at the club, to keep members engaged with new and innovative ideas with classes and training sessions taken online.
Seeing the importance of giving athletes of all ages something to aspire to, Club Director Megan Moss said that both athletes were a huge asset to the club and keeping their members engaged during challenging times.
“Having Tyson and Mitch part of the coaching team has been a brilliant insight into where gymnastics can take you for our members and what one pathway in the sport can provide.” Moss explained.
“Our gymnasts certainly look up to them both. We recently hosted a live chat for our members where we facilitated discussion on many topics including why they love the sport, what opportunities it provided beyond competitions and what life lessons they have gained from participation.
“Having Mitch and Tyson in the club to share their knowledge and experience is invaluable and their willingness to engage is incredibly positive and insightful for our members and staff.” Moss said.
With Bull already earned a quota place and heading to the Tokyo Olympic Games next year, the 27-year-old said that coaching was an incredible opportunity to give back to the community and help others reach their own goals.
“I owe a lot to this sport, so it's a great feeling to give back to the gymnastics community and share the things I've learned along my journey.” Bull confirmed.
“The biggest thing in gymnastics is having a growth mindset and learning from your mistakes. If from a young age you can learn to be in tune with your body, in tune with the feedback it's giving you, the feedback your coach is giving you and taking on and remembering those things, then you can progress faster.
“I think the pandemic has emphasised the immense positive influence exercise and community play on people's mental health so it’s important and rewarding that I can help others.”
Embracing the power of social media, Mitch Morgans took training online during lockdown, working with the club to put together at home workout videos to help members stay fit while away from the gym.
“I started coaching because it was an opportunity for me to give back to the sport and pass on my experiences and knowledge for others that enjoy doing gymnastics.” Morgans said.
“Club environment is so important. It's the foundation every gymnast needs and feels good to be a part of something that provides support, makes you feel proud to compete for and introduces friendships for life.
“I still remember my first club and all the good times I had. So, if I can pass on any experiences or difficulty I overcame or even some knowledge to other athletes that then helps with their journey, than that's what I will keep doing. Either in person or online!”
With approximately 1,400 members ranging from 0-60 years of age, Gungahlin Gymnastics focuses on inclusion in their Men’s and Women’s artistic programs as well as physical literacy and fundamental movement skills with KinderGym.
“Our vision is “Laying the foundations for life through gymnastics”.” Moss confirmed.
“This vision underpins our values and mission and recognises the belief we have that gymnastics is more than a sport and has the potential to create active and competent movers who also develop life skills such as resilience, determination, confidence, perseverance, respect and friendship through participation.
“We firmly believe that gymnastics must be accessible and available to members of the community not withstanding their age, ability or financial status. Our number one value that guides us is FUN. Fun is central to everything we do and acknowledges that children learn best and engage more when they are having fun.”
Like many small businesses, Gungahlin was put to the test over the last six months but are proud of how quickly the entire community is bouncing back and rallying behind the sport to ensure its strong and prosperous future.
With assistance from the local governments and Gymnastics ACT, the community is moving towards returning to a position of growth and recovery, something that isn’t possible without the likes of athlete-coaches like Bull, Morgans and clubs like Gungahlin Gymnastics.
“We were overwhelmed with the support we received from our members and their families.” Moss said gratefully.
“The pandemic hasn’t changed our perspective on how important a strong and positive club environment is however it definitely reinforced that the values we hold and demonstrate are critical to our success and that we are on the right track.”