Gymnastics is a great sport to help children with their physical and mental development.
Gymnastics NSW promote it as a “start here, go anywhere” sport.
Vaughn Edmonds from Invert Gymnastics tells us that he teaches children from as young as 18 months through to about the age they finish primary school.
He says you don’t even have to think of gymnastics as a long-term proposition, because even the short-term rewards of taking it up for a while are worth it.
“Quite a lot of the parents have told me that their kids have improved in their handwriting, school work and everything, because of the cross-body work that we do” Vaughn said.
In terms of developmental benefits, there’s the gross and fine motor skills, core strength, balance, and more.
“I have, multiple recreational classes, which are just come along and have fun. There’s no pressure. You don’t need to wear a leotard. You don’t need to go to competitions,” he says.
“Purely come along, learn gymnastics, have a play on the equipment.
“I try breaking it down to age groups as well. I’ve got morning classes for the kids that don’t go to school yet. I’ve also got classes for four to seven year olds, and eight to 12 year olds.”
“They’d start off by learning their forward rolls, then cartwheels and handstands (before) they’d go on the uneven bars and the balance beam. We’ve also got minitramps and the springboard.” It then progresses to walkovers, backflips and continues from there.
Vaughn also goes to many primary schools in and around the Goulburn region.
He provides custom-designed programs for each school which also fit within the K-6 sports curriculum, taking bars and trampolines for them to use.
WITH A DISABILITY
Vaughn recommends speaking to your child’s physician first to ensure gymnastics would be suitable, but he has a number of students with physical or mental challenges. He even does private lessons for kids with autism because they can’t handle crowds.