Scottish Gymnastics Annual Report 2017-2018

Introduction from Scott Harper, Chair

The end of the 2017-18 financial year coincides with the completion of the third year of Scottish Gymnastics current 12-year strategy. With 25% of the time now behind us, it is appropriate to formally review progress and develop our detailed plans for the next four-year segment, starting from April 2019.

At a high level, all of the indicators and outputs confirm that we are making good progress. The continued growth in our clubs where we now have over 30,000 members, with increased participation in all disciplines and at all levels, provides an incredibly strong base for gymnastics to continue to develop ahead of projections. However, we must be mindful of future challenges, particularly in a climate where public sector spending is under significant pressure across all areas.

The continued refinement of our future plans and any adjustments in our overall strategy will be crucial as we prepare our business plan for the next four years. Last year, 33% of our funding came from sportscotland grant aid which compares very favourably to the 2013-14 figure of 47%. Our aspiration is that we continue to drive commercial activity to reduce this ratio even further, whilst at least maintaining the level of support we secure from sportscotland.

The two new members of our board, Ally Whike and Ian Chambers, have made significant contributions over the past year. New views and experience from out-with the gymnastics environment have helped to stimulate discussion and consider a fresh perspective. With several long-standing directors approaching the end of their permitted terms of service, board succession will be a key priority over the next 12 months. We need to work hard to ensure we maintain the balance in the governance of our sport, to continue to ensure future success.

On the gymnastics front, there have been amazing performances from gymnasts across all disciplines and although the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast sits at the end of the reporting year, the early timing of the Games allows me to record our thanks and congratulations to all of those gymnasts who represented Scotland proudly in Australia. With our most successful overseas games, the gymnasts competed with distinction, courage and determination to deliver a total of three medals.

Success in competition is the reward for many years of hard work, and I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the efforts of all of those coaches, support staff and also the gymnasts’ families, who contribute so much to the whole effort.

Euan Lowe, Chief Executive Officer

Over the last three years, gymnastics in Scotland is booming. We have more people taking part, bigger and stronger clubs, and more gymnasts competing across all disciplines.

The financial year ended on a high with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. We were represented by a team of five men and five women in artistic gymnastics - our first ever full “home grown” female team. We were proud of the gymnasts for achieving three medals and the most successful performances across the board.

None of this happens by accident and it is down to the hard working, dedicated support of a huge number of personnel and volunteers in clubs that is growing, developing the sport across the country. Our performance programmes are designed to enhance their great work and with the technical panels, we continue to develop the support we offer to inspire and nurture emerging talent. You can find out more in our technical panel and gymnastics reports.

As always, Gymfest is a great example of dedicated clubs and members. The events in Aberdeen and Perth involved over 2500 gymnasts from across the country showing their talents and skills, supported by an army of volunteers from their clubs and a legion of supportive parents and fans. We can’t do it without you and a well-deserved thanks from everyone across the Scottish Gymnastics membership.

We have continued to develop our support in developing leaders in clubs and supporting coaching through PGDip and BSc in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, our team of Regional Pathway Coaches (RPC), our leadership academy, and other CPD. The introduction of safeguarding 3 training in August 2017 ensures the learning continues in this important area to ensure everyone can stay safe and have fun in gymnastics.

For those who cannot take advantage of everything due to other commitments and geographical challenges, we have a range of online opportunities from the self-assessment tool for clubs, CPD for coaches, and we are increasing learning opportunities through our new dedicated hub, absorb, in 2018. We are delighted that clubs are continuing to make use of the development opportunities available to them from our team and external partners.

With more support on offer from across our team, we have welcomed new members of staff this year, including two new Club Support Officers in February. Find out more about club development over the past year on page 6.

Looking ahead in 2018, there will be plenty to celebrate with the Year of Young People. The European Artistic Championships in Glasgow will provide inspiration for our young gymnasts and a highlight for many a sport fan. Gymnastics – what a sport – thanks for making it what it is!


PSB Photography, Commonwealth Games Scotland

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