We are delighted to announce that Sugarloaf Gymnastics has been selected as a winner of the “Club Innovation” award as part of the 2019 Gymnastics Ireland National Awards. This is in respect to our hugely popular Recreational Program.
Gymnastics Ireland is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 National Awards in partnership with Marsh Ireland, an event designed to reward all those stand out performers and contributors to the sport of gymnastics throughout 2019. The Awards Panel consisted of Ciaran Gallagher, CEO Gymnastics Ireland; Andrew Coulter, Gymnastics Ireland Board Member and Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport and this year will see 20 clubs from around the country represented between club and individual winners.
We are thrilled to have been chosen as a winner of this award. Sugarloaf Gymnastics is receiving the Club Innovation Award to respect of our popular Recreation program. There are a number of aspects of our Recreation Program as follows:
Recreation Program Content & Continuous Development
Our hugely successful recreation program caters for the youngest participants in Parent & Child Play sessions, structured classes begin from age 3, running right through to teenage years and not stopping there, with our Adult Gymnastics program beginning at age 18. Our members range in age from a couple of months old right up to participants in their 40’s and we have gymnasts coming to us from all over Wicklow and South Dublin looking for places in our recreation program.
The popular program runs from September – June each gymnastics season. 2018 /2019 saw us make adjustments to our program adding additional classes such as a 2 hour class for gymnasts who want to are capable at working at a faster pace and higher level but don’t necessarily want to do competitions. We added mini gym classes at slightly later times and as places for Saturday classes are very sought after we added an additional class on Saturday afternoons.
School midterms and holidays see a shift in the program and regular term classes take a break. Traditionally Gymnastics Camp have always run through every school midterm break and every week in July and August have always been hugely popular but in recent times we have thought outside the box have worked hard to offer a variety of opportunities for children to take part in gymnastics. We began this change with our 2019 Summer Program which saw us introduce Skill and Apparatus Workshops as well as GymABLE classes for children with additional needs. We were commended by customers for the variety of options available as opposed to just summer camp. These were a huge success with 95% of workshops booking out, we even had adults contacting us as they wished to join some of them as well as participants from other sports and dancers who wanted to add skills to their dance routines! We were also commended by other Gymnastics Ireland clubs for our initiative who then followed suit offering workshops. We also continued to run Parent & Child Play sessions through the summer which were so popular and booked out nearly every week, with a waiting list in place. We wanted to cater for working parents who may have finished up earlier or are off on Fridays to attend with their little ones. We had lots of parents of little children who were attending occupational therapists encouraged to come to help their young children with their development. We ran some GymABLE sessions which are now very much in demand as there are very few opportunities in sport in Wicklow for children with additional needs and are looking to develop this as a more regular program.
Member Recognition, Reward & Feedback
Gymnastics Ireland recognises the positive ways in which Sugarloaf Gymnastics acknowledges and rewards our recreation members for their achievements. We have implemented many ways to recognise our members efforts in class, no matter how big or small they are.
We have received many compliments from other clubs in regards to our “Wall of Fame” as well as our “Star Gymnasts of the Month” certificates for a gymnast in an age group who has tried very hard to progress in their gymnastics and has been coach nominated by their coach for their moment in the spotlight. We also have “New Skill” Certificates to also celebrate new achievements. Our Wall of Fame is much loved by our members who strive to try hard to achieve a new skill to have their moment of fame when they ring the bell to alert the whole gym to their new move and they have the chance to write their name on the Wall of Fame! We have received many compliments from other gymnastics clubs who have for our ideas and innovation to reward the our gymnasts and make them feel special.
In the 2018 / 2019 season we also awarded our first ever annual Recreation trophies for Most Improved Gymnasts for the 2017/ 2018 season and also in our Competitive Team. The gymnasts were chosen by the coaching team as the recipients of these awards as they made great improvements in their gymnastics throughout the year. This will be an annual prize giving in December each season.
Mid 2019 saw us finally complete our Tumble Track Feedback Report Cards. As gymnastics is a complex sport we have been working on this program for over 2 years and wanted to have it just right before releasing it. Gymnasts will be assigned a level and each term they will work to achieve a level and hopefully move onto the next level. The program will enable parents/gymnasts to track the gymnasts progress through report cards which will be taken home at the end of term/level. The first time will be in November 2019 when term 1 draws to a close.
Each December at the beginning of Term 2 our gymnasts showcase their talents before their parents/guardians at our annual Christmas Showcase events when they are invited in to watch their group performances. So much work goes into these events by staff and gymnasts so that the gymnasts have their moment to shine in front of parents/guardians. From our youngest at 3 to our teenagers we saw great performances and parents were lucky to see a mixture of ability levels at each Showcase across all of our gymnastics programs.
March 2018 saw 35 gymnasts selected to represent Sugarloaf Gymnastics at the first ever Gymnastics Ireland GymStart Challenge Competition at the National Indoor Arena in Blanchardstown where over 500 gymnasts competed across 4 levels and multiple age groups in the hopes of winning titles on Floor, Vault and the All Around competition. The girls and boys cleaned up at this flagship event, with Eva Carey even scoring a perfect 10 on Vault. They have set the bar for those who will be invited to represent Sugarloaf at the next GymStart Challenge Competition event. Read more about it here.
Our 2018/2019 season culminated in our annual GymSTART Challenge Awards event. Once again we invited Parent/Guardians in to watch the gymnasts perform but this time not within a group but on their own, a big challenge to over come for some gymnasts! Our GymSTART Challenge Awards is a bespoke program designed by the Sugarloaf coaches to tie in with our syllabus to reward and recognise the gymnasts efforts in. As we know a lot of gymnasts want to do gymnastics competitions but as the standard in Ireland is extremely high and can also be costly to families we also introduce a competition element to it and award gold, silver and bronze to the top scoring gymnasts in each level and group. Over the course of a week levels certificates and medals were given to every gymnast to recognise their efforts throughout the year to show that they can perform. Our younger gymnasts in our Mini Gym Classes also welcome parents/guardians into the training centre to watch their class and see all of the skills they learned this year as well as important non gymnastics skills such as listening and learning to take instruction and turns!
This is Sugarloaf Gymnastics’ second award from GI, having received the Club Governance award in 2017. Watch Directors Sharon and Jamie receiving our award at the 2017 GI National Awards in the video below.
We are proud that this hard work to constantly drive to improve our program and make it the best it can be is being recognised by our governing body. A huge thank you must go to the coaching team who work hard to keep the gymnasts motivated and improving, regardless of age or ability. They work hard to always learn within the sport in order to provide the best classes in Wicklow in our top class, well equipped facility.