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Gymnastics is an incredibly popular sport for children of all age groups, and for good reason. It’s well known for increasing flexibility and mobility in children of a young age; but did you know it also stimulates cognitive development?
As one of the most comprehensive sports available for children, gymnastics not only incorporates a number of different skills into one activity but it helps to develop social skills for budding gymnasts. Discover all the benefits that gymnastics classes offer children:
Whether it’s an after-school club, a school PE session or a holiday camp, gymnastics class is an exciting way to get kids active.
As children can start gymnastics from an early age (as young as 2) it’s a great sport for primary school children to enjoy.
While kids can start gymnastics as toddlers, at that age, it’s more about developing body awareness and a love for the sport, as well as getting kids familiar with the basic equipment.
Primary school children are at a great age, as they can enjoy the physical activity as well as develop the core skills that gymnastics teaches. Below we explore the benefits of gymnastics for primary school aged children, whether it’s advanced or recreational gymnastics.
A well-rounded sport, gymnastics engages both sides of a child’s brain. The left side of the brain is responsible for analytical thinking while the right side of the brain is responsible for creative thinking and spatial awareness.
Most sports will require kids to perform opposing skills during training. This is where they need one side of the brain to focus on one element of the activity, while the other focuses on a different element. For example, doing a left split – children need the right hemisphere of their brain to keep the left leg forward while their left side of the brain is working to keep their right leg back.
Gymnastics, however, requires children to perform coordinated skills. Coordinated skills require both sides of the brain to work together on the same element of the activity. For example, while bouncing on a trampoline, kids need to keep their feet together and apply the same amount of force to each leg, while also bouncing straight up and down. If their brain doesn’t work in unison for this, the gymnast will lose their balance. Other coordinated activities include holding a handstand and doing a back tuck on a beam.
Gymnastics sessions are particularly suitable for young children as it helps to develop strong bones as well as reduce the risk of developing health conditions and diseases.
With the right safety measures in place, gymnastics allows for safe weight-bearing on bones. By placing this normal pressure on children’s bones, bone density is increased for a strong skeletal system. An added benefit of strong bones is the decreased risk of osteoporosis later in life.
By participating in moderate gymnastics routines and training regularly, children also have a reduced chance of developing other health-related diseases. This includes asthma, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
The regular and well-rounded exercise that comes with sports classes, such as gymnastics, encourages a healthy diet for fit children as well as a balanced lifestyle. Combined, this reduces the risk of obesity and improves the immune system.
Gymnastics is one of the most comprehensive and dynamic sports for developing physical skills such as strength, flexibility, speed, coordination, power, and balance.
The great thing is, it doesn’t even need to be advanced gymnastics classes for young gymnasts to develop these skills. With school PE lessons or after-school clubs, children have the opportunity to build upon these abilities in a safe environment.
As well as physical development, gymnastics practice helps to build discipline and focus. By taking instruction from their coach and then applying the learning themselves, a gymnast not only makes good progress in their development, but they also learn about commitment and discipline. This is a positive way to instil life skills and healthy habits for children.
The combination of physical development as well as learning healthy habits makes gymnastics a popular choice for both parents and teachers.
Gymnastic classes are a friendly environment for a budding gymnast to build their social skills with other children.
Being in a class environment, the coach is able to encourage teamwork through the gymnastics routines. By working together, every child has the chance to engage with their peers by learning together and having fun. Other social skills gymnasts learn are to follow directions, take turns, listen, and respect others.
Not only does this activity help children develop social skills that become life skills, but gymnastic classes build a child’s confidence as well. Being exposed to different challenges and stimuli, gymnasts need to face fears and build confidence in their abilities.
The positivity that comes with persevering through practice and learning new skills amongst peers helps to increase confidence and establish good self-esteem.
While the other benefits are important, they don’t mean much if a child doesn’t enjoy the activity they are doing.
Luckily, gymnastics is a sport that can be a never-ending source of enjoyment for children. Whether they are doing forward rolls or balancing, there is something new for children to learn every lesson. There is a reason why gymnastics sessions are the most popular class offered at Premier Education – kids simply love it!
“The kids absolutely love it. They come running in when they know it’s gymnastics, and they get so excited when they see the equipment out and ready. If a school has a climbing frame it’s usually pretty rare that it actually comes out to be used. When the children see it they absolutely adore it.”
-Andrew Overhill, regional director for Taunton
In partnership with British Gymnastics, Premier Education is the exclusive delivery partner for the new Rise Gymnastics programme.
Designed specifically to give children an immersive and creative experience, Rise Gymnastics is an exciting programme that helps kids to build fundamental skills. Alongside an award scheme, kids will be able to progress in the programme as they participate in a variety of activities that will encourage confidence and engagement.
Parents can also track their child’s progress through the Rise Hub, which allows them to understand the skills their child is achieving.
To bring Rise Gymnastics to your school, register your interest with Premier Education today.