calling UK coaches / gymnasts

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Proud Parent
May 14, 2009
Hi there

My 8 year old currently trains 6 hours per week and is in pre-squad type class I think !!.

The gym that she attends has a good program for the rec girls, that is they have awards to aim for and know what skills are required to obtain a pass, distinction, bronze etc. The elites are competing compulsory and national grades. The in-betweeners ie my daughters group don't have any schemes to work towards. The coaches have not given any indication of where the girls are heading, I think that they seem to pretty much stay in this group and just compete at the in-house club competition.

My question is what skills are required for the 1st level national grades or compulsory, I think it unlikely she would be doing compulsories though !!. She is desperate to have something to work towards, keeps asking me about levels and when will she start. I just want to see how far off she is !. She tends to take a while to get her skills but is very neat and scores well due to the neatness and not the difficulty of the skills.

Would be interested to know how your gym works, and have your comments before I speak with her coach.

Thank You :)
Feb 26, 2007
This is a link to a club in the UK that lists all the skills needed for each level. Sutton School of Gymnastics Click on the CLUB GRADES link at the top right. You will see the skills listed for all 14 levels now used in the UK.

The only real way to be sure what your club has in mind for your child is to make a private appointment to explain that your girls would like to progress and compete and what are their plans for her.

If they say they have no plans for her, the club may not be the right one for her. Some clubs are very competitive and only take the very best girls onto team, other clubs are much more inclusive and give every girls with desire a chance. But if you do not ask you will not find out.

Clarity can be a challenge, opening good and friendly lines of communication with the coahes will always help.


Proud Parent
May 14, 2009
Thank you so much, that has all the information I was looking for.

As you have suggested I will talk to her coach. As it would appear from the information that she has the skills for the club grades. Not sure if the gym competes club grades so I will have to find out.

I can at least have a conversation with them with a little bit of knowledge behind me !!

Thanks again


Club Owner / Manager
Mar 23, 2009
West Midlands, England
This sounds similar to one of our squads...

Our rec gymnasts work towards the British Gymnastics Proficiency awards
Our Novice Squad work towards floor and vault comps and novice competitions
Our Squad work towards Club/Regional grades and Levels

Our in-betweeners (transition squad) don't really follow any pathway apart from building up their skills towards grade 14. I am head coach of this squad and am repeatedly asked by parents when their daughter will pass another badge, and all I can say is that they probably won't unless they come to summer camp. It is a shame because at their age (4-7) they need/like something physical to work towards. It is something I am working on. They are tested regularly and their parents get a copy of the results, but I know it's not the same as having a badge and certificate!

I hope you can get some answers from your coaches as to what your daughter is working towards!
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