Parents Uk readers opinions please on British Gymnastics Proficiency Awards

Parents... Coaches... Judges... Gymnasts...
DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members See FEWER Ads!
Join for FREE!
Not open for further replies.


Proud Parent
Oct 18, 2012
It's that time of year at my dd's gym club where they get a chance to earn a badge.

My daughter is currently on badge 3 and the skills she will be tested on are : Skip for 45 secs, Japan flat ( chest on the floor), Headstand with knees bent and lower into a frog balance, Tuck Jump, Headstand with knees bent, Cartwheel, Forward Roll, Teddy Bear roll, Throw, jump and catch a ball, Squat onto a box and stretch jump off.

I have no idea how many of these skills she needs to pass before going to the next level ( it used to be 6 before they moved to the new proficiency awards). They practice these skills for 2 lessons before they are tested, they are then given a slip to say if they have passed.

If she passes she will be on badge 2 then after that badge 1.
Skills required for badge 2:

6 Sutte runs, Bridge, Half lever with 1 foot only raised - change legs, Jump half turn, Headstand,Cartwheel quarter turn off a bench, Backward Roll, Counter balance, Single knee balance -throw and catch a ball, Squat on box top and tuck jump off.

Badge 1:
10 Shuttle runs, Front or side splits, Half lever or straddle half lever, jump full turn, moving towards a handstand using apparatus, change leg handstand, handstand forward roll, matched and mirrored sequence - to include roll, jump and balance, throw a ball in the air-perform a leap-catch and perform a balance, straddle on box top and straddle jump off.

Some of these skill require no practice but a lot of them do like:
Backwards Roll
Cartwheel quarter turn off bench
Half lever or twaddle half lever
Change leg handstand

With the exception of a bridge ( only performed during warm up and not everyone can do those - my dd is lucky enough to be able to do a bridge and can even do on with legs together and straight. The other skills are not covered much only once a term do they do cartwheels and handstands and headstands. For example they will work on cartwheels for only 1 or 2 lessons during the term and that is for only around 10mins as they go on other bits of equipment. They do not teach the splits at all so if you are not naturally flexible you will have little hope of getting them.

my concern is are they learning enough in classes to pass there badges once a term as they only have 2 weeks before badge week to learn or improve their skills. My dd has been lucky enough to pass each badge first time so far but it will get harder for her as she progresses through the badges. After badge 1 they then move on to Bronze Silver and Gold and the floor and the vault which will be a lot harder as the floor work will involve walk overs back and front cartwheels with 1 hand , free cartwheel, flic, standing flic, handspring, roundoff flic. As you progress through the badges the lessons seem to stay the same, even when you moved up to the older group (8plus).

Maybe I am seeing this wrong but to me it would be better to group children together then move the up when the pass. My dd is grouped with children working on the same badge for the 2 weeks of badge week ( she was on her own as she was the only one on badge 3, some where on higher and some where on lower) only then when badge week is over they go back into mixed ability groups where they go by age, so she could be working on her badge 2 (if she passes) next time it's badge week but still be with children who are on badge 8,7,6 and 5 (they go from 8 - 1) until then.

How does this compare to how you do things?
Ours is much the same, only there's no formal testing, they're constantly assessed and are awarded a badge when they have the skills.

honestly? They're meaningless. It's a reward system for rec gymnasts, because everyone likes a badge/certificate/presentation. Doesn't mean they're doing badly, or well. The last kid to get badge 1 might just have been the last to join the class and start the scheme, not the least able. Rec kids don't get the chance to compete, so it's nice to have something to show they participate.

dont read anything into badge levels.
I don't read anything into badge week( except that I know that it is going to cost me extra money if they pass lol) I used to dread it as my other dd used to do gymnastics and she got stuck on a particular badge and it took her a year to pass it. She used to cry when she kept failing but was really happy when she did eventually pass. It's a different story for her younger sister as she hasn't struggled as yet but she still loves to get badges so she can show them off at school - they have an assembly very week where they can show off any certificates and awards achieved out side of school.

my concern was that they are being tested on harder skills as they progress that they haven't really learned much except the 2 lessons prior to badge week that they used to practice if you see what I mean.

I think some sort of reward system or achievement chart or printout can make them happy and proud and feeling that they are achieving something even though they are in a rec class.
I'm not in the UK, but it sounds hard on the coach, having a totally mixed group of girls all with different abilities. Do they not have different classes for different skill levels?
It's pretty normal for rec classes I think. As Faith said, the number badge they are on is often a reflection of how long they've been in the class. My son was the last to join his class and he's only done badge 8 and 7, whereas some of the kids in his group have done up to badge four. I wouldn't say it's a reflection on anyone's skill level, they just work through them systematically.

I also don't think they should concentrate too much time in class on the badge requirements as they are not important in the long run. I think you'll find a lot of clubs just work on them for a couple of weeks at the end of term, just cos it's a nice thing for the kids to have and it might encourage them to sign up again for next term?!

My daughter only got up to badge three before moving across to development so nobody really uses them as an indication of ability.
It isn't mixed ability in the true sense. These are rec kids, all the same age (roughly, within a year or two)who do one 45/50 minute class a week. They'll do a warm up, and two x 15 minute rotations. They usually just do floor stations, so handstands, balancing, rolls, jumping and so on, and vault- hurdle steps, straight jump from springboard, squat ons. If they stick it out until they're 10 or so they might progress to bhs, fhs, and saltos.

the badges aren't really given based on ability, but more time in the class. So a kid who starts at 4 might be on badge 6 by 5 years, but one starting at 5 will begin with badge 8, and wont get to badge 6 until they're 6, even if their abilities are similar. In our club most rec kids don't get to badge 1 until they're 10 or 11 years old.

any child with any sort of ability will usually move into a floor and vault squad at 6/7, or wag if they show particular talent.

i agree though, if they're going to "test" them so formally, they should be practicing the skills. It sounds to me like they're testing too frequently, ours only get about two, sometimes 3 badges a year. I think my dd was only on badge 5 when she started squad aged 6. It's fun, they shouldn't be setting them up to fail...
My dd goes to a mixed ability class where they are split into age groups which are usually 4-5 years, 6 years & 7 years, they then move to a later session when they turn 8.

It is true what you say about they amount of time going to to the gym to the number of badges you have. My dd started a year ago when she started reception just before she was 5 and when she started it was badge week straight away so she was able to get badge 7 ( they used to start on badge 7, that now been changed to badge 8), this will be her 5 badge week so she is on badge 3.

I think you do need to have some sort of ability in gymnastics to pass the badges as they get harder, if you don't get a certain number of ticks on your sheet you don't pass the badge.

with my other dd who was stuck on a badge for a year it was to do with her ability. She was really small for her age has hyper mobility of the hips, she started gym at 6 not being able to run or jump and doing a forward roll and the floor and get up without using your hands was a no go for a while but she achieved it in the end. She has very poor muscle tone and I signed her up to try gym to help her with her strength as she was having physio for this at the time at it was recommended to try gym. She stuck at gym for 2 years and achieved her badges from 7-1 before quitting. Gymnastics really helped her, she is now able to jump and to like her little sister but she still can it skip along the floor she sorts of gallops ( she is nearly 9) You can imagine how happy she was to achieve all badges and medals. Badge week can be very important to the rec gymnasts even if it is not important to the coaches.
Not open for further replies.