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This year, British Gymnastics is launching a new award scheme – Rise. Available from September 2021 for British Gymnastics clubs and partners, it will gradually replace the existing programmes available for recreational gymnastics.

The announcement of Rise has sparked a lot of conversation around badging and award schemes – it’s certainly been a hot topic in our LoveGymnastics Community.

A recent poll in another Facebook group found only 2.6% of voters planned to change to the new scheme, whereas 39% planned to make their own scheme.

We spoke to club owners to find out what they think about Rise, what award programmes they use currently, and if they would consider setting up their own scheme.

What is Rise?

Before we dive into the comments from of our gymnastics Facebook Group, here’s a brief overview of the Rise programme in case you aren’t familiar (you can also learn more on the British Gymnastics website).

Using insights from the gymnastics community, Rise has been developed to provide young gymnasts with opportunities to develop and progress their skills.

The programme is split into three phases, based on a child’s age and skill level:

  1. Discover – this phase helps pre-school children develop foundation skills through play-based activities
  2. Explore – children build up fundamental skills naturally through fun activities and progressions
  3. Excel – this phase is for more experienced and ambitious children, and provides pathways to festivals, competitions and discipline specific National Development Plans

Each phase includes awards and medals to help children gain confidence and see their progress.

For club owners, in addition to an activation pack containing the materials needed to run the programme, they can access the Rise online hub. This portal lets coaches plan sessions and continually assess their gymnastics, as well as share progress with parents.

What our LoveGymnastics Community thinks

When we saw that Rise was causing a stir in the world of gymnastics, we wanted to know why. So we asked the club owners in the LoveGymnastics Community what they thought – would they adopt Rise at their club, or look into an alternative.

Of course, not all the opinions about Rise have been negative, as this comment from Erin Madden shows:

We’re really excited about Rise! Not too much extra to pay and the online portal for sharing progress with parents looks like just what they want. Can’t wait to find out more!

– Erin Madden – Owner, Jolly Gymnastics

Although Rise has many useful features, it appears it doesn’t cater for everyone’s needs. Winstrada – another programme for recreational gymnastics plus trampolining – was mentioned for its focus on special needs and pre-school.

We use Winstrada at our centre because the first three grades of the gymnastics and the trampoline schemes are suitable for special needs and pre-school, and then it gently tapers into a more advanced mainstream scheme from grade 4. I believe this is the reason most leisure centre gym classes use the scheme too 

– Paul Vernon Kaye, Founder, Saturn V Rebound Hall

The Winstrada scheme doesn’t work for every gymnastics club though, as Merry Raymond explains:

I don’t think Winstrada looks professional enough… we don’t have enough info about Rise but my gut feeling is that it won’t fit our programme. We already have an in-house rosette system and I think I’m going to adapt CPA to suit our programme and have designs drawn up, embroider our own badges and go our own way.

– Merry Raymond, Owner, Meridian Gymnastics Club

Amongst the club owners we spoke to, there was definitely a theme of creating their own award scheme so it could be tailored to their gymnasts’ needs.

I am planning on creating my own scheme and using it for two clubs, one is mine and the other I coach at. Both acro and tumbling so the other IGA and Winstrada are not suitable as more artistic based. The Rise scheme seems a bit babyish.

Andrea Allen, Owner and Manager, Rib Valley Gymnastics club

At the time of writing this article, Rise is still a month away from launch. As more information is available, club owners may change their mind but for now, it seems that most plan to develop their own awards scheme, or stick with their current one.

If you are a gymnastics club owner planning to create an awards programme, don’t forget that the LoveAdmin system can help.

We use our own scheme, which is tailored to the gymnasts that walk through our doors and what we want to achieve with them. This provides a small but regular income scheme. We are teamed up with LoveAdmin and parents can view their child’s progress and tips and videos on how to improve, all through the LoveAdmin app 

– Dorothy Wood, Owner, Nidderdale Gymnastics

To learn more about LoveAdmin and how we can help you manage your own tailored award scheme, get in touch today.

Thank you to everyone who spoke to us for this article. If you’re involved in grassroots sports and want to discuss the latest developments in your sport – or have something to say about Rise – join one of our dedicated Facebook Communities and be part of the conversation:

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