There are almost 100 Clubs offering Rhythmic Gymnastics across South Africa. You’ve found a Club and your child is excited to start. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
The South African Gymnastics Federation (SAGF) is the official organisation responsible for regulating the nine Gymnastics Disciplines in South Africa.
Coaches need to pass a number of courses prescribed by the SAGF to ensure that they are qualified to coach Gymnasts. Their Club also needs to be registered with the SAGF, otherwise Gymnasts are not able to compete in Regional, Provincial or National Competitions.
Once a Gymnast competes at a National Competition she will be required to wear the Provincial Leotard and Tracksuit.
Depending on the age of your child and her skill level she will probably start in either Level 1, 2 or 3.
SAGF has developed a comprehensive Levels Programme that systematically teaches Rhythmic Gymnasts the apparatus technique and body requirements needed for each Level.
Level 1, 2 and 3 have 3 set routines; Level 4, 5, 6 and 7 have 4 set routines; Level 8, 9 and 10 have voluntary routines. Routines are done with or without hand apparatus to music.
|Level 2||Hoop and Ball|
|Level 3||Clubs and Ribbon|
|Level 4||Rope, Hoop and Ball|
|Level 5||Rope, Clubs and Ribbon|
|Level 6||Hoop, Ball ad Clubs|
|Level 7||Rope, Ball and Ribbon|
|Level 8||Hoop, Ball and Clubs|
|Level 9||Same equipment as Junior Olympic|
Same equipment as Junior Olympic (set by FIG) for under 15
Same equipment as Senior Olympic (set by FIG) for over 15
In the beginning your child would attend a training session once a week for an hour to an hour and half. The time and number of sessions increases gradually as the child progresses through the Levels.
Try and attend every training session. When you’re building a house, your most important component of the structure is a solid foundation. Constructing a solid foundation takes time, patience and commitment. If anything is missed, at a later stage the Gymnast will struggle with new skills and technique. You're going to see 'cracks in the house' due the foundation not being strong enough.Each lesson is important as it gives the Coach the time to train the Rhythmic Gymnast and the Rhythmic Gymnast to master new skills systematically. You cannot rush the basics.
Don’t have unrealistic expectations of your child. Not everyone goes to the Olympic Games - this should never even be a factor in the beginning. Rhythmic Gymnastics is an amazing and unique girls sport. It helps develop spatial awareness, hand-eye co-ordination, musicality, creativity, body strength, flexibility, posture and most importantly self-confidence and discipline.
It is important that your child enjoys every minute of the process and is encouraged and inspired to try new skills.