What you need to pack in your Rhythmic Gymnastics Bag for Competitions

The Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition season in South Africa starts towards the end of April and runs through to the beginning of October. Over the years I've witnessed a number meltdowns between Rhythmic Gymnasts, Parents and Coaches because something critical was forgotten at home!

Here's a handy Check List you can use the afternoon before (in case you still need to buy a couple of things) while you’re packing your Gym Bag for your Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition. 

Be organised - know where all your things are. Keep your bag neat so that you can easily find what you are looking for during the Competition. The most important thing is that you enjoy your competition experience!




  • Make sure that your Equipment is clean and not broken
  • If you’re doing Ribbon - iron it the night before and roll it up carefully!
  • Make sure that you pack your:
    • Rope
    • Hoop
    • Ball
    • Clubs
    • Ribbon and Ribbon Stick
  • If you need to take spare Equipment with you check that they are also clean and in working order


Competition Leotard(s)

  • Are your Competition Leotards clean? There’s nothing worse than having to put on a Leotard with stains! 
  • Ensure that there are no holes in your Leotard
  • Hang your Competition Leotard(s) up on a hanger to make sure they don’t crease and that any beading/crystals aren’t damaged unnecessarily 
  • Keep your Competition Leotard(s) in a garment bag to make sure they’re protected and kept clean. This is also the easiest way to transport them and to keep them together at a Competition



  • Do you have the appropriate Undergarments for your leotards? Check that the colour matches your skin tone and most importantly that they are cut correctly to stay concealed under your Competition Leotard
  • Make sure that your Undergarments are clean


Rhythmic Gymnastics Shoes

  • Please wear clean Rhythmic Gymnastics Shoes at Competitions
  • There should be no holes in your shoes - this just looks plain tacky
  • Make sure the elastics are tight and well sewn onto the shoes - you don’t want them snapping off before you go onto the floor or during a routine
  • You should always have a spare pair of Rhythmic Gymnastics shoes with you



  • Unless your Coach takes your music to Competitions - it's your responsibility to make sure you pack this in
  • Have at least 2 copies of each routine's music with you
  • Check that the CDs or digital copies that you have works on all kinds of sound equipment 



  • Once again if your Coach doesn't take them - this is your responsibility
  • Make sure your Forms are up to date and correct
  • Check how many copies  of the Forms you need to take with
  • Keep your Forms in a clear plastic sleeve


Warm-up Clothes 

You'll probably arrive at the Competition in these already. As we’re moving into winter and South African competition venues are notoriously chilly think about wearing the following:

  • Socks
  • Tights
  • Leg warmers
  • Hot pants
  • Training top
  • Long-sleeved vest
  • Backwarmer




Keep your snacks and water in a separate little cooler bag - the last thing you want is something leaking out and damaging your Equipment, Shoes or Leotards!


Water Bottles

  • Have a bottle filled with plain water 
  • Drink 'sports drinks' sparingly



  • Competitions can go on for a long time so make sure you pack low GI snacks
  • Avoid sweets and chips 





Keep your make-up organised and together in a make-up bag. Invest in good quality products (Krylon, MAC, Bobby Brown etc) - they last longer and don't damage your skin. 

  • Mascara - get something that’s waterproof and that doesn’t run. Also don’t share mascara, it’s like sharing your toothbrush with someone!!
  • Eyeliner
  • Powder
  • Bronzer
  • Eye shadow (neutral tone)
  • Lipstick (use what works best with your skin tone and naturally highlights your lips; avoid neon pink, orange and blood red!)
  • Compact mirror



Make sure you have enough of everything and that you have everything organised in a separate container. 

  • Good brush
  • Hairspray
  • Gel
  • Elastic bands
  • Hair pins, grips and clips - you can never have enough
  • Hair nets - check that they are still whole
  • Additional accessories required by your Coach (ribbons, scrunchies etc)



  • Remove any funny colours or peeling nail varnish
  • Keep your nails short and filed
  • Clear polish or a little french manicure always looks elegant  



  • Knee guards
  • Towel to wipe your hands and face with
  • Deodorant 
  • iPod if you like listening to music before you compete
  • Extra toilet paper/tissues - cold weather makes even the most hardy noses run and you never know if the venue runs out of loo paper
  • Needle and cotton
  • Small pair of scissors to cut off any stray / fraying threads etc
  • Clear masking tape
  • Extra ribbon joins
  • Notebook and pen
  • Voltaren rub (something similar)
  • Plasters (for blisters etc) 
  • Flip Flops that go over your feet - it's easier to walk around in these and keep your feet clean  
  • Arnica
  • Blanket 



  • Good luck things (yours and for your team mates) - What goes around comes around. Never wish your team mates ill
  • Thank you card for your Coach - she will think you’re awesome for thinking of her!!! 


This is by no means a complete list - if you feel that you would like me to add anything, please email me at info@moveworklove.com

Photo credit: Oleg Naumov

Michelle Kleu
Michelle Kleu