Gymnastics Tasmania celebrates Olympic year with record growth
With 2016 – the year of the XXXI Olympiad – well underway, Gymnastics Tasmania is celebrating a record 5,689 registered members taking part in Gymnastics in 2015; a massive 20% increase on their 2014 numbers.
In 2005 Australia’s smallest state – with an estimated population of 515,000 – recorded 2,588 athletes taking part in some form of organised gymnastics. Now 11 years later, the sport has experienced six years of continuous growth, at an average of 8.6% which equates to more than 5.88% of children under the age of 15 participating in gymnastics in Tasmania.
Gymnastics Tasmania’s membership base includes a significant 89% of children under the age of 12 partaking in some form of gymnastics, 72% of which are girls, mirroring the national trend of gymnastics being one of the leading sports to encourage female participation in Australia. Gymnastics is clearly one of the leading and most popular sports for Tasmanian girls and families.
Gymnastics is often referred to as the ‘nursery of all sports’, and with research released last year revealing that Australian children were lacking in the fundamental movement skills which can be easily developed through gymnastics, it is encouraging to see so many Australians partaking in some kind of Gymnastics to supplement an active lifestyle.
Gymnastics Tasmania’s President, Mark Moncur, says that now more than ever, it’s an exciting time for the sport.
“Gymnastics is a great sport for boys and girls of all ages to participate in, and with the recent rise in the profile of women’s sport at a mainstream level, there is no more exciting time than now to watch the continual rise of Gymnastics not only in Australia, but throughout Tasmania as well.”
In addition, across the 14 Tasmanian clubs who are affiliated with Gymnastics Australia, there are 222 professionally educated coaches and judges, an increase on 2014 numbers by 18%. With the popularity of gymnastics continuing to grow across the Apple Isle at both competitive and recreational levels, this number is expected to continue to rise by a further 10% in 2016, to cater for the predicted additional 16% in athlete membership over the next two years.