I was amazed to learn that its literally never too young to start with the famous Spelthorne Gymnastics. As well as their groups of older children who perform at world class level, the club offers pre-school classes from the age of only eight weeks old! (Obviously they are not dressed in leotards at that age, and are very much attending with their parents). It is interesting to hear from tutors just how much these pre-school classes can influence a child’s start in life.
There are three groups within the pre-school age bracket: ‘Fun for Babies’ from 8 weeks. 15 months for toddlers and parents and 2 1/2 years which is without parents and where there is a ratio of 8 children to 1 tutor.
Classes run for forty five minutes.
In terms of what the little ones gain from starting so young, there is a huge amount of stimulation and body awareness. Babies will benefit from stimulation of colour, touch and music. Toddlers learn about timing, rhythm and balance. By 2 1/2 children are learning independence and confidence. They will be aware of body shapes and the names of moves , which helps develop them mentally.
They will be jumping, balancing on low beams, developing strength on low level rings and interacting as a team, all the time following the leadership of the tutor. It is great training for their stamina, strength and flexibility. At this age they can start making an appearance in the Christmas shows. It is a fantastic way of building confidence and is an entry point to training and performing with the club.
At this time where childhood obesity is such a problem, learning the fun and discipline of an activity like gymnastics must be a good thing. To be part of a successful outfit such as Spelthorne Gymnastics gives them aspiration. The club goes from strength to strength, with members regularly performing and competing at European, indeed World level.
They have just learned that four gymnasts from the club have been selected to represent Great Britain in China in March; Frazer Windows, Finlay Gray, Rhys Cowler and Mollie Jaggers.
Spelthorne Gymnastics will be moving to their new home at Bishop Wand School later this year which is very exciting for Sunbury.