Gym for All is the base for all gymnastics disciplines and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as a foundation sport because it plays a crucial part in the development of fundamental movement patterns and sport skills.
Through a variety of programs, activities, and events suitable for all genders, age groups, and ability levels, Gym for All contributes to physical literacy, health, fitness, and an active lifestyle.
The focus of Gym for All activities is fun, fitness, and fundamentals, involving:
- gymnastics with or without apparatus;
- gymnastics and dance.
Based on the notion that gymnastics is a sport for everybody, Gym for All is the lifeblood of the federation with over 90% of our membership involved in Gym for All club recreational programmes. Beginning with movement programmes for pre-school children and progressing through to recreational gymnastics taught in clubs across Canada, children are encouraged to learn and experience a variety of basic movement patterns across the range of gymnastics disciplines. By exposing children to movement and skills involved in all disciplines, they can choose to specialise in one discipline, or transition to another as their preferences change. Those able to master the basic exercises are able to go on to master more difficult skills, and with a lot of training and hard work, can become top-level gymnasts. But those who don’t aspire to the elite level can also continue doing gymnastics. Depending on interest and need, this may be an adapted or modified form, or within another discipline. Everyone can stay in gymnastics throughout his or her whole life!
An increasing number of clubs are providing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to take part in demonstrations and performances under the Gym for All umbrella, which offers the opportunity for teams of gymnasts to perform in show style, non-competitive events where the emphasis is on fun and friendship. These events offer a fantastic experience for both gymnasts and spectators alike by capturing the ethos of Gym for All: the bringing together of gymnasts of all ages, genders, and abilities, to enjoy the diverse range of physical activities offered by the sport.
Gym for All also provides opportunities for international representation. Every four years the World Gymnaestrada sees in excess of 20,000 Gym for All enthusiasts the world over coming together to perform routines of national and cultural significance in front of adoring fans from all corners of the globe. With age and ability not being barriers to participation, the World Gymnaestrada epitomises the philosophy of Gym for All.
If competition is more your thing, then Gym for All also provides an international competitive opportunity every four years called the World Gym for Life Challenge. Groups participating in the World Gym for Life Challenge receive either a bronze, silver, or gold performance rating. Gold rated groups participate in the World Gym for Life Challenge to determine the top ranked group.