Gymnastics thriving in Victoria 

It has been a great start to the year for Gymnastics in Victoria with success at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, record participant numbers at the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Victorian Championships and Gymnastics named the fifth most popular children’s sport in Australia. 

The latest Australian Sports Commission (ASC) AusPlay research into Children’s Participation in Organised Physical Activity Outside of School Hours found that in 2017 Gymnastics was the fifth most popular activity for children under the age of 15 in Australia, showing it to be more popular than many other high profile sports.

Gymnastics amassed over 700,000 participants in Victoria in 2017 with over 60,000 registered members from 130 clubs operating out of 150 venues. 

Across Australia, 12.1% of girls under the age of 15 participated in gymnastics in 2017 making it the fourth largest female participation sport. Gymnastics is the ninth largest participation sport for boys, with 3.4% participating in gymnastics in 2017. 

The mass participation in Gymnastics was on display last weekend with the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Victorian Championships at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. This event was Victoria’s biggest ever stand-alone Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics event with 532 gymnasts competing over the three days. 

A highlight of the weekend were the sessions on Saturday which included the integration of Special Olympics Gymnasts competing alongside mainstream athletes. Gymnastics Victoria are committed to making Gymnastics available to everybody with People with Disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Newly Arrived Migrant and Refugee participants making up 12,499 people. 

Gymnastics Victoria also took the opportunity to celebrate the Victorian athletes who attended the Commonwealth Games on the Sunday with Women’s Artistic Gymnasts Alex Eade and Emily Whitehead and Men’s Artistic Gymnast Luke Wadsworth meeting young fans and being interviewed. Victoria's other Commonwealth Games athlete Alex Kiroi Bogatyreva who won a Rhythmic Gymnastics Team Bronze and an Individual Ball Bronze was unable to be a part of things due to competing at the World Cup in Baku. 

Commonwealth Games Gold medallist for Floor Alex Eade and Bronze Medallist for Vault Emily Whitehead were very popular with hardly a moment going by where they weren’t signing autographs for inspired young gymnasts. 

 “It’s outstanding to see the continuous growth of Gymnastics in Victoria. We see Gymnastics as a sport that is fundamental for developing movement skills that benefits every single participant,” said Gymnastics Victoria CEO Jamie Parsons. 

The Gymnastics event calendar is in full swing, with the Rhythmic Gymnastics Senior Victorian Championships this weekend and the 2018 Australian Gymnastics Championships kicking off at Hisense Arena in Melbourne on 21 May. With 335 Victorian gymnasts competing this year, we are expecting some great results! 

Click here for the Australian Sports Commission AusPlay data.