Gymnastics Australia is the National Sporting Organisation for seven competitive gymnastics codes. You have probably seen some of these competitive disciplines if you watch the Olympic Games every four years. Most people know of these sports of gymnastics, but not all people realise there are actually eight GymSports within gymnastics.
Gymnastics for All (GFA) is our first GymSport. We put it first, in order of priority, because GFA the foundation of every one of our competitive disciplines. The guiding principles of GFA are 'The 4 Fs' - Fun, Friendship, Fitness and Fundamentals. We've brought all four Fs into LaunchPad and can't wait to share them with you and your kids!
You see, gymnastics is all about learning how to move your body – on the ground, in the air, and everything in between. If you want to be a master of anything, you have to start somewhere and you'd have to agree, that being able to control your body in space is pretty much essential for any sport or physical activity... If you don’t have control of your body, we reckon it’d be fairly safe to assume that putting a ball or a bat into the mix, and then adding other people, is only going to complicate the situation further!
LaunchPad hasn't been created with the intention of developing future Olympic gymnasts. Sure, there may be a few kids doing LaunchPad programs who have the necessary skills, natural talent and determination to take the path to Olympic glory, but what about the future AFL rovers, NRL half backs, A-League defenders, the Diamond’s Goal Attacks or the future Wallabies players? How about the thousands of kids who may just want to lead a happy, healthy and active lifestyle as adults? It's really important that all children learn how to manage their bodies and what better way to do it than through fun movement activities!
Watch this video for more of an insight into LaunchPad.
"Gymnastics is to sport what the alphabet is to reading."
LaunchPad's programs are all about fundamental movement. They've been especially designed to support you in giving your kids the opportunity to practise, develop and, most importantly, enjoy moving through a wide-range of activities that will help them to develop physically, socially and cognitively.
The time has come... and it's time to move! Values are extremely important to us and we reckon we can sum up the essence of LaunchPad with the four statements below:
1. LaunchPad is active.
Movement is central to what LaunchPad is all about. Get the ball rolling, set things in motion, get under way, dynamic, fresh and energetic... It's time to move!
2. LaunchPad inspires.
We reckon that having heroes is vital. These are people you look up to, people who you think embody all the good things you'd like to be. They may not be famous or well-known (that doesn't really matter in the slightest), as long as they are someone you admire for the right reasons; whatever your reasons may be. So, we couldn't really encourage our LaunchPad participants to have heroes if we didn't have a few of our own, right?! Take a look at Our Heroes to see a few people we reckon are right up there with the best. They live and breathe the LaunchPad essence - appreciating the value of movement and loving all the benefits it can bring!
Motivation also plays a key role. We want kids to like to move. We want kids to want to move. Inspiring those involved by keeping LaunchPad fresh and fun is an important part of the program.
3. LaunchPad is lifelong.
A hugely important goal of LaunchPad is to foster the development of lifelong skill, physical literacy and healthy habits of movement for all those participating in LaunchPad programs. And, by participants, of course we mean the children enjoying and experiencing movement through any one of LaunchPad's programs, but we also include our coaches, teachers and leaders.
We reckon that life is all about learning - whether you're a child or an adult, there are always opportunities to add to your current level of skill in whatever it is you're doing. You're the boss of you and we'd like you to take responsibility for your learning; empowering you to be the best that you can be. After all, whether they're movement skills, coaching/teaching skills or skills in making movement fun, they're you're skills - develop them, continue to refine them, and most importantly, own them for life!
4. LaunchPad is the foundation.
As a base, confidence and competence in fundamental movement is going to set the foundation for future sporting success or lifelong, active and healthy participation in physical activity. We believe that LaunchPad is the Nursery of Australian Sport!
LaunchPad's programs rely on safe and enjoyable activities that challenge participants relative to their abilities and stage of development. Many of the games and activities in LaunchPad programs are based on what fundamental gymnastics coaches around the world have been delivering for years. Importantly, research tells us that children who have these fundamental skills are far more likely to participate in sport and recreation throughout life.