South Essex Gymnastics Club has a proud record in men’s gymnastics and currently boosts one of Great Britain’s top gymnasts, Max Whitlock (pictured), along with GB coach Scott Hann, who is also the director of coaching here at SEGC.
The men use six pieces of apparatus: Floor, Vault, Pommel Horse, Rings, Parallel Bars and High Bar.
During a floor exercise the gymnast will include movements that show strength, flexibility and balance and combine moves such as somersaults, twists and leaps.
The Pommel Horse should be a smooth continuous collaboration of circular and pendulum type swings, double leg circles, scissor movements and undercuts using all parts of the horse.
The Rings requires the gymnast to show great strength and balance.
They will perform a series of swings and holds both forwards and backwards with an acrobatic dismount.
The Vault should have a very powerful and fast run up which enables the gymnast to perform a high and long vault which will include one or more rotations and finishes with a controlled landing.
The Parallel Bars like the rings requires a combination of swinging movements with strength holds.
The gymnasts should travel along, above and below the bars.
The final piece of apparatus is the High Bar and the gymnast should show swinging movements, changes in grip and release and catches. The routine should finish with a dismount to a controlled landing.
Boys for these squads are selected by experienced coaches following an initial trial. They are chosen because they demonstrate natural physical requirements and potential.
Once in this squad the gymnasts follow a training programme designed to improve flexibility, strength and coordination which will allow them to develop the required skills at a later stage.
Regular attendance is very important for gymnasts in these squads.
The squads are for selected gymnasts who wish to work towards taking part in competitions.
Gymnastics is a demanding sport and squad members and their families need to realise that entry into a squad requires enormous commitment.
In order to be successful a squad gymnast will need to attend regularly, be committed to their training programme and develop a high level of self-discipline.