Since March 2016, five young gymnasts with Down Syndrome have joined the Enigma Gymnastics Club Sunday afternoon coach led session in Leven. In preparation for their arrival, Disability Sport Fife (DSF) put on a disability inclusion workshop for coaches and volunteers which the club strongly supported. Head coach Jenn Mann has led this partnership initiative between Enigma GC and DSF with financial support from the Kirkcaldy and Central Fife Sports Council. All five gymnasts are registered with British Gymnastics and have been appropriately screened in accordance with the protocols of the GB governing body.
Seven year old Myles was already a member of the Club and he has made significant advances since the arrival of the new members. Mum Paula is a committee member and Meg Buchanan from Sports Development has played her part in promoting the club sessions. Numbers are small and the Enigma Club and DSF are keen to promote the programme more vigorously in the period ahead. Myles was recently awarded the British Gymnastics Pre School 2nd reward certificate. Myles has also achieved Gymnast of the Week during the past term.
Another young gymnast, Sophie (16), had previously participated in gymnastics but with another Club. The family had to travel extensively to train outside Fife. Sophie now attends the Enigma Club weekly and has been working through British Gymnastics proficiency awards. Sophie has recently passed Award 4. Sophie was so happy to receive the award and could not wait to show a club picture of the occasion to her school teachers.
The other three young gymnasts, Charlie (7 years), Eve (8 years) and Kya (9 years), are new to the sport and are adapting to the learning environment well. Like Sophie, they have been introduced to the British Gymnastics proficiency awards programme and have passed Awards 8 and 7. All of the young gymnasts work one to one with Club helpers under the instruction of the Head Coach. The girls and boys work through skills on floor, vault and bench work. Large and small apparatus are used to help the youngsters learn the new gymnastics skills.
All gymnasts proudly wear the Enigma Club t shirts and hoodies and their backpacks are never far away from their side. The grant from Kirkcaldy and Central Fife Sports Council has helped enormously with costly initial registrations and memberships. Three of the young gymnasts have purchased Club leotards demonstrating their commitment to the Enigma Club going forward.
After the summer holidays, the Enigma Gymnastics Club will move to new facilities within Levenmouth Academy. The five gymnasts will be offered places in the new school gymnastics sessions. Feedback from parents has been very positive. Disability Sport Fife and partner Enigma Gymnastics Club hope to attract new young gymnasts with Down Syndrome to the sessions. The new school will offer improved facilities and access to larger equipment. The future is bright for this excellent Fife sporting partnership. Interested new members should contact Disability Sport Fife.
Richard Brickley MBE
President, Disability Sport Fife