Maffra Gymnastics Club

For the past nine weeks Maffra Gymnastics Club has been facilitating sessions for a group of eager participants from George Gray as part of Special Olympic’s Community Sports Link program. Under the guidance of the club’s head coach Robyn Dowse, the weekly sessions have given participants the opportunity to develop their gymnastics skills, as well as socially connecting with the club and its coaches.

GippSport has partnered with Special Olympics Victoria to assist with the roll out of the ‘Community Sports Link’ program across Gippsland. Starting Term 4 2013, until the end of Term 3 2014, two specialist schools or service providers across Gippsland will participate in a sport to be run by local community sports clubs. The aim of the program is for participants to learn the necessary skills of each sport, and can further their participation at their local club and represent Gippsland for Special Olympics.

During the term Dowse has noticed massive improvements in the confidence of all the participants to try something new and challenging. “Many of the participants were initially unsure and hesitant  in some areas, but each week grew in confidence and enjoyed the success of achieving a new skill. It was wonderful witnessing the massive improvement from week one to week nine.

Dowse has been supported by another club coach each week. In some instances the supporting coach has previously had limited coaching experience with People with Disabilities. These sessions have been a great way to improve their skills and provide on the job inclusive coaching experience, an area that is very important at Maffra Gymnastics.  “We have been working hard in the area of ‘Inclusion’ to be one of a few Gymnastics Clubs in Victoria to qualify as an Inclusive Leader Club.”

The coaches are looking forward to the group returning next term, to continue developing their skill level, strength and spacial awareness as well as having more fun.

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