Gymnastics for All Programming (GfA)
Did you know that Gymnastics, including the discipline of Rhythmic Gymnastics, is considered a Foundational Sport? That means that participation in Rhythmic Gymnastics provides you or your child with the fundamental movements like leaping, landing, balancing, throwing, catching and locomotion (also called Physical Literacy) that are the basis of almost every other sport! Early participation in our programming can give your child all the building blocks they need to make sure they feel comfortable joining that pick-up game of basketball, try-out for the school track & field team or play on the community soccer team!
Gymnastics for All Programming aims to provide these opportunities for life-long fitness and participation to all ages, stages, genders, abilities, cultures and communities! Check out the variety of GfA programming offered by our member clubs across the province:
Our recreational programs focus on three principles: Fun, Fitness, and Fundamentals as part of the Active Start & FUNdamentals levels of Long Term Athlete Model (LTAD). Learners gain physical literacy through fundamental movements such as locomotion, balances, springs, landings and rotations that can be built upon to progress in rhythmic gymnastics and beyond! The goal of our recreation programming is to foster a lifelong love of fitness and movement through Rhythmic Gymnastics. The PRISM Recreational Program was developed in Alberta and it is used both nationally and internationally. As a gymnast completes each color level, they will receive a PRISM pin to commemorate their accomplishment before moving up into a new skill set.
XCEL Skill Mastery Program
XCEL is our non-competitive, skill-building program for participants who enjoyed our PRISM Recreational Program and are keen to learn more as recreational athletes! It addresses the Learn to Train LTAD stage and athletes build upon the foundational skills learned in our recreational classes and begin their journey to mastery of foundational Rhythmic Gymnastics. XCEL was carefully designed so that each skill builds upon the last, creating lots of opportunity for participant success and for a solid understanding of the basics of the sport. Athletes have their skills assessed by their coaches and adjudicators at fun, low-stress events where they earn ribbons and certificates to honor their achievements before moving on to the next level.
Gymnaestrada is a totally unique aspect of our sport that is inclusive of a diversity of ages, stages, skill levels, genders, abilities, cultures and gymnastics disciplines! It is an element of Gymnastics for All that is a performance based non-competitive activity involving a combination of dance, gymnastics with and without apparatus, acrobatics and dramatic performance. Gymnaestrada's focus is on mass participation in gymnastics and it's goals are to promote and develop joy in exercise, create community and demonstrate the development of the participants. Gymaestrada falls into the FUNdamentals , Learn to Train and the Active for Life stages of LTAD.
Provincial Gymnaestrada is hosted every year in order for participants to gather together to celebrate of our community and to share large group performances that they have been working on all year! National and World Gymnaestradas are held in a 4-year cycle and World Gymnaestrada is the International Gymnastics Federation's largest event with over 21,000 participants worldwide and take place typically in Europe. In 2019, Canada sent over 800 participants to Dornbirn, Austria to participate in the XVII World Gymnaestrada and we are proud to say that over 150 of those participants were from Alberta!
Athletes participating in our Competitive Programming enter the Train to Train, Train to Compete & Train to Win categories of the Long Term Athlete Development model (LTAD). Through Club level, Provincial and National led programming, athletes develop the ability to set goals, practice in a progressive manner to achieve them and build resilience to be able to learn and grow from both success and disappointment. RGA subscribes to the True Sport Principles and strives to achieve a value-based sport culture in all of our member clubs and our sanctioned events so that participation in competitive level training not only builds successful athletes but happy, healthy, resilient people, too!
Our Interclub program is the fastest growing segment of our rhythmic community. This program focuses on the Train to Train stage of LTAD and provides opportunity for meaningful competition through a series of Invitational competitions throughout the year. Gymnasts can compete both individually and/or as part of a group and are adjudicated, rather than ranked, by a panel of judges particularly suited to this level of competition. The Interclub program endeavors to provide opportunity for athletes and families to enjoy the competitive experience with a reduced time and financial commitment.
Provincial, Regional, & National Stream Programming
It is an amazing thing to behold when a child finds that thing that lights them up from the inside and ignites a passion that allows them to reach for their dreams through their own determination and dedication. Intensive learning and hard work is fun and brings both satisfaction and confidence and strong friendships are forged with club mates and fellow competitors as they share the common goal of achieving excellence. Provincial, Regional and National Stream programming fall within the Train to Compete and Train to Win stages of LTAD. These levels provide elite training for those who want to begin to specialize in one sport and compete at the highest levels, maximizing the physical, mental and emotional development of each athlete.
Participants above the age of 8 years who are interested in a more intensive, competitive experience begin in our Provincial Competitive program and train to compete at Zone and Provincial Championships. They may then have the opportunity to move to Regional level competition and attend the Western Regional Championships and from there, athletes might progress to the National Steam where they can experience National level competition at the Elite Canada and National Championships events. Gymnastics Canada selects the National Team from these events and selected athletes my have the opportunity to represent Canada at International events. Athletes have the opportunity to compete as Individuals or as a small group.
Our Competitive Programming aims to support our gymnasts in pursuit of their personal goals, whatever they may be, and ensure that they have a safe, healthy and happy experience as competitive athletes. Please refer to our Safe Sport page for educational resources and to familiarize yourself with our policies and procedures in order to best support your competitive athlete!
Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)
What is it?
'Long Term Athlete Development is a a clear path to better sport, greater sport, and higher achievement.' - SportforLife.ca
According to SportforLife.ca, 'children, youth and adults need to do the right thing at the right time to develop in their sport or activity - whether they want to hockey players, dancers, figure skaters, or gymnasts'. Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) describes what is appropriate for specific ages and stages.
In Canada, experts have identified 7 distinct stages of the development of an athlete over the course of a lifetime. These 7 stages make up what we call the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model and they outline the ideal levels of training and competition for athletes at different ages and stages, to thoroughly enjoy sports, perform at their best and prevent injury.
The 7 levels of LTAD are Awareness & First Involvement, Active Start, FUNdamentals, Learn to Train, Train to Train, Train to Compete and Train to Train. Rhythmic Gymnastics Alberta endeavors to provide all levels of the LTAD model through our programming that is offered in our member clubs across the Province.
LTAD promotes the concept that in order to increase activity and sports enrollment, skills and abilities need to be matched to the correct developmental stages or there can negative consequences, such as:
- Not having fun in sports
- Poor skill development
- Low Self Esteem
- Burning out and leaving the sport or sports in general
Rhythmic Gymnastics Alberta endeavors to provide all levels of the LTAD model through our programming that is offered in our Member Clubs across the Province and to adhere to the guidelines as they are set out for each level with consideration that Rhythmic Gymnastics is considered an early specializations sports and athletes may enter certain stages at an earlier age as noted on the model.
If you'd like to learn more about LTAD and how it supports the development of healthy, happy, life long athletes, check out the resources below or the links above or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org