- How did your club start?
The Sydney Uni Gymnastics Club (SUG) is a volunteer-run club, founded in 1957 by the Sydney University Sports and Fitness organisation. It was created for university students, staff and alumni to continue their gymnastics practise, to stay fit, and to compete in events, all while studying or working at Sydney University. For over 65 years, SUG has continued to provide high-quality gymnastics teaching and training opportunities to Sydney University students, staff, and adults from wide-ranging experiences and backgrounds.
2. How many people do you train and what skills?
This year, we have had 110 registered members. Each week, we train over 40 individuals. We are among the very few clubs in the Sydney region to offer all-inclusive structured beginner-to-advanced level gymnastics classes for adults. We provide recreational classes which cover tumbling, artistic apparatus, trampolining, acrobatics and strength and flexibility training.
- Do you have any special needs programs?
We currently do not have any special needs programs. However, through our inclusive and supportive environment, and the way we structure our classes, we empower all individuals to practise gymnastics at any level which suits their needs. Each class offers stepwise progressions to meet gymnasts where they are at, and modifications based on their abilities, to ensure everyone can get involved.
- What’s your club’s vision statement?
“To make gymnastics accessible for adults, be they beginners or elite, and promote its lifelong benefits."
5. What are some of the objectives of your program?
We believe that gymnastics is a sport for all, and so our objective is to engage university students and adults to try gymnastics, and experience the wide breadth of physical, mental and social benefits it provides. Our classes cater for absolute beginners to ex-competitive level gymnasts and foster highly collaborative learning. With the shared joy of gymnastics at its core, our club also promotes social connection and friendships.
6. What are you most proud of with your club?
I’m most proud of our club’s unique and brilliant culture. SUG welcomes people from wide-ranging experiences and backgrounds, and it’s through gymnastics that our club fosters an inclusive and supportive environment. This builds confidence and promotes health and creativity in movement, encouraging our gymnasts to try new things, and to enjoy the sport in each other’s company.
- Why do you think your club is important to your community?
Our community comprises university students in the depths of their study, their work and people who experience the daily grind. Our club offers a valuable and much-needed circuit breaker to this. When our gymnasts enter our venue, they can refocus their minds and take part in fun, physical exercise among friends. This is especially important for our international students, who have moved away from their home, friends and family to complete their education. Our club welcomes and includes people from all backgrounds, encouraging a shared sense of belonging.
- What’s a piece of advice would you give to a gymnast/student?
Make your gymnastics lifelong.
Maintaining consistent exercise over your lifetime provides immense benefits to physical, mental and social wellbeing. Gymnastics encompasses a plethora of disciplines, ways of moving and philosophies, and is exceptionally well-rounded. It improves full-body strength, endurance, flexibility, mobility, coordination, balance, awareness, confidence, and respect for yourself and others. It’s also a tonne of fun to boot. Every gymnastics skill or exercise has logical, stepwise progressions, meaning anyone can get involved at any level or age. This is why SUG advocates so strongly for the idea that gymnastics is not only a great sport for children, but for adults too.