Letter to all Gymnastics Clubs in Australia

4th February 2021

Dear Clubs,

Welcome to gymnastics in 2021. After a challenging 2020, we trust this message finds you safe and well.

Following our first joint meeting of the year, the Gymnastics Australia Board and State and Territory Presidents would like to respond to the many requests received from clubs to clarify our joint position regarding the new company called Gymnastics Clubs Australia that has been set up by some members of the gymnastics community.

By way of context, it is important to remember that Gymnastics Australia is the sole formally authorised body to represent gymnastics with key national and international bodies such as the FIG (International Gymnastics Federation), Sport Australia, the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Australia. This is the same governance arrangement that all other Australian sports organisations have in respect of national and international recognition, authority, competition and sporting activity.

Likewise, the State and Territory associations are the only bodies with authority to represent the sport to state governments and their departments of sport, all of whom provide significant funding and resources that directly benefit grassroots gymnastics and member clubs.

Of course, membership with a State or Territory association also automatically entitles a club to the wide range of individualised club support, local and state events, training and education services each association offers as well as membership to Gymnastics Australia and access to its services including accreditation and corresponding course resources, online education delivery, national programs including the ALP’s, insurance, national events and One Music licensing.

Additionally, Gymnastics Australia and the State and Territory Associations also work collaboratively to provide industry leading Child Safety support and resourcing, with our national policies and member education recognised as best practice in sport. This critical service provided to our clubs and the depth of experience in this area should not be underestimated.

An important part of our federated model is also regular contact and engagement with all our clubs such as is currently occurring through the Gymnastics in Australia strategic planning exercise and through the newly formed Club Commission.

Together, these administrative arrangements, connections to government and direct links to our member clubs enabled us to assist clubs through the challenging periods of the COVID shut-downs last year. It was thanks to the national and state government partnerships for example, that Gymnastics Australia and States and Territories were able to financially assist clubs during the pandemic, through deferred and waived membership fees, advocating for a safe return to gymnastics, and advocating and applying for specific funding packages, lease arrangements and other support mechanisms.

With regard to Gymnastics Clubs Australia, while we obviously welcome clubs working together to support each other and to develop their business and other skills, we need to make clear that such arrangements are not part of any formal arrangement in our system and do not replace the activities that Gymnastics Australia and the State and Territory Associations deliver. Further, no separate organisation can replace the formal arrangements we have with funding and sports bodies that underpin and benefit our sport as a whole.

We hope this answers the questions some of you have been asking and we look forward to an exciting and positive year ahead for gymnastics in Australia.