Gymnastics – Launch of NEW Affinity Awards
We’ve been busy recently… not only do we have a new gym and new leotards – we’ve an all-new award scheme too.
As you might be aware, we’ve had our own Affinity badge and certificate awards scheme for many years. Always looking to improve, we’ve developed a new scheme that better suits our current curriculum, our ethos and our gymnasts unique progression through this.
Plus in a bonus twist, we’ve all new beautiful medals to go with it.
Read on for the details on how it all works.
At Affinity Academy, we embrace the uniqueness of every gymnast. We recognise that everyone has their own learning style and pace, so we have redesigned our award scheme to reflect and honour that individuality. Plus the reward is now a stunning Affinity medal, instead of the previous badges and certificates. We feel this is a more modern change and more appealing to gymnasts of all ages. (And parents, no longer requires you to sew on badges. You are welcome.)
How does it work?
Each gymnast will receive their own award book of 13 different coloured awards to work their way up from Red, to Gold. Coaches place gymnasts on the most suitable starting award for their progression. There are three core areas of each award; skills, flexibility and conditioning that can be passed in any order and signed by a coach upon completion. The books will stay with us at Affinity for safekeeping, but you can always ask to see it and on leaving the club you can take it home as a record of progress.
Award Colours Sequence
Red → Pink → Orange → Yellow → Green → Turquoise → Blue → Purple → Violet → Grey → Bronze → Silver → Gold
All three core areas must be completed in order to move to the next colour award.
How do I get a medal?
There are 3 medals to gain on each colour award:
BRONZE MEDAL = Achieved when the first 12 skills have been passed
SILVER MEDAL = Achieved when 24 skills have been passed
GOLD MEDAL = Achieved when all 36 skills have been passed
Once all three medals have been gained, the full award has been passed and gymnasts will begin working on the next colour.
What is an Affinity Challenge Award?
Each level also has an additional challenge. This award is created by the coach and gymnast together. It doesn’t have to relate to a gymnastics skill, it could be anything like;
- Help pack away
- Lead a warm up
- Win the ‘hanging game’
- Create a routine
- Learn the name of a new skill
- Create a new trick
- Something to be proud of!
Setting challenges allows us to even further tailor our awards to each gymnast and help them have input into and responsibility for their training.
So what’s changed from the previous scheme and why?
In our previous award system, all gymnasts received their badges at the same time with a ‘pass’, ‘commended’ or ‘highly commended’ grade. Our new system is more flexible allowing coaches to cater their sessions to the specific needs of each gymnast throughout their training journey without being constrained by time. This does mean that gymnasts will not all achieve their medals at the same time as they did with badges. Gymnasts will work to perfect flexibility, conditioning and skill progressions to gain their medals and they will only pass when the skill has been mastered. We believe this approach will not only foster better progression but give our gymnasts a greater sense of accomplishment when they earn their medals. We understand this may be a confusing change for some of our young gymnasts so we will be addressing this with all gymnasts in classes.
Will my child be on the same colour as before – does it match across?
Overall, no and it does not. All colours are in the same order as before. However, as this is a completely new award scheme, the colour your gymnast was previously on will likely change when moving over to the new medal scheme as our previous badges required different criteria across the different colours. All gymnasts are being evaluated by our coaches in class to determine the most suitable starting award. Please don’t worry if your gymnast is now placed on a colour they had previously completed on the old scheme, this does not mean they haven’t improved, we are teaching different skills within the awards on all four pieces. This may also mean they are now on a different award to their friend who used to be the same as them. Some gymnasts excel and struggle in different areas so this will all be taken into consideration when deciding their starting award.
How often will we assess these? Does everyone get an award at the same time?
Gymnasts will be assessed during termly ‘book weeks’ which will take place across two weeks to ensure gymnasts are given the chance to show their coaches the skills they have been working on, on all four pieces of equipment (Floor, Vault, Beam and Bars). In line with our 2 week rotation class structure, gymnasts will work 2 pieces of equipment week one and the other two pieces week two. Coaches will pass these skills once they’re completed to a safe and high enough standard to progress to the next skill.
It’s important to note that our new system doesn’t operate on a fixed schedule. Every gymnast’s journey is unique, and we fully appreciate and respect this. As such, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to when a medal will be achieved and gymnasts will not all pass at the same time.
When are we getting started?
Our first book week will take place in November! Each gymnast will receive their book and begin working on getting their skills ticked off. We would not expect gymnasts to achieve a medal within the first few months of beginning work in their book. This would mean they have been placed on an award too easy for them and they are not being challenged enough. We want to place high emphasis on the achievement of a ticked and completed skill in award books and the medals will follow only once all skills are completed. Do not expect to be receiving medals until early in 2024.
What about parkour and tumbling classes?
They will have their own, separate schemes – look out for news from us soon.
Our commitment is to support each gymnast throughout their training journey with us, recognising and celebrating their individual achievements.
If you have any questions or just want to understand the new system a little better, please do pop your head in to speak to one of our coaches between classes who will be more than happy to help, or drop us an email.
We’re excited about these changes and believe they will greatly benefit our gymnasts. As always, thank you for your continued support and trust in us all at Affinity.