I’d been aware of the existence of baby and toddler gymnastics classes since I was pregnant, but didn’t get the opportunity to check out a class until my little one was 18 months old. It was an instant hit, and we’ve been going back ever since.
We went to Wickers Gymnastics Club in Lancing, which runs pre-school gymnastics sessions every weekday. My daughter goes to Gloworms sessions for competent walkers up to age 3. Gloworms classes run every day except Thursday. Wickers also run a baby session on Mondays, and Butterflies sessions for age 3 to 4 every day. Gloworms sessions are drop-in and cost £3.70 a time. The club runs a loyalty scheme where children build up stamps for free sessions. They also issue attendance certificates – my daughter has just got her bronze one.
Wickers is a purpose built gymnastics club on Lancing Industrial Estate. The club has all the equipment you’d expect such as beam, vault, asymmetric bars and a large floor work area. Additionally it has toddler-friendly equipment such as a mini trampette and soft play type items. There are also lots of pre-school toys to keep small people amused.
There were a number of reasons why I wanted to get my daughter involved in gymnastics. First and foremost, I was convinced she’d enjoy it as she was always climbing on things, and loved bouncing on inflatables. My late mother was a gymnastics coach and I thought that introducing Caitlin to an activity that Granny would have liked and helped her with was a good way for her to learn more about her. I was keen for her to do BG affiliated gymnastics as opposed to a pre-school physical activity as this is something she can continue when she’s older… If she wants to, of course. Wickers runs gymnastics sessions for older children at its Lancing club and at Worthing Leisure Centre. Like all good gym clubs, it offers opportunities for recreational and competitive gymnasts.
Gloworms sessions start with a structured warm up, sometimes Caitlin joins in, sometimes she refuses! This initially worried me, but I was assured by one of the coaches that it was normal. The warm up is followed by free use of the gym equipment. Parents and children are asked to focus on a particular type of movement, for example rolling, each week. This is the part of the session that Caitlin loves. Her favourites are the trampettes, though she’s best at balancing. My mum specialised in coaching the beam and I’m sure she’d be delighted at how well Caitlin has mastered it.
I recommended Wickers to a friend and her little boy liked it so much, they held his 2nd birthday party there. Wickers is currently closed for an extended Easter break whilst a foam pit is built. It re-opens on 22nd April. www.wickers.btck.co.uk
Simone grew up in the Worthing area and currently lives in Angmering with her husband and young daughter. She blogs about what they’ve been doing at angmeringmummy.blogspot.co.uk/.