To all pupils, teachers, coaches, officials and volunteers,
After much deliberation, following a British Schools Gymnastics Association (BSGA) executive committee meeting and in consultation with the BSGA individual discipline technical committees, BSGA has taken the tough decision to cancel all competitions/events for the 2020/21 season (1st Sep 2020 – 31st Aug 2021).
This decision was not taken lightly but the BSGA committee and I have the welfare of our schools, gymnasts and colleagues at the forefront of all decisions that we make during these uniquely unprecedented times.
It’s expected that indoor school sporting activities and events, spanning year group bubbles, will be one of the last stages in a return to normality. Even when schools are able to resume their gymnastic activities, we anticipate there will be a period of time for schools to adjust their training patterns, and allow the necessary time for gymnasts to regain fitness and prepare for competition.
Furthermore, it’s clear that adjustment to a new normal will take time. There will be much anxiety for travel and close contact even as social distancing measures are eased. This will impact the availability of gymnasts and key personnel at events as well as the willingness of schools and parents to enter their gymnasts into competitions.
By cancelling all events for the 2020/21 academic year, we remove all uncertainty for you, our schools. This allows you to focus on your own challenges, to deal with the return of gymnastic in your schools and what restrictions may be put in place.
The BSGA committee will be using this time to harmonise all BSGA disciplines and create a truly unified organisation. BSGA will promote participation in, and the development of gymnastics in UK schools. It will embrace all gymnastics disciplines and will be fully inclusive of able-bodied children and those with disabilities. BSGA will offer alternative competition pathways for novice and intermediate gymnasts whilst also encouraging elite performers to excel in their disciplines at the same events.
A new competition handbook will be produced as well as a BSGA Organisers handbook; this will be a one stop shop for all regional committees and competition organisers. It will harmonise all disciplines through best practice and will include key document templates, step by step guides, discipline structures and many more useful documents to provide a consistent, efficient and unified organisation able to work alongside other national bodies such as British Gymnastics.
Finally, we understand and share the disappointment of everyone involved and affected by this decision. Our principal concern is with the health and well-being of our gymnasts, their families, volunteers, officials, coaches and supporters.
I look forward to welcoming you all back in the 2021/22 season, where we will all be stronger, more resilient and ready to participate in this truly wonderful sport.
Chairman – British Schools Gymnastics Association