Hello and welcome to Maple Gymnastics which was opened by myself, Lindsay Broomfield on 13th February 1989 in the Scout Hall, Canada Road, West Wellow. It would be reasonable to assume that the history of the club began then however in reality its origin was embedded much earlier during my own gymnastics career and enthused by my very good friend and former coach Monica Phelps of the very successful gymnastics and trampoline club OLGA in Poole, Dorset.
As a youngster I competed at International and National levels in artistic gymnastics, however it is no secret to those who know me that my passion for gymnastics lies not with the elite but with participation where i can offer opportunity to and inspire young people to embrace a love of physical activity that continues into later life. Speaking fondly of their own experience at Maple Gymnastics it is with great pleasure that I find myself in the priviledged position of welcoming children of previous members to Maple Gymnastics.
Initially Maple Gymnastics was a stop-gap between university studies, however by July 1989 and just 5 months after opening the club already had 92 members and after a brief break from gymnastics following retirement I was again captivated. In fact Maple Gymnastics early days in the Scout Hall draws parrallels with the beginning of my own gymnastics career in 1976 where my first lessons took place with Jo Mansbridge in a village church hall in New Milton with just four green rubber mats. Thirteen years after my first gymnastics lesson Maple Gymnastics opened with 16 mats, 2 crash mats, a springboard and vault! Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of the very early days, however the below images of the Scout Hall were taken at activity sessions that were held during the summer holidays and show our limited equipment. Featured is a slide for mini gym, just one of many pieces of equipment that my grandfather built to help Maple Gymnastics expand to meet the growing needs of the gymnastics club. The slide alongside homemade benches, beam and bar are still in use at gymnastics today.
With the initial acquisistion of beams and a single bar in the early 1990's some of classes also took place at Plaitford Village Hall including Ladies exercise classes. The Tuesday morning class and creche was popular and whilst we worked hard I think it was the homemade cakes and coffee afterwards that was the most fun. I look back fondly to those days though as by the mid-1990's the arrival of our own three children gradually bought a permanent halt to adult exercise classes at Maple Gymnastics.
In the very early days of the 1990's Maple Gymnastics also offered classes at Mountbatten School in Romsey and in more recent years from 2006-2013 we held classes at the college in Brockenhurst. At the end of 1993 Maple Gymnastics moved to its current home at Landford Village Hall, a fantastic facility which allows us to have all our equipment under one roof. I was though recently reminded that some gymnasts will remember moving tables in the Canada Restaurant at the Rockingham Arms on a Saturday morning to learn and practice floor routines for approaching competitions. In March 2019 we again returned to Romsey and hold Saturday morning mini gym amd gymnastics classes at Romsey Primary.
Whilst our main focus is on participation we have competed and enjoyed success at county, regional and national levels in sports acrobatics and as we move forward into 2015 and beyond we are again looking forward to a comprehensive competition programme in gymnastics and trampoline. Below are photos of our gymnasts at a competition in the early 2000's.
Competition within the club has always been an integral pat of our programme and Maple Gymnastics has held an annual gymnastics club competition since opening providing opportunity for our youngest members to perform alongside our experienced gymnasts. Year-on-year we welcome returning gymnasts, family (my sister on tumble and mother on vault) and friends to judge, assist and encourage our new and younger generations to perform and enjoy a positive experience - only 'smiley faces' permitted. The morning is completed with what has become tradition, a photo in front of the Christmas tree wearing Santa hats reflecting the spirit of the occasion. Please click on the 25th Annual Club Competition tab (above and to the left) to view pictures of our 25th anniversary and experience our very special event.
Throughout the year Maple Gymnastics has always offered a diverse and varied programme to suit all abilities and I feel confident that we offer a unique and well balanced programme based on experimentation, experience and knowledge that is both inclusive and challenging. In the early days we followed the British Gymnastics certificates and badges and although numerous parents like myself affectionately recall receiving the BAGA awards I quickly recognised the benefit of creating our own reward and award schemes that compliment the focus of our lessons. The introduction of the Basic Physical Reward Scheme in 2000, renamed Physical Literacy Challenge in 2013 remains my favourite and I feel contributes most to our members learning physically, socially and cognitively - activities from the programme feature throughout our lessons in the form of a 'play' station or body preparation area to challenge our members. The Gymnastics Skills Award introduced in 2010 and Trampoline Skills Award introduced in 2014 plot the progress of gymnastics- and trampoline-specific skills acquisition. Click on Maple's Reward an Award Schemes tab above to view all the programmes in detail.
Maple Gymnastics also has strong and established links with the local community working closely with schools, teachers, sports companies and sports coaches - our programmes include:
- Raising the profile, teaching and learning of gymnstics in schools through sustainable teacher education (BG Teachers Award and Creative Gymnastics CPD)
- Improving the quality of gymnastics delivery in curricular and extra-curricular gymnastics through provision of courses for sports coaches and coaching companies
- Providing Healthy and Active Lifestyle workshops for National Citizen Service, the government iniative for young people
To learn more about our community profile please view our partners and my tutor profile at the Gymnastics Consultancy .
And finally with a genuine feeling of family and friendship I introduce our invaluable team of coaches and volunteers who I feel are the very essence of Maple Gymnastics. All our coaches are either family or ex-gymnasts, Becci joined Maple Gymnastics when she was 3 years old and our young volunteers are gymnasts who have chosen to complete the voluntary section of Duke of Edinburgh award at Maple Gymnastics. To celebrate Maple Gymnastics 25 years in 2014 my husband gave me a 'circle of friends' pandora charm and this I feel captures the spirit of Maple Gymnastics - we offer more than gymnastics, we are an ever-growing circle of friends.
With many thanks to Alice I am now embracing modern technology (unfortunately not yet my forte!) and you can follow Maple Gymnastics on Facebook - please keep in touch.
And then in March 2020 the pandemic hit! I write this in December 2021 as the Omicron varient again makes planning future classes uncertain. But I did come to a decision, a very different decision and have partially hung up my gym shoes! The classes at Landford will continue in 2022 under the umbrella of Matrix Academy and Alice and I will continue Maple Gymnastics at Romsey Primary. So its a sad farewell to Landford, where we have such special memories but as yet not goodbye to Maple Gymnastics.
We look forward to seeing you at Maple Gymnastics,
Call Lindsay on 07801 731022