Splitz Gymnastics Club

Attracting and retaining more women and girls into gymnastics

Splitz Gymnastics Club believes in nurturing all its members throughout their entire gymnastics careers. Not only does this support the sustainability of the club by fostering the next generation of coaches and volunteers, it also plays an important role in the lives of its members by building their self-confidence and promoting physical and mental well-being.

To support the club’s goal of attracting and retaining even more women and girls, Splitz joined Sported’s Engage-Her programme.

HOW ENGAGE-HER HELPED

The insight from Sported’s project partner, Women in Sport, on aligning the sport and club’s offering with women and girls’ values proved to be a “real eye opener”. Jennifer Hanna, Club Manager at Splitz explains, “You think they are coming to learn gymnastics, but some of them are not – they are coming to make friends or for the craic. It really made us think ‘Why are they coming to gymnastics?’ They come for different reasons.”

Learning from Engage-Her has been successfully integrated across the club’s day-to-day activities.

As a result of consulting with its members, Splitz has introduced Teen gymnastic for teenage girls. Targeted specifically at younger age groups, participants have ownership of the music and playlist, with the sessions focused on enjoyment and fun rather than competition. A self-confidence workshop specifically aimed at teenage girls has also been introduced, linked to their gymnastics leadership award.

The club’s marketing and communications have been revamped to make it more appealing. It includes new imagery of women coaching to encourage new participants, and improved safeguarding through the introduction of closed Facebook groups for communicating with teenage girls and their parents.

HOW THE PROJECT WILL SHAPE FUTURE PLANS

Splitz’s women and girls engagement plan, developed with the support of a Sported volunteer mentor, has laid the foundations for further improvements. “We had all the stuff in our heads but we didn’t know where to start. This has given us a logical plan to work to, with a time scale and action points, so feels like we have a real chance of making it work.” Jenny Hanna from Splitz said.