It has been an emotional whirlwind for the Aussie elite gymnasts this past month! They thought they’d be competing in Rio this year but unfortunately they missed out on a spot in the Games and only placed in the test event. This was the first time in 30 years that Australia did not have a team compete in this event. Over the past several years, gymnastics has suffered due to a lack of support from government bodies as well as the general community. In the last year, The Australian Sports Commission invested a staggering 11 million dollars to swimming, 9 million to athletics and only 3 million are given to gymnastics.
For the majority of elite gymnasts here in Australia, they have to fund themselves in terms of paying for training, transport and even physiotherapy. This is very costly and places a strain on families by supporting them on this rigorous journey. However, this is not the case for countries such as America, China and Russia who are currently dominating this sport and have been for decades. These countries widely celebrate the sport and have very strong support networks in place.
If the lack of support around this sport continues, it is quite possible that gymnastics will continue to lose popularity and more Australians will continue to see a lack of Australian gymnasts competing at the Olympics. Wouldn’t it be upsetting to see absolutely no Australian gymnasts at the Tokyo Olympics?
But this campaign is completely changing this dire outlook. We will be exploring the current Australian gymnastics scene and drawing comparisons between other countries. Additionally, various physical and emotional benefits that the sport provides will be discussed. By increasing popularity of this sport, we will be able to encourage all Australians to go out and support or even participate in this spectacular sport.