Leap Gymnastics partners with Gymnastics Expert Kym Dowdell

Mumbai–  Leap Gymnastics is an initiative of the JSW Group’s expanding commitment to pioneer the development of sports in India. It is focused on introducing Gymnastics to a wider base of Indians and create a strong foundation that will develop athletes at the elite performance level who will eventually aim to compete at global championships including Olympics 2032. During the last 18 months, since its inception, Leap Gymnastics has trained more than 1,000 gymnastics enthusiasts in Mumbai. In the next five years, Leap Gymnastics plans to train and develop more than 10,000 gymnasts across the country.

Gymnastics is one of the best foundation sports for physical literacy which becomes even more important and relevant for India where participation levels in sport and physical activity have a significant room for improvement compared to global benchmarks. This includes providing a strong foundation in ABC of physical literacy (agility, balance and coordination); enhancing motor skills, body posture and improving muscle/bone health and supporting mental, emotional and social development.

JSW Group’s Leap Gymnastics initiative will develop a robust sports ecosystem ranging from developing world-class gymnastics centres, progressive training curriculums, structured pathway for high performance sport; international collaborations to develop a unified competitive framework for India; coach and judge development. Leap Gymnastics’ belief stems from India’s untapped potential in the sport to develop its capabilities and the opportunity to compete for the 42 Olympic medals in this sport.

As a first step in this direction, Leap Gymnastics has partnered with International Gymnastics Expert Kym Dowdell, Member and former Vice-President of the International Gymnastics Federation Technical Committee, to develop a holistic Competitive Framework for Gymnastics in India. This Competitive Framework has been developed through deep examination of fundamental, compulsory, optional and high-performance programs in countries that are successfully growing the sport of gymnastics, both in participation and performance. Moreover, through its collaboration with Kym, Leap Gymnastics has also developed the Judge Education and Accreditation System for strengthening the Gymnastics coaching & judging ecosystem in the country.

The Competitive Framework developed by Kym Dowdell through Leap Gymnastics aims to increase participation and improve performance levels of Indian Gymnasts. It has 3 core parts – Fundamental, Performance and High Performance pathways with detailed technical requirements and evaluation processes. The Framework is supported through video-based educational tools for the development of fundamental skills and compulsory routines.

According to Kym Dowdell, “The newly developed Competitive Framework aims to increase participation, improve performance levels, and assist new clubs to develop a gymnastic curriculum. The compulsories will ensure there is progressive development and consistent evaluation for all gymnasts in competition. The optional program will allow Indian gymnasts to further develop and demonstrate their skills in optional routines at three different grades. The final high-performance program is for the development of high-performance gymnasts who at an appropriate time transition from either the compulsory or optional grades.”

According to Ria Vardhan, CEO of Leap Gymnastics, “We have begun implementation of the new competitive framework in Maharashtra by conducting an orientation workshop in Pune, engaging over 250 coaches, judges, and officials from the state. We have supplemented this with a comprehensive coaches and judges education course aimed at familiarizing state officials with technical guidelines and judging protocols under the new framework. The coaches workshop was attended by 120 coaches and 85 Judges enrolled for the Judges Course.”

Leap Gymnastics has also partnered with Maharashtra Amateur Gymnastics Association (MAGA) to pilot the Competition Framework and Judge Education and Accreditation System at competitions & championships in Maharashtra. The success of this operating pilot program will provide a pathway for the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) and its adoption across all other States.

India’s first-ever structured Gymnastics Championship

As part of its partnership with MAGA, Leap Gymnastics will host the first club gymnastics championship – Leap Invitational Gymnastics Championship 2024 on May 11 and 12. This will be the first championship to be organized according to the new competition framework adopted by MAGA. More than 250 gymnasts from across Maharashtra are expected to participate in the championship. The competition will be hosted for WAG and MAG (National Grades 4 – 7) which are based on compulsory routines. Leap will also be hosting multiple competitions during the year.

At present, JSW Group and the Inspire Institute of Sport scout & train talented Indian athletes in six disciplines including Football, Boxing, Wrestling, Swimming, Judo, Track & Field. India has qualified only twice in gymnastics during the last 70 years, while Russia, USA & China account for the highest medal tallies in this sports discipline. The lack of modern training facilities; structured curriculum based progressive training programmes; availability of skilled coaches and a level-based competition framework have been the key reasons behind India’s weak presence in gymnastics. Moreover, the elitist label of this sport has been a significant deterrent for mass interest & adoption of this discipline in the country so far. Leap Gymnastics will focus on the following goals:

1. Build India’s capability in Gymnastics by establishing a high-performance training centre for Indian gymnasts competing at Indian & Global championships. It plans to establish a high-performance centre by 2027.
2. Develop India’s Ecosystem for Gymnastics by providing world-class training environment for competitive athletes along with a performance pathway. By 2030, Leap Gymnastics will establish 10 centres to offer training & development facilities. The Leap Developmental Centres will also have the capability to host regional championships.
3. Build the foundation of gymnastics and increase accessibility to the sport, Leap Gymnastics will establish 15 Leap Recreational Centres to serve as satellite hubs to expand its reach for training talent in India. These Centres will also deliver introductory gymnastics training programs to its member gymnasts.
4. Create a capability ecosystem through the introduction of a world-class competition framework, progressive curriculum, upskilling of judges and coaches.

Amongst all the pay and play sports programs at JSW Sports, Gymnastics at Leap Gymnastics has been the fastest growing programme. This is a testament to the demand for the sport in urban India and the growth strategy focusing on quality coaching, broad-basing the sport, infrastructure and making it accessible for Indian gymnast enthusiasts


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