Shropshire company assists gymnasts of the future

The success of the Team GB gymnasts in Rio will create a new generation of youngsters wanting to emulate Olympic medallists, according to the chair of the Independent Schools Gymnastics Association.

June Walden said youngsters in schools are spurred on by the achievements of double Olympic champion Max Whitlock, Louis Smith, Nile Wilson and Amy Tinkler.

She said: “More children will want to join gym clubs and compete in their school’s gym teams or demand that they have one.

“This can only lead to the growth of the sport and provide a larger base from which to draw the Olympians of the future.”

To prepare for the future the Independent Schools Gymnastics Association worked with Shifnal-based Ascendancy Internet Marketing to design a new website to handle large amounts of data on a national level.

The new website aims to provide British youngsters with the information and advice to help them on their way to providing Team GB with further successful gymnasts in the future.

Ascendancy director Helen Culshaw said: “The Olympics is always a massive global event but this year’s performances by Team GB were exceptional.

“The interest generated from Rio has been amazing and we are now seeing that manifest itself in an upturn in interest in sport.

“We were delighted to work with the ISGA in designing their new website and making it easier for users to access information and advice.

“We have helped make that path as smooth as possible. The website is vitally important to youngsters who are involved or who want to get involved with gymnastics in schools.”

Mrs Walden, ISGA chair, added that the new website is used by a wide variety of people from teachers, competition judges and coaches as well as parents and pupils wanting to know when and where competitions are.

The website also allows people to download photos and full sets of results.

She said: “This was a completely new venture for me and although I had a number of ideas of what I wanted, I didn’t know if they would work. Ascendancy were able to provide me with various options and then were prepared to listen and adapt my ideas if at all possible.

“We have a qualifying system for schools when our competitions are oversubscribed and also a seeding system for the following season’s championships.

“The eligibility document is on the website and each school can check all last year’s age group team results to see if, when oversubscribed, they need to attend this season’s qualification competition.

“Previous results are also on the website as part of the collective archives and give our organisation an historic identity.”

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