The womens programme uses the National STEP programme. STEP stands for Striving Towards Excellence in Performance. There are 10 STEPs from juniors to senior gymnasts. The STEPs programme uses compulsory exercises through STEP 1-5, and continues with optional exercises for STEP 6+ based on composition requirements. This encourages gymnasts to perform skills within their ability, but varies in difficulty depending on their development on each apparatus. Each STEP has two age groups and also has progression thresholds to ensure gymnasts advance once they are ready.
There is a Ribbon Award Scheme that is used for STEPs 1 – 6 as an incentive performance based scheme, which gives instant recognition to individual achievement independent of a gymnast’s ranking in a competition. The gymnasts receive different coloured ribbons signifying the different score targets they have passed.
Gymnasts are split into three groups:
STEP 1: 4 hours per week
STEP 2: 6 hours per week
STEP 3: 9 hours per week
STEP 4: 10 hours per week
STEP 5: 12 hours per week
STEP 6: 12 hours per week
STEP 7+: 12.5 hours per week
For more technical information, you can download the national manual HERE. (Link updated 1/03/15)
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