Both of my boys, Jake who is now 15 and Gus who is 12 have been doing gymnastics since they could walk. Like most boys, they have tried a multitude of other sports; cricket, football and soccer which they enjoyed, but when made to choose have never wavered from their commitment to gymnastics. They love it.
When we started at FCGC 10 years ago, there was an amazing group of young men who were training at a senior level and also coaching the little boys. I am not sure if these boys realised at the time what a huge influence they had on the younger gymnasts. These older boys were idolised by the little boys. They were probably unaware that the boys would watch them performing amazing skills and just want to be able to do them too.
Through their entire time at FCGC, the boys have been surrounded by inspiring older boys that have acted as positive role models and mentors even if they didn’t realise it at the time. I have always found this to be a very special part of being part of FCGC and you don’t tend to see it in other sports where the main influencers are high profile, elite sports-people (who aren’t always positive role models!).
Over the Christmas holidays, my boys attended a BIG training session where they were working on their skills with Thomas. When they were finished, a few little girls from the holiday program presented them with this note:
“You’re good at what you are doing”
When they showed me the note I was very proud of them, but it dawned on me that my boys are getting to the age where they are now becoming the role models, particularly Jake who is doing the leadership program and training to be a coach. They have the eyes of a whole lot of little gymnasts on them, watching and learning from them.
And that in itself is an amazing thing because it means that they will learn a completely different skill….the responsibility of being a role model and coach and understand that they can have the same positive influence on the younger gymnasts that they were blessed with when they started gymnastics so long ago!