Women's Artistic


logoiconWelcome to Notts Gymnastics Academy, a dedicated elite training facility, with success from county to an international level of performance. Women's Artistic popularity amongst girls of all ages lies in it’s ability to provide constant challenge and teaches body control, coordination, amplitude and courage. 

Notts Gymnastics Academy is one of the most successful clubs in Great Britain, with a wealth of gymnasts achieving success at European, Commonwealth, World and Olympic Games. There are over 60 Women’s Artistic members and the standard of these gymnasts varies from 5 year old girls enjoying the building blocks of artistic gymnastics to world class gymnasts.

What is Elite Gymnastics?

Notts have a structure in place to identify potential in girls as young as 4. Entry into the squads is by selection only. The Academy holds trials on a regular basis to select the young gymnasts or they will be identified in recreational gymnastics or pre-school and will be invited for a trial. If you would like to find out more please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The girls selected will have been chosen primarily for their flexibility and co-ordination, behaviour and character will also be considered. If your daughter is selected she will start weekly training and will be expected to attend all sessions offered. Her sessions will increase as she gets older and as her skill level improves. Women's Artistic covers 4 disciplines and will be coached equally:

Vault (VT)

Following apparatus innovation in early 2001, the vaulting horse has now been replaced with a wider vaulting table. It provides the perfect platform from which to launch sky high, before returning to earth with a controlled landing. Gymnasts approach the vault from a 25metre run, transfer their speed to the springboard and seek a quick hand placement to the table. From here the gymnast uses internal spring to launch themselves vertically for a combination of somersaults and twists. A good vault should have good distance/height and include no steps on landing.

Balance Beam (BB)

Perhaps the most precarious piece of apparatus for girls, the beam stands 1.25metres from the floor, is five metres long and if that was not posing enough of a challenge, is only 10cm wide. A beam routine is an exercise in precision with no room for error. The gymnast performs a combination of acrobatic elements, leaps, jumps, turns, steps, waves and balance elements. These can be done standing, sitting or lying on the beam. It is a requirement that the gymnast uses the entire length of the beam, with routines concluding with a dismount.

Uneven Bars (UB)

Like the men’s parallel bars the Uneven Bars provide double the challenge for gymnasts. Unlike the men’s bars, the uneven bars are not parallel to the floor with the low bar around 170cm in height and the high bar often around 250cm. The distance between the two bars is set at a maximum of 180cm. Swinging and continuous movements are required on this apparatus. Routines typically include movements in both directions as well as above and below the bars. Elements with twists and somersaults with multiple grip changes and high flight often are awarded with the highest scores. The wind up will end with a dismount.

Floor Exercise (FX)

The floor exercise allows the gymnast their moment in the spotlight and is considered by many to be the most expressive piece of women’s apparatus. A floor routine, always accompanied by music, includes a combination of dance movements and sequences interspersed with a variety of tumbling and acrobatic elements. The whole floor area must be used in the routine with clear variances in mood, tempo and direction. Individuality, originality, and artistry of presentation are the key ingredients of a great routine.


Notts Gymnastics Academy will attempt to instill a lifelong appreciation of movement, exercise and sport and to teach children the rewards and qualities of dedication and hard work, helping each individual to reach their potential as a gymnast and enjoy a fit and healthy sporting career. We aim to have gymnasts from Notts represent Great Britain and England at major international tournaments (Olympics, Worlds and Europeans).


In April 1997, advanced gymnasts from Notts Bigwood and Rushcliffe Gym Clubs shared the newly built East Midlands Gymnastics Centre facility at Rushcliffe Leisure Centre in West Bridgford, Nottingham.  They decided to join forces under the leadership of Head Coach, Claire Starkey.  On April 1st 1998, a new club, Notts Gymnastics Club, was formed and affiliated to the governing body BGA.  The gymnasts now compete at county, regional, national and international competitions.  In 2010, Notts Gymnastics Club amalgamated with Notts School of Gymnastics (Boys), Notts Acro and Gymnastics for All disciplines to form Notts Gymnastics Academy.


Notts has had incredible and consistent success since Claire Starkey created the club in 1997. Our first Olympian, Amy Dodsley was selected for the 2004 GB Team and our second Becky Downie for Beijing in 2008. Becky and Niamh Rippin narrowly missed out on Team selection for London 2012, but both were reserves. Our younger gymnasts are waiting in the wings to fulfil their potential and compete on the national and world stage. We currently have several gymnasts who are members of the Home Nations Start Squad and WAG World Class Squad who train regularly at Lilleshall. For a more detailed resume of national & international achievements please visit our Hall of Fame page.

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NGA Olympic Gymnasts

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