Solihull Olympic Gymnastic Club was formed as an Olympic (now called Artistic) Club in the mid sixties, with all training facilities in the central hall at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre (once known as the Norman Green Athletics centre).
When the Sports Hall at Light Hall School was being built the Club successfully applied to use it for training and the Friday and Sunday sessions moved to the School when the Sports Hall opened in 1969. Wednesday training continued at ‘the track’ until September 1974 when the Club moved all its facilities to Light Hall having outgrown Tudor Grange e.g. vault run ups started in the cafeteria and the landings were in the office.
In 1978 Modern Rhythmic Gymnastics (as it was then known) was successfully introduced at the Club and for a short time in the late seventies Sports Acrobatics was also taught within the Club structure. The Club has always been affiliated to and played its part in the West Midlands Amateur Gymnastics Association – W.M.A.G.A.
The Club is also affiliated to British Gymnastics – B.G. and the gymnasts Associate Membership of B.G. has in recent years provided insurance cover for members.
The Recreation – Beginners Classes were introduced in 1982 and members of these classes work through the British Gymnastics Awards Scheme from Award 8 to Award 1. Members of the Main Class continue to follow this scheme but are assessed during training and not at a special event. A Beginners Rhythmic Class started in 1988. Unfortunately, due to the lack of training time available the Rhythmic section was closed in 2001.
The Club introduced its own Awards Scheme for this discipline and also followed the new B.G. scheme, Certificates and badges for all Award Schemes are available, at the current rate for successful members.
The Intermediate Groups – started in February 1995, are intended as a stepping stone between the Beginners and Main Artistic Classes. Progression between the classes is not however automatic and members must show improvement before they move to the Main Class.
The Club – which is for girls only – worked under the auspices of the Education Department of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council until July 1992, but is now entirely self supporting and relies on all the voluntary help given by the Committee, Coaches and parents.
Club Fees are reviewed every year and are determined by the sum needed to pay for the use of the facility and for the purchase of new and the maintenance of existing equipment. In addition the individual Annual B.G. membership becomes due each September. (The level of this fee – which provides insurance cover – is fixed by B.G.).
In 1998 the Club was one of several clubs that submitted a Regional Application to the National Lottery Sports Fund. The application was successful and resulted in the purchase of a rhythmic floor area, additional small equipment and a garage to provide the necessary extra storage space. In 2000 the Club was successful in its application for a ‘Sports for All Grant’ enabling us to buy more new equipment and to help coaches attend courses. The Committee is always looking for other sources of grants and sponsorship so that we can continue to improve facilities and coach education and thus raise the level of performance of the gymnasts. A successful gymnastic club is in constant need of a full complement of coaches and the Club also needs to provide judges at competitions. Any parent who is interested in either coaching or judging should contact the Club secretary for further details.