Womens Artistic Gymnastics Entry into Women's Artistic Squads is by invitation only. All artistic squad gymnasts will compete at county, regional and national competitions including the British Club Grades and National Club Grades competitions throughout the year. It should be noted that entry to such competition is subject to attaining prescribed levels of performance or pre-qualification and final decision regarding entry rests with the Head of Women's Artistic Gymnastics in consultation with the relevant Women's Artistic Coach and consideration of factors such as the welfare and safety of each gymnast. Women’s Artistic squads are broken up into 3 squads - Squad, Foundation and Development Girls from the pre-school and general gym classes and those identified at our Trial Days who show the necessary potential will be invited to join our Development Squad. Girls in Development are prepared over a 2-3 year periods and those successful will go onto be competitive gymnastics. Our squad gymnasts currently train from 4 hours up to 15 hrs a week. The Gymnast will work on 4 pieces of apparatus, vault, uneven bars, beam and floor detailed below. It is also necessary for the gymnast to undertake strength conditioning, flexibility and dance training and continuous testing. The four elements of Women's Artistic Gymnastics are:- Vault (VT) 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 25-metre run, transfer their speed to the springboard and seek a quick hand placement to the table. Uneven Bars (UB) The Uneven Bars provide double the challenge for gymnasts. 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; twisting and continuous movements are required on this apparatus. Routines typically include movements in both directions as well as above and below the bars. The wind up and dismount is often the most exciting part of the routine. Balance Beam (BB) Perhaps the most precarious piece of apparatus for girls, the beam stands 1.25metres from the floor, is five meters long and if that was not posing enough of a challenge, is only 10cm wide. A beam routine is a precision exercise during which the gymnast performs a combination of acrobatic elements, leaps, jumps, turns, steps, waves and balance elements. Gymnast use the entire length of the beam, with routines concluding often with a series of acrobatic elements off the side or end of the beam. Floor Exercise (FX) The floor exercise 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.