I'ts fun. And it's one of the best activities around for contributing to a person's overall development. Flexibility, strength and coordination grow in leaps and bounds. So does confidence, creativity, and self-esteem. And with disciplines as diverse as artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, tumbling, trampoline and sport aerobics – there's something for everybody!

Recreational gymnastics is a sport for everyone. It allows participants to explore various forms of movement in a fun and creative way. And because general gymnastics is non-competitive, it's not the winning, but taking part that provides so much pleasure for so many participants. It's also a wonderful 'foundation sport', because it provides a strong basis for participation and success in other sports.

“Fun Fact: Canadian Silken Laumann credits her participation in gymnastics as a child with giving her the confidence and self-discipline to become a World Champion rower.”


The most popular discipline in the gymnastics family, men's and women's artistic gymnastics beautifully combines creativity with technical skill. At the competitive women's level, four events are central to this discipline. Vault Vaulting requires tremendous speed and strength down the runway.

Uneven Bars Strength, precision, coordination – even courage are required. Balance Beam Leaps, turns and flips are performed on a 10 cm wide stage! Floor Exercise Gravity-challenging tumbling – to musical accompaniment. Men's Artistic Gymnastics is made up of six demanding apparatus, including floor exercise and vault. Pommel Horse Superhuman strength and amazing coordination are key. Still Rings Handstands, multiple flips and twists without moving the rings. Parallel Bars This event is all about strength and flexibility. Horizontal Bars The dismount involves twisting or somersaults and is always cool to watch.

“Fast Factoid: Men's Artistic Gymnastics has been called the original extreme sport because it pushes the body to the edge of its biomechanical possibilities.”

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnastics just might be the most beautiful of all competitive sports. Female competitors use small pieces of hand apparatus – rope, hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon as an extension of their bodies. Routines are always accompanied by music.

Group Competition Five athletes work as one in the group competition. Using one of the hand apparatus, or a combination of two, such as ribbons and hoops, they perform intricate compositions involving high-flying throws. Working as a harmonious unit, the results are usually breathtaking.

Some people ask, is rhythmic gymnastics dance? Is it art? Is it sport? It is actually a combination of all three worlds, which is perfect for a sport that focuses on self-expression. In 1984, rhythmic gymnastics achieved full Olympic status at the games in Los Angeles.

“Fun Fact: The first-ever Olympic Gold Medal in rhythmic gymnastics was won by Canada's Lori Fung.”

Trampoline and Tumbling

Trampoline is the newest Olympic sport. It requires super leg strength, endurance and phenomenal air sense. It actually helps to have some ‘daredevil' in you when you're flying through the air performing somersaults and twists with grace and agility.

Synchronized Trampoline In this variation on the sport, two competitors perform the same routine at the same time on two separate trampolines, as a mirror image of each other.

“Fun Fact: The best trampolinists in the world jump over 30 feet straight up in the air.”

Tumbling combines the excitement of artistic gymnastics with the technical skills of trampoline. Tumblers perform on a special tumbling strip with a built-in 'spring' that acts like a launching pad. The athletes can propel themselves high in the air and perform breathtaking aerial moves such as triple twisting double saltos and full twisting triple backs – you have to see it to believe it!

“Fun Fact: The incredible pace and gravity-defying acrobatics make tumbling one of the most enjoyable disciplines to experience.”

Sports Aerobics

Also known as competitive aerobics, this event combines aerobic choreography with elements of gymnastics. Sports aerobics appeals to dancers, fitness enthusiasts and gymnasts alike.

Competition Athletes perform a two-minute floor routine accompanied by music. The routine must demonstrate elements of dynamic and static strength, flexibility, balance and the ability to perform high-flying jumps. Competitors must also include combinations from the list of seven basic aerobic steps: knee lift, kick, jacks, lunge, march, jog and skip.

Performance Athletes perform as individuals, mixed pairs, trios or as a group of six. Crowd-pleasing elements like creativity and expression are an important element of performance. What really gets the crowd pumped is the intricate 'lifts' performed in the pairs, trio and group competitions.

“Fun Fact: In sports aerobics, judges evaluate each athlete on their ability to combine perfectly executed elements of difficulty with artistic flair.”