Our team's 40 years of experience with children's movement programs has taught us the importance of using physical activity to develop children's brain, body and self esteem.
Gymnastrix was founded by Ryan Williamson, a self confessed "Sports Nut" who has been playing, coaching and teaching sports since his teen years. As a 17 year old, he stumbled into a job that sparked his passion for using activity to help children learn, understand and give everyone in a class the same academic opportunity.
It is no accident that learning actively clicked for Ryan. It was his educational experience where he slipped through the cracks, completing his secondary schooling a great all round sports person, who was functionally illiterate. His personal story is shared in a detailed blog post here >
"I am determined to ensure that my education experience is not repeated. Gymnastrix has been set up with programs which engage and teach every part of the child," he said. "I was bored and switched off if I had to sit and listen. We have designed programs which do not allow either sitting or being still - unless that is an activity during a lesson."
Gymnastrix staff are trained in the same way Ryan was trained. Get in and do it, receive feedback on how children reacted to instruction or the teacher's interaction, fine tune it and improve it next time. Engagement is not just a buzz word, it is something the company does; with every student in every class. We feel it is important that the 'hidden child', the one who is slipping through the cracks, under the watchful eyes of their teachers and parents, is actively stopped on their path, their energy, focus and ability trained and redirected.
The team undertakes regular professional development in a wide range of eduucation and gymnastics training. Lesson content is monitored and updated, adjusted for the students in the school who contract the company.
We know our people are vital for great learning outcomes but they could not achieve what they do without the structured lessons and modified equipment. "Our equipment is the key to keeping more children active the whole time they are in a lesson," says Ryan. "We have to have equipment that is bright and colourful, looks like fun, is clean, safe and set to a height or level that the age group we are teaching can't wait to get started." The desire to participate encourages others within the class to get involved, especially if they are a little tentative. "This is one aspect that I personally did not understand or experience in my school and sporting career," says Ryan.
"It was the girls in my life who helped me understand that encouragement and gentleness are vital for tentative learners. Firstly my wife and now my children, 2 of whom are girls, helped me see different learning styles." he said.
The training of new staff ensures that Gymnastrix lessons are fun, so our staff are experienced people who laugh and enjoy their jobs. We measure the success of programs, not by what student's learn, but how much they smile, laugh and come back happy to their next class.
Along the way, Ryan's passion, enjoyment and understanding of what it is like to fall through the cracks of our education system, drives Gymnastrix to keep improving what they do, year after year.