Special Needs

Studies have shown that sports and activities that focus on basic movement skills, such as gymnastics, are extremely beneficial to children with special needs.

Classes that focus on physical activity and participation can be a positive influence on the daily life of a child with disabilities and are usually highly recommended by doctors and physical therapists.

Some of the benefits include:

  • increased physical activity
  • healthy way to control obesity
  • improvement in self-confidence and self-image
  • increased social skills
  • motivation to try and do new things


Special Olympics BC provides individuals with intellectual disabilities opportunities to enrich their lives and celebrate personal achievement through positive sport experiences.

Coaching Athletes with a Disability provides grassroots coaches who have never worked with athletes with a disability with basic information, guidelines, and tips that will assist in creating conditions for effective participation and inclusion.

Managing Inclusion in Gymnastics (MIG) is Gymnastics Australia’s inclusive online coaching resource for club personnel including coaches, judges and administrators.

The MIG program improves awareness and educates members on how to provide an inclusive experience for participants with a disability.  Employing common sense, good gymnastics practice and new ideas can help to improve the experience of participants and ensure enjoyable and safe gymnastics for all.

Rebound Therapy was coined by founder, E.G. Anderson in 1969 to describe the use of trampolines in providing therapeutic exercise and recreation for people with a wide range of special needs.

Participants range from mild to severe physical disabilities and from mild to profound and multiple learning disabilities, including dual sensory impairment and autistic spectrum. Rebound Therapy is used to facilitate movement, promote balance, promote an increase or decrease in muscle tone, promote relaxation, promote sensory integration, improve fitness and exercise tolerance, and to improve communication skills.

The principles of Rebound Therapy form the basis of all gymnastic movement and are therefore a logical and advisable starting point for trampoline coach training – even for those who have no intention of teaching people with disabilities.

Winstrada (Grades 1, 2, 3) has been providing resources for teachers and coaches to help provide safe, structured and progressive development for their pupils since 2000. They are committed to teaching resources for recreational and therapeutic gymnastics and trampolining.

Winstrada provides development and award programmes for Rebound Therapy® and all levels of gymnastics and trampolining; mainstream and for people with special needs.

Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability: Words with Dignity

No Accidental Champions


Keara Hooi, Gymnastics For All Manager, 604-333-3494, khooi@gymbc.org

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Gymnastics BC member clubs throughout the province offer quality programming that provide the many benefits of gymnastics. Search now for a club nearest you!



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