Long Term Athlete Development

There are no natural born athletes. All children, youth and adults need to acquire and maintain the physical skills to participate with confidence in any physical activity.

Just as children need to be taught to read and write, they need to be taught to run, jump and throw. This is called physical literacy.

Without learning the basic movement skills before adolescent growth, everyone will have difficulty participating in any sport or physical activity.


Science, research and decades of experience all point to the same thing – kids will get active, stay active as they grow into adults and even reach the greatest heights of sport achievement if they do the right things at the right time.

That’s why the Canadian Sport For Life Movement published the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model. Developed by Canada’s sport leaders, the model describes what kids should be doing at specific ages and stages in their development.

Together with Gymnastics Canada and the other provincial associations, Gymnastics BC has customized and adopted the LTAD for gymnastics.

The LTAD is a model for development in physical activity and sport to provide a safe, enjoyable and progressive pathway for children and youth to pursue healthy physical activity along with a pathway to excellence.

Four of the eight gymnastics stages relate to recreational or PLAY gymnastics:

There are two additional LTAD stages for individuals with a disability:

  • Awareness
  • First Contact


Long Term Athlete Development Information for Parents

A Sport Parent’s Guide


Keara Hooi, Gymnastics For All Manager, 604-333-3494, khooi@gymbc.org
Andrée Montreuil, Technica Director, 604-333-3491, amontreuil@gymbc.org

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