In April 2001 the Federal Government launched its new sports policy "Backing Australia's Sporting Ability - a More Active Australia". It provided an unprecedented funding commitment for sport over four years. As a result of the new policy a Targeted Participation Growth Program was introduced involving a number of sports in stage one of the program. Gymnastics Australia was selected to receive special support, under the Active Australia banner, to grow its business through new program initiatives. The aim of the program is to achieve significant growth in the number of people of all ages participating in grass roots sport, while ensuring pathways exist to provide for movement from grass roots participation through to the elite levels.
Gymnastics Australia received support to launch the AeroSchools Program. AeroSchools is an Aerobic Gymnastics participation program delivered within schools by teachers or coaches, supported by an event scheme that enables students to also become members of Gymnastics Australia. The objective of AeroSchools is to establish an Aerobic Gymnastics schools competition at a state and national level based on Gymnastics Australia's existing National Levels Program (now re-branded as the AeroSchools Program). AeroSchools is aimed at children and youth (males and females) aged between 5 - 18 years of age within the government, private and denominational school system.
Gymnastics Australia ensures the following operating principles are adopted in delivering the program to schools across Australia.
The AeroSchools Program is:
Level 1 is a fun, high intensity aerobics routine which aims to increase cardio-vascular fitness, coordination and technique while teaching the basic moves used in Aerobic competitions.
The routine includes nine movements, 32 counts of each movement. The routine can be repeated 3 times which is a total of 5 minutes 30 seconds to 6 minutes depending on the speed selected. Participants can start and finish the routine with a fun pose.
Participants are also encouraged to perform the routine as a large group aiming for correct technique, coordination and timing with each other. The teacher can lead the class or critique the group technique from the side.
There are three speeds available for this routine:
Participants can also challenge themselves by trying the movement variations.
AeroSchools (Level 2) was introduced in 2009 and is an exciting aerobics participation program conducted in a school, club or after school care centre. The program aims to introduce basic aerobic movement to encourage participation and improve coordination and fitness. Anyone can deliver the program: parents, teachers and other community coaches. The materials have been written specifically for this program to ensure no prior experience with Aerobic Gymnastics is required. Each participating club, school or after-school care centre will be provided with extensive resources to guide the teacher/coach/instructor through each of the lessons and the development of a pre-choreographed 60 second aerobics routine. AeroSchools Level 2 is a seven week program that guides coaches through the development of a routine for their participating students or team. The program is aimed at school aged students aged from 5 to 12 years and both boys and girls are encouraged to participate.
Participating students perform their routine in a showcase event. Level 2 is not a competitive division in the AEROSkools program at a national level. There is no restriction on the number of students in a team. Level 2 is included in the AEROSkools Release 12 and is available for sale through Gymnastics Australia.
Involves the student learning a "compulsory Aerobic Gymnastics" routine, that focuses on basic Aerobic Gymnastics movement patterns and presentation skills. No choreography is required on behalf of either the teacher or the student(s) however formations and positions in the 7 by 7 metre performance square is encouraged. The routine may be performed as a pair (2 team members), a trio (3 team members) or a group (4 - 6 team members).
Involves the student learning a "compulsory Aerobic Gymnastics" routine, that increases in complexity of choreography, whilst continuing to develop basic Aerobic Gymnastics movement patterns and presentation skills. These routines allow students to compose their own 32-counts of choreography and incorporate this into the routine. The routine may be performed as a pair (2 team members), a trio (3 team members) or a group (4 - 6 team members).
The Level 5 Routine involves the student learning a “compulsory Aerobic Gymnastics” routine that is more advanced than the two previous Levels and requires students to once again compose 32 counts of choreography within the routine and select their 8 elements from the element pool. Level 5 allows the student to choreograph their own transitions before and after an element if time permits and opportunities to include some arm lines in areas where only leg lines have been set. The routine may be performed as a pair (2 team members), trio (3 team members) or a group (4 – 6 team members). Students can only compete in a maximum of 2 categories of competition.
Additional routines will be released at the start of each new school year, to ensure that students and teachers choosing to participate in the program on an ongoing basis, are provided with some variety. Any of the routine versions may be utilized at competitions for a period of 4 years.