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:
- of an introductory and beginner level to ensure positive and safe experiences
- safe, fun, challenging and fundamental for the overall growth and development of participants
- emphasising the importance of movement competence and confidence over difficulty
- promoted and aimed to primarily build skills through development of muscular strength, flexibility,
- aimed at teaching body control, tension and proper body preparation to reduce injury risks
- a sound basis for further skill development across all sports and life in general
- gender inclusive
- promoting and supporting the enduring values of fair play, self improvement and achievement
- in-line with the National Statement and Profile within Health and Physical Education
- conducted by Aerobic Gymnastics Coaches or School Teachers