British Gymnastics has today published Reform ’25 – a comprehensive 40-point action plan to reform the sport over the next two years to create safe, positive and fair experiences for all in gymnastics.
At the heart of the plan is a commitment to delivering the wider reform of the sport by not only addressing but going beyond the 17 recommendations of the Whyte Review, which concluded earlier this year having been commissioned by UK Sport and Sport England to produce an independent report examining allegations of mistreatment in gymnastics.
Reform ’25 makes it abundantly clear that abuse, mistreatment, and a culture of fear have no place in gymnastics, and that nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of gymnasts and everyone involved in the sport. It has been developed with an acknowledgement that gymnastics must change, with a move away from prioritising medals to making the care of people and maximising the positive impact gymnastics can have central to the culture of the sport.
Sarah Powell, Chief Executive of British Gymnastics, said:
Gymnastics has the power to deliver amazing benefits to individuals, communities, and our society. We know there are brilliant clubs and coaches providing uplifting and positive experiences, but there is also poor and outdated practice that cannot be accepted, now or in the future. We need everyone in gymnastics, in any role at any level, to commit to collectively doing everything we possibly can to prevent any recurrence of abuse or mistreatment.
Ann Craft Trust CEO Dr Deborah Kitson said:
The Ann Craft Trust welcomes Reform ’25 and the 40 point action plan published today and its emphasis on the culture of the sport and making the positive impact gymnastics can have central to that. We look forward to supporting British Gymnastics in its implementation.
What needs to change & how
To be delivered over four phases leading up to 2025, the reforms are focused across four key, interconnected areas: Culture & Strategy, Welfare, Safeguarding & Complaints, Education & Development, and Performance. The plan sets out what needs to change and how it will be done, with issues addressed through, for example:
- A zero tolerance of abuse of any kind – whether that be emotional, physical, or sexual – working with clubs, coaches, gymnasts, parents to understand and communicate what an open, transparent, caring, empowered and safe environment looks like, together with increased and better support for those involved in complaints and for those who have previously been abused. A list of banned coaches will be published on the British Gymnastics website
- Fostering a culture of continuous learning and development for everyone in the sport, including creating a new generation of coaches to break the cycle of poor past practice, with coach education that is not just predominantly technical but concentrates on ‘how’ things should be done as well as ‘what’ should be done
- Ensuring parents and gymnasts are involved and have a meaningful say in decisions about their development, with an approach to things like training loads and competition age limits that is informed by experts and puts the gymnast’s health and safety central to the thinking
You can also read the Ann Craft Trust’s response to the Whyte Review.
Finally, take a look at our campaign to introduce safer cultures to sport and activity.