Club of the week: DuGym Gymnastics Club

Jay Asser 10:46 03/12/2015
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Time to soar: Artistic gymnastics is most common form of the sport.

DuGym are making the UAE a more topsy-turvy place with a range of gymnastic disciplines to get athletes flipping, tumbling and soaring.

Self-described as the first gymnastics club in the UAE, as well as the first to offer artistic, rhythmic, sports acro and trampoline gymnastics, DuGym are paving the way for the sport in the region.

The club was created by Suzanne Wallace in September 2000 and is now part of Premier Sports Services, offering classes and competitions for a range of ages and abilities.

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Like so many, Wallace’s passion for her sport stems from being in awe of one of its icons during her youth.

“I saw Olga Korbut on TV in 1972 and like every other girl I wanted to swing around the bars with pigtails in my hair,” Wallace said.

She ended up coaching, judging and tutoring across clubs in the UK before moving to Dubai in 2000 and manifesting her love for gymnastics into DuGym.

In the 15 years since opening, the club has grown to incorporate trampolining in September 2013 and sports acro in September 2014, while boasting a staff of 20 coaches and employees.

While gymnastics’ popularity still pales in comparison to more common activities in the UAE, the sport’s reputation continues to develop and gain respect.

“Gymnastics is what the schools now recognise as a key-skill sport. It teaches agility, balance and coordination – the ABCs of sport,” Wallace said.

“Once you’ve mastered those, it then develops your stamina, your skill level and flexibility level. Anybody who is good at gymnastics can transfer those skills to other sports.

“Me personally, I like the artistry, I like the way it develops individuals to reach their potential. It’s something that everyone has in them and gymnastics enables them to do that.

Gaining ground: Gymnastics is what schools now recognise as a key-skill sport.

“If you’re playing a team sport or even something like tennis, you’re dependent on the ability of the person on the other side of the net or the players around you on the field.

"Gymnastics is an individual sport and it’s up to you to get the best out of yourself. But even though it’s an individual sport, as a club, we encourage the kids to support each other.”

As part of the Middle East Gymnastics Association (MEGA), which also has clubs from Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, DuGym take part in competitions throughout the year, in addition to their own club and school events. Classes, meanwhile, take place every day of the week during the school term.

Artistic and trampoline sessions are held at Horizon International School, with rhythmic gymnastics held at Collegiate American School and Emirates International School.

Whatever your gymnastic interest, DuGym has the coaching to get you involved. Learn more at www.dugym.com.

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