The Affinity Awards
Badge Testing and our badge scheme
We operate our own badge scheme – the Affinity Awards. We developed this ourselves after many many years experience in gymnastics with various badge schemes that we found lacking.
We’ve had our own scheme running since 2017 and we have to say we love it! It’s matched to our teaching syllabus and therefore represents all aspects of the things our gymnasts learn. We complete one badge per term, which are awarded at the end of term. The best bit? There are different schemes for all the different types of gymnastics we offer so EVERYONE can join in.
Our gymnasts have set skills to complete on floor and various apparatus.
There’s a grading based on how many skills the gymnast is able to perform well, which is intended to give you a little more information on progress. The bands are pass, commended and highly commended, depending on how many skills they achieve.
The list of skills are now recorded on the certificate awarded to the gymnast.
Each badge contains 6 skills from floor and apparatus. We don’t do a formal ‘testing’ with this age group but instead cover all the skills within their usual class setting.
The gymnasts have 10 skills to complete on floor which have two each from the following areas: handstands (from preps through to handsprings), cartwheels (from preps through to aerials), backwards skills (from bridges through to back flips), shapes, strength and flexibility, and one skill each for jumping and rolling. Then there are two skills on each of the apparatus from bars, beam and vault.
Our tumble gymnasts are awarded a pin (not a badge!) for completed skill achievements. For example, the 'back handspring' pin or 'cartwheel' pin. Each skill has 3-5 key teaching points the athletes have to be able to perform well, 3-5 times, to be able to be signed off on that skill.
Our freestyle gymnasts have 7 skills to complete on floor which have two each from the following areas: handstands (from preps through to handsprings), cartwheels and round off’s, All directions of summersaults (front, back and side flips). Then there are five skills on the apparatus covering precision’s, tricking wall and vault.
Our pre-competition squad along with the L10/9 squads follow the general gymnastics badge scheme. Our L8+ squad have their own scheme, which follows the skills they need to learn for the UK gymnastics competitions. There are four skills on each piece – bars, beam, floor, vault. They need to pass two on each piece to pass, three on each piece for commended and only miss one skill in total to get highly commended. This reflects the focus of this group to develop skills across all pieces.
Our Trampoline badges cover the full range of skills and progressions we teach, but we've adapted it for trampoline. Each badge has 6 skills that cover Shape/Strenght/Flex, bounces, In Bounces/Jumps, Safety, Landings, Linked skills
Competitive Cheerleading - Sapphire Elite
Our Sapphire cheerleaders do not work towards badges but instead focus their time on their team routines and events.
When do we test these skills?
We test during in the two weeks before Half Term. We don't test at any other time - so please ensure that your gymnast is available to attend at least ONE of these weeks - otherwise they won't get their badge. However we understand that sometimes these things can't be avoided so if they do miss them, we always give them an achievement one instead - so they won't feel left out.
These are normally during the last class of each term - we invite you in to see them receiving their award and to get an opportunity for photos...because we love celebrating achievement. What out for links to timings in your monthly newsletters.