The Gymnastics Alliance movement has taken the world by storm following the release of Athlete A on Netflix. Started by Olympian Jennifer Pinches, it has caused a massive ripple effect in the last 6 months.
The film produced by Jennifer Sey and her colleagues rightfully exposed many serious systemic issues within our sport. Ones that have existed worldwide for 20+ years, and desperately require attention. Despite this, they have failed to get traction for real, meaningful culture and behavioral change.
As people (including myself) were deeply gripped by the film, many felt as though it validated negative experiences they had working in the sport as gymnasts, coaches, parents, or support staff.
Hundreds of gymnasts from around the world have since shared their often heartbreaking stories under the #GymanstAlliance hashtag started by Jennifer Pinches.
The momentum from these stories and Athlete A has forced many crucial conversations and demands for reform.
The impact has only just begun, as countries undergo independent investigations, policy reform, change leadership, and talk of radical changes in training methods.
I’m very excited to have Jennifer Pinches and co-creator of the new Gymnasts For Change non for profit Claire Heafford on the podcast this week.
I have discussed back and forth with Jennifer following the initial outpouring of stories but wanted to find space to have a much more in-depth discussion.
In this episode, we discuss must-hear topics for anyone working in gymnastics. They include
- How and why Jennifer started the Gymnast Alliance movement
- The most important takeaways from Athlete A, and what they mean for the future of gymnastics
- How a lack of scientific evidence being used in training has held the sport back and damaged athletes
- The biggest barriers that exist to change on a local club and national governing body level
- The main complaints that many gymnasts have about their experiences
- What Jennifer and Claire would like to see change about the sport
- The Gymnast For Change non for profit and it’s initiatives
You can listen to the episode below on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher and also watch on YouTube.
Gymnast Alliance and A Call For Change with Jennifer Pinches and Claire Heafford
Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science