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Accidents & Injuries Policy

Accidents cannot be completely avoided, though the risk of accidents can be minimised through certain measures.  The main identified risks in rhythmic gymnastics are:

  • Overuse/chronic injuries;

  • Accidental performance injuries such as bruises, muscle strains and sprains, ligament damage and minor or major fractures;

  • Injuries from apparatus, such as cuts, bruises and head injuries;

  • General accidents such as trips or slips in the sports hall.


Overuse Injuries

All gymnasts can suffer overuse injuries especially those in squads and training for more than 1 hour a week. These are rarely serious but due to hours of training and repetitive skills can take time to heal. They can affect any part of the body but in girls in gymnastics they most commonly occur in knees, ankles, feet and wrists.


Prevention and minimisation:

  • Gymnasts are adequately warmed up each session;

  • Gymnasts must show that they have the strength, flexibility and fitness to perform the skill being taught and are expected to work to the best of their ability in all training sessions;

  • A conditioning programme is followed appropriate to the level and experience of the gymnast;

  • Gymnasts are made aware of the dangers and possible consequences of not doing the warm-up and conditioning properly;

  • Gymnasts must build up their fitness (conditioning), strength and progression for elements to ensure the gymnast is adequately prepared for the movements s/he is performing;

  • Any discomfort reported by a gymnast during an activity must be investigated and monitored accordingly. The activity/exercise may be ceased until the discomfort is resolved;

  • Adequate matting is used;

  • Coaches must be made aware of chronic or existing conditions/injuries that may be exacerbated by movements or exercises;

  • If the injury/pain continues for more than 2 weeks then appropriate medical advice should be sought again. If amended training is required, a letter from the parent (and for squad gymnasts from the physio etc) must be written stating what rehab programme has been recommended, including an expected timescale for return to full performance.


Accidental Performance Injuries

Most injuries occur due to poor landings from jumps, balances or elements of skills “going wrong”. These are unlikely at recreational level but as gymnasts progress and practise more advanced skills they are more likely to occur and are difficult to anticipate.


Prevention and minimisation:

  • Gymnasts are taken through the correct progressions of a skill or body element and can perform the pre-requisite skills prior to performing the skill being learned;

  • Adequate matting is used;

  • Coaches and gymnasts must not attempt anything that they are not comfortable with;

  • Gymnasts must not practise skills that carry risks when they are too tired, unwell or injured in any way;

  • Gymnasts returning from time-off are re-introduced gradually, building up slowly and ensuring that fitness is regained before performing at the level at which they were previously working.


General Accidents

Due to the nature of a sports hall with numerous carpets and different flooring there is always the risk of slips and trips.


Prevention and minimisation:

  • Coaches know and understand the correct set up of carpets and equipment and are aware of any dangers;

  • Gymnasts and coaches move around the sports hall in a controlled manner;

  • Items of equipment not in use are kept to the side of the hall or in a cupboard;

  • Gymnasts’ and coaches’ belongings and equipment are kept to the side of the hall;

  • Gymnasts are reminded regularly about the risk of tripping in the hall;

  • Any spillages are reported to Venue staff and dealt with immediately to prevent slips.


In the event of an injury occurring at the gym, the following procedure must be followed:

  1. The coach must ensure the rest of the class is safe (i.e. do not leave them unsupervised) and direct them away from the injured person.

  2. The most senior qualified First Aid personnel (this may be a coach or venue staff) must attend the injured person and assess the nature of the injury/give directions regarding necessary treatment.

  3. If the injury is not serious, administer first aid and notify the parents at the end of the class. If a parent is not there to pick up the gymnast, complete an injury slip for the gymnast to take home or report the injury by phone or email. Note injury in “Injury/Incident Report Book” in brief.

  4. If the person is seriously injured, do not move them unless there is a life-threatening danger (i.e. falling debris, fire, explosion). Stay with them and keep them as calm and comfortable as possible. Call an ambulance (or if not life-threatening report to duty staff who will call for an ambulance) and inform the venue staff so they can direct the ambulance.

  5. A responsible person should be requested to contact the parents and inform them of the situation, trying not to alarm them unnecessarily. If the parents cannot be contacted, the coach has the discretionary right to call an ambulance.

  6. Details of injury/incidents/near misses must be logged in the ‘Injury/Incident Report Book’ detailing injury/actions taken/who informed etc. Duty Staff at the venue must also be informed of the injury/incident.

  7. Ensure that all witness’ details are available in the Report Book.

  8. The attending coach signs the Report Book and informs Team Bath Rhythmic Gymnastics committee.

  9. Any injury requiring hospital treatment or where first-aid is administered must be reported to British Gymnastics.


Team Bath Rhythmic Gymnastics do not consider the level of sport they provide to be life threatening except where there may be a medical reason that the coaches are not aware of.  For this reason, parents have a legal obligation to ensure the club knows of any such problem/condition. If there is a medical problem that is aggravated by this sport, parents must advise the club/coaches and decide if the child should continue. Team Bath Rhythmic Gymnastics does not accept responsibility for injuries that occur as a result of a gymnast acting contrary to instruction.


Welfare Team 

Revised August 2018 

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