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Disability policy

Disabilities participation – British Gymnastics policy statement

British Gymnastics welcomes participation of people with disabilities.


  • British Gymnastics expects coaches to include people with disabilities into the existing classes they provide. Guidelines pertaining to this are included in our Health, Safety and Welfare document.

  • Coaches are reminded that they do not need to hold any additional qualifications in order to accept an individual with a disability into an existing class. Some guidelines to help coaches are offered in the British Gymnastics - Club Coach – Course and Resource Pack.

  • The term “disability” includes those people with:

    • physical incapacity

    • sight impairment

    • hearing impairment

    • learning disabilities

  • Legal obligations towards people with disabilities

  • British Gymnastics reminds coaches that in terms of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) they are considered to be service providers (anyone who provides goods, facilities or services to the public whether these services are paid for or free). This means that coaches are duty bound to comply with the duties placed on them by the Act:

  • avoid treating any person with a disability less favourably than other members of the public

  • make reasonable changes to practice, policies and procedures in order to make it easier for disabled people to use the services provided

  • take reasonable steps to remove, alter or provide alternative means of avoiding physical features of premises that make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use services provided

  • British Gymnastics understands that reasonable changes and adjustments would include minor works such as improving lighting, helpful colour schemes and accessible signage. British Gymnastics recognises that service providers may be able to justify not carrying out major changes and adjustments (such as installation or modification of automatic entrance doors, ramps, wheelchair lifts or accessible toilet facilities) if it would incur unreasonable levels of expenditure, service disruption or impracticality to make the change.

  • Grounds for refusing to include:

  • British Gymnastics expects people with disabilities to be included within existing classes; however it accepts that there are some circumstances that may constitute reasonable grounds for refusing:

  • presence of health concerns that contra-indicate participation on medical grounds (such as conditions known to be associated with specific disabilities)

  • disabled persons may need to provide evidence from a medical person to verify that it is appropriate for the individual to participate in a particular activity

  • identification of an unacceptable level risk being posed to the health, safety or well being of:

    • either the person with a disability

    • or others they are likely to come in contact with

  • recognition of the necessity to irrevocably change programme(s) provided in existing classes in order to accommodate the person with a disability within them

In the event that a coach refuses to accept a person with a disability into existing classes British Gymnastics will only support that coach if they do so on reasonable grounds that can be shown to be supported by evidence.

Classes specifically for people with disabilities

In acknowledgement that it is not always possible to include people with disabilities in mainstream gymnastics classes, British Gymnastics supports the view that there must be scope to provide classes specifically for people with disabilities, except where there are medical grounds that would contra-indicate participation. All coaches who intend to deliver classes specifically for people with disabilities must hold the GMPD add-on module or stand alone Trampoline disability qualification.


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