How to score a 'Perfect 10' in the business of gymnastics
Building the profile of gymnastics in Singapore is so much more than a hobby or a passion - it’s a lifelong journey and a true balancing act.
Have you ever seen a gymnast compete on the balance beam?
Everything a gymnast does - whether she’s taking a step forward or leaping into the air - depends entirely on placing her feet on a piece of leather-covered wood that’s just four inches wide.
It’s terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time, and it requires a tremendous amount of skill, precision and guts.
It was my favourite piece of apparatus when I was a competitive gymnast, so perhaps it’s no surprise that I’ve ended up leading a life that revolves around a delicate balance - launching a business, promoting the sport of gymnastics in Singapore, and raising my son. It’s certainly a challenge, to say the least.
In 2010, I found myself living back in Singapore for the second time, after growing up here as a teenager and being heavily involved with competing and coaching. My business started after I was approached by my former high school in Singapore to build a gymnastics programme for them off the back of their investment in a new facility.
I’d always known that running my own company was on the cards, and this presented a great opportunity to initiate some change. It was time to give gymnastics a fresh look and have parents regard it for the great development benefits it gives children - not the elitist, body-breaking reputation it has had for so long.
Getting started brought back a lot of memories, not all of them great. There were very real struggles to go through as a foreign high-performance gymnast in a sport with minimal participation and even less infrastructure to support developing athletes.
Back then it was a lonely sport, with little integration between local school clubs and external clubs. Additionally, the rising cost of space meant most private clubs were focusing on recreational programmes rather than producing high-quality gymnasts. Unfortunately, I was not able to fulfil my dream as a competitive gymnast, and it was a hard pill to swallow after years of dedication, hard work and literal blood, sweat and tears.
However, my passion for the sport never wavered, and now through running Gym With Me, my ultimate goal is to make gymnastics - whether at a recreational or high-performance level - accessible for boys and girls of all ages.
Following the initial programme at that first school and seeing fast results with the athletes, it didn’t take long to expand. Now, we’re in multiple international schools in Singapore, providing recreational, development and competitive programmes to school teams and the general public.
But this hasn’t been done alone. Right now, we have 20 staff on our team, and 90% of them are Singaporean and just as hungry to create a progressive business with a real framework to boost gymnastics locally.
The investment in Singaporean coaches has been an absolute priority, and I’m proud to say that every single one of our coaches is qualified to an international standard. It’s incredible how rare that is in Singapore.
Despite the title of this article, it’s perhaps rather fitting that the well known “perfect 10” actually no longer exists in gymnastics. Now, gymnasts are rewarded for incorporating more difficult tricks or ‘elements’ into their routines. “Perfection” as a score is no longer possible.
And that’s okay, because a gymnast’s routine is a constant quest and is all about dedicating oneself to progressing every day.
I like to compare my professional journey – and anyone’s experience with starting their own business – to that gymnast on the balance beam: the wobbles and falls are inevitable, but what counts is that you get back up and finish what you started.
Interested in one of our gymnastics programmes? Contact Rosanna Trigg at firstname.lastname@example.org