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NDP Development Programs

At Alton, we have Development Programs for both NDP Women's Artistic and NDP Acrobatics.  AGC has enjoyed success with both of these disciplines and our NDP Coaches have a wealth of experience developing gymnasts towards the higher levels of competition in readiness for entry into an NDP Squad. 


In order to be considered for one of our NDP Development Programs, gymnasts under 8 years will usually be expected to have attended the Pre-Development Minis for at least one term (usually 2 - 3 terms).  Older Gymnasts interested in Acrobatics Development as a Competitive Base should have Graduated from the Intermediate program and spent at least one term in Advanced GfA.  Alternatively we also select from our GfA Acrobatics Program which is a session that gymnasts can take alongside their usual GfA class once they reach Stage 4.

Exceptions may occasionally be made, particularly if the gymnast has already been training in a development or pre-development program at another club or have progressed particularly quickly within the GfA Program.

Entry requirements are a guide only...

.We will consider Gymnasts who:

  • Have completed Core Academy Stage 4 and are 7 or younger in the year

  • Have completed GfA Advanced 1 (age dependent on discipline) 

  • Have met the standard for skills progression for the specific discipline


  • Show natural co-ordination in core gymnastics elements and ease of general movement

  • Flexibility and strength progression that meets the standard set by the specific discipline


  • Are already very ‘coachable’ and positively responsive to feedback

The upper age limit for starting on a Development Programs is different depending on the Discipline and is only a guide:

  • Women’s Artistic Development - Maximum age: 9 in the year

  • Acrobatics Development Program TOPS - Maximum age: 10 in the year

  • Acrobatics Development Program BASES - Maximum age: 14 in the year

Please note, that once gymnasts are accepted into a Development program they will be expected to meet certain attainment and progression targets within their first year in order to continue.  These targets will depend upon the age and the Discipline.  As a general rule, gymnasts need to have reached the requirements to enter a Regional Squad by the time they are 9 in the year.  The exception to this is those who join the Acrobatic Development group when they are 9 years or older and are training toward Tumbling Grades or becoming bases - these gymnasts will be given up to a year to meet the requirements from the time they begin in the Development Program.

Pathways after the Development program...

Development programs can be attended for 1 to 3 years.  If the gymnast wants to progress further, they will need to pass the entry requirements for the Squad in their Discipline.  This usually means that they need to have gained ability in GRADE 4 skills (for either Women’s Artistic and Acrobatics).  SOME Gymnasts may reach the required standard earlier and thus may be offered a place in the Squad when one becomes available.

Transfer to the NDP Acrobatic Squad (Regional): Selection for the Acrobatic Squad occurs only after the Gymnast has achieved a Pass, Commendation or Distinction at a Regional Grade 1 or 2 Competition as either a Pair, Trio or both.  For more details on entry requirements for the Acrobatic Squad, see the page dedicated to that discipline. Occasionally gymnasts may be offered a trial in the Acrobatic Squad without having entered a competition - but instead having an in-club assessment of their routine as well as meeting the specific attainment and progression requirements.  The entry requirements for Acrobatic Squad include specific technical abilities that exceed the Grade 1 & 2 syllabus and thus, gymnasts who aspire to this pathway should remain aware that their repertoire of skills both individual and within a partnership should be at an exceptional standard.

Transfer to the NDP Women’s Artistic Squad (Regional):  Selection for the Women’s Artistic Squad occurs only after the Gymnast has achieved a Pass, Commendation or Distinction at Club (Generic) Grade 5 at the County Grades Competition.  For more Details on entry requirements for the Women’s Artistic Squad, see the page dedicated to that discipline.  Occasionally gymnasts may be offered a trial in the Women’s Artistic Squad without having taken the Grade 5 - but this would be rare and in exceptional circumstances.  The entry requirements for Women’s Artistic Squad include specific technical abilities that exceed the Grade 5 syllabus and thus, gymnasts who aspire to this pathway should remain aware that their repertoire of skills on the apparatus should be at an exceptional standard.

OTHER PATHWAYS: All NDP Development Program gymnasts will be given the opportunity to train toward the entry requirements to the Squad for their specific Discipline.  However, not all gymnasts will achieve these targets by the time they have completed the Development level Grades / competitions and indeed, occasionally some may not pass the Development Grades.  In this situation we look at each gymnast as an individual and make suggestions that our experience and expertise tells us will give the gymnast the best chance of continued success in the sport.  This may mean that a gymnast who has previously trained or competed as an Acrobatic Top might then look at training as a Base, or it may mean that a gymnast who has previously trained in Women’s Artistic is considered for a transfer to Acrobatics.  The gymnasts time in the Development Program may have identified other areas of particular ability which lean towards other disciplines that we do not currently offer, such as Trampolining or Aerobic gymnastics and we are happy to signpost you to suitable programs.

Transfer to GfA Competitive Programs: There are a number of opportunities developed by British Gymnastics in a variety of disciplines that might suit gymnasts who don’t qualify for or who don’t wish to continue on the NDP Competitive pathway and these can be pursued via GfA Intermediate or GfA Advanced pathways.  These programs provide progression and events which have more relaxed and flexible targets which allows more gymnasts to take a competitive pathway upon achieving certain targets at different ages.

The GfA Intermediate & Advanced programs offer flexibility and more freedom to work on specific elements or focus on the areas of gymnastics the gymnast enjoys the most.  From the GfA Advanced Program, gymnasts may find they are offered opportunities later on to move toward GfA Competitive or even resume NDP competitive training again if they wish to do so.

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