Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it is the newest gymnastic team at Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi!
This year the Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi PE department have pioneered a new gymnastics performance team named The Flying Mustangs.
Consisting of eight talented students in Years 6 and 7, the Flying Mustangs demonstrate the Mustang spirit to its fullest – pride, passion, desire and belief!
The students have been working hard to create fantastic performances for College events. Their introductory performance took place as the opening act in this year's Founder's Day on Saturday, 15 May. The audience was thrilled as aesthetics and athletics came together in a flurry of dynamic movements.
Why is gymnastics a core part of childhood development?
Gymnastics offers fundamental movement skills as well as providing a wide range of fitness benefits such as flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, balance, co-ordination and power. Many aspects of these components of fitness can be seen across a multitude of sports, such as muscular endurance in swimming, balance in netball, and coordination in rubgy.
Later in a students’ development, gymnastics can support bone health and reduce the chances of sporting injury. The high impact movements involved in gymnastics help develop stronger and denser bones, reducing the chance of osteoporosis in later life. Increased flexibility helps prevent muscle sprains. Alongside the physical benefits, gymnastics has also been proven to increase self-esteem and improve cognitive function and problem solving.
Simone Biles - Practice creates confidence. Confidence empowers you
Lewis smith, an Olympic gymnast, openly attributed his understanding and control over his ADHD to gymnastic training, stating “Gymnastics taught me discipline and respect”
Although gymnastics is primarily a solo sport, where participants compete as individuals, team-based gymnastics provides a range of additional benefits. Due to the high intensity of the skills required, students learn to communicate effectively, develop trust, and support their team members both mentally and physically.
What exactly do they do? How can I join?
During the Term 2 training programme the Flying Mustangs have been working on their performance and developing skills such as cartwheels, roundoffs, front and back walkovers, chest rolls, dive forward rolls, somersaults, team balances and lifts, splits and much more.
Going forward, Flying Mustangs trials will be held at the start of each academic year, where participants will be asked to demonstrate a series of skills. Next academic year, trials will be open for students from Years 5 to 9, with special consideration given to those performing at a high level outside of school who may not meet that age requirements.
So, let’s give it up for our newest team, the Flying Mustangs. We cannot wait to see how this team will continue to develop in the future, representing the Mustang spirit!