The McDonald College has recently embarked on a co-venture which will see gymnastics education integrated into our performance program, alongside ballet dancers, elite tennis players and other performing artists.
The College’s principal, Maxine Kohler, welcomed the Human Rights Commission’s report on the “toxic” culture of gymnastics in Australia.
She said gymnasts at The McDonald College will be coached under guidelines developed by the school to ensure their dancers remained fit for task.
Teachers at the College are not allowed to speak directly to students about their body shape or fitness.
If staff suspect students are engaging in dangerous eating or excessive exercise, they are required to register their concerns with the school’s executive and they have the additional option of reporting to NSW Communities and Justice.
Ms Kohler said, “being a comprehensive school we have the advantage of observing students in the classroom in addition to the dance studio, this provides an extra layer of protection for the young athletes and performers in our care”.
“Gymnastics and ballet are both extremely competitive pursuits and vigilance is required to ensure our young people are not pushed to perform beyond their age and skill level.”
The McDonald College has been training ballet dancers and other performing artists continuously for 95 years, as such it is one of the nation’s most experienced elite sports facilities.
Lauren Klemt is the founder of Rhythmic Academy of Sydney, which is partnering with The McDonald College to deliver rhythmic gymnastics education.
Ms Klemt welcomed the Human Rights Commission’s findings.
“Rhythmic Academy of Sydney has a zero tolerance towards athlete abuse. Our coaches and volunteers are highly trained in all aspects of child protection. Every participant is nurtured and valued. We are committed to playing an active role in reshaping the culture of gymnastics in Australia. “
Read the report