Now, Anna’s Gymnastics Academy has four sites and is one of only 22 facilities in London. It caters for beginners as well as elite squads of gymnasts who wish to compete at regional, national or even international level. Currently she has an English champion (who uses rope and hoop) and two GBR squad members. Others are working towards regional finals.
In addition to Bulgaria and Russia, all the former Soviet nations are strong in Rhythmic Gymnastics, as well as Italy, Spain, Azerbaijan, Japan, China and Israel. In fact, the individual gold was won by 22-year-old Linoy Ashram who became the first ever Israeli woman to win an Olympics gold medal. “It’s like a dream, I think it’s like I’m not here”, said Ashram after her win.
Monika is keen to see the sport grow in the UK. For this, she tells TalksForTeens, “I would need a permanent facility. If we are going to produce competitors at international level, we need the space, we need large training carpets and the apparatus”. Even at the most basic level, she is sure that the practice sets children up with a good foundation for any sport seeing as it “develops multiple skills at the same time and is very balanced”. Monika explains how because of this, it is mandatory at schools in Bulgaria. She would like to see more young people introduced to it in the UK, as a foundation both for fitness and for overall sporting success.
Anna's Gymnastics Academy (London) (annasgymnastics.com)
British Gymnastics (british-gymnastics.org)
Rhythmic Gymnastics-Bulgaria win group gold to end Russian streak | Reuters
Rhythmic gymnastics upset: Israel beats Russia, wins gold (apnews.com)
Rhythmic Gymnastics | Olympic Sport | Tokyo 2020
Intro to Gymnastics: 8 Types of Apparatus Used in Artistic Gymnastics - 2021 - MasterClass