Inside the VPN - Alison Lyons
VPN Membership: Industry Professional
How many year have you been in the sport industry? 12 years
Current organisation/s: Gymnastics Victoria
Job title: General Manager Gymnastics Development
How long have you been in this position? Three years
Where did you get your first start in the sport industry? In Australia it was with Cricket Australia as a Youth Participation Coordinator in 2011. However previous to this I spend 6 years working overseas for a Gymnastics Franchise Business called The Little Gym
What advice would you give a student just starting out in their sport career? Seek experience in a range of different sports and areas not just in your favourite sport.
Is there a sporting administrator you have looked up to as a role model/mentor? Jerril Rechter the CEO of VicHealth. I admire Jerril’s leadership skills and dedication to make a difference. VicHealth are open to new ideas to get more people active and I enjoy working on all the projects we do in conjunction with VicHealth. Culture starts at the top and I think the energy and innovation VicHealth embodies comes from such strong and engaged leadership.
What is favourite thing about working in the sports industry? The variety and its fun. I love going to work every day!
What is your dream job? CEO of a Sporting organisation
About Gymnastics Victoria
What are the programs Gymnastics Victoria are currently running that are supporting women in sport? The Gymnastics membership is 80% female our sport and the average age is 7 years old. We are working towards encouraging more youth and women to continue to participate through programs such as Team Gym and Move My Way. We also have around 1500 female leaders in our sport, those who are head coaches, gym managers, presidents and owners.
What do these various programs entail? Team Gym allows adolescent gymnasts to continue to compete without having to me make the commitment in hours of training. It also encourages a range of skill level so you can compete and have fun with your gym friends and bring along friends that have never done gym before. Move My Way is a fundamental movement program for women looking to get active again. It’s been very successful in a way to introduce movement and a range of movement for women that have taken a break from activity or have never exercised before.
How have these programs impacted the lives of the participants? Team Gym has just been launched so we are hoping to see in increase in our members aged 12 – 18. However Move My Way has been around for a few years now and we are seeing women feel confident to try new things. The women who started with the program just to get moving again are now doing cartwheels and having fun doing so!
How has it felt to be a major part of these programs? I’m very passionate about allowing opportunities for women in all areas of life and to build confidence to just try. It been so rewarding to know that women who are participating in gymnastics are building the confidence to try anything.
What challenges have you come across and how have you worked through them? Changing the mind set of what people think Gymnastics is. Our elite athletes are true super heroes in their abilities and I know many people love watching them perform on the world stage. However the majority of gymnastics participant are simply enjoying moving in fun ways. To try and encourage someone who has not done much activity in the past or are fearful of trying new things has been challenging. We have worked hard through many of our programs and promotional material and to promote that gymnastics is for everybody.