Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The information provided below is designed to help new and existing members to get the most from the ETKO Sports Academy experience. It is divided into three key sections: General, Pre-School and School-Age for ease of reading.

Still unsure? Drop us a line via our contact form here.

GENERAL

Where can I park? Ample parking is available on-site. The car park is shared with Hoodles Playbarn & Coffee shop and attracts considerable volumes of traffic. Children should therefore be accompanied to and from your car to the facility.

Where can my child get changed?
Changing rooms are located on the right-hand side as you enter the main gymnasium reception; these facilities should be used for all changes of clothing. Children over eight years old should be encouraged to use the changing rooms independently. Personal belongings are left at your own risk and we would therefore advise against taking high-value items into the building.

What qualifications do your instructors have?
All our instructors are members of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme, which is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. Our instructors are also trained to the appropriate level for the age group(s) that they teach. Many of them hold additional recognised childcare and/or sporting qualifications.

Can I photograph or video my child during the session?
Photography and filming during sessions is not permitted, unless a specific arrangement has been made with ETKO Sports Academy in advance. If all members of a class have given their permission, our instructors may – from time to time – take photographs or videos of class activities for use in ETKO Sports Academy’s marketing materials.

Can I bring food and drink into the gym?
No food or drink is allowed in the gym, apart from a named water bottle for participants.

When do classes run?
All of our weekly ETKO Kids classes and coached sessions follow the Aberdeenshire Council school term dates. During the last week of term, classes will always run right through to the Saturday. During the school holidays, we usually continue to run activity sessions (see more below).

What happens on in-service days?
All our ETKO Kids classes and coached sessions run as normal during in-service days.

What happens in snow or bad weather?
During bad weather, ETKO Sports Academy will aim to remain open, provided staff can get to work safely. Members should then make their own decision as to whether they feel safe to travel from home or school into our facility. Updates will be provided mainly via social media and/or email. Members who wish to check that we are open before setting out can:
a) check our social media channels
b) drop us an email on admin@etkosportsacademy.co.uk
c) give us a call on 01651 876873.

Do you run sessions during the holidays?
We do! ETKO Sports Academy remains open over Easter, Summer and October, when we usually run a full programme of activity sessions for our young members at various stages.

I can’t get a space! How do your waiting lists work?
If the class that your child wishes to attend is full, you can choose to be added to the relevant waiting list. Waiting lists will be opened up at key points throughout the year and spaces will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Our holiday sessions are often an ideal way for those on our waiting lists to experience our gym environment and programmes.

Can I try the class before I commit to regular sessions?

Children are welcome to join the class for a single trial session; this will be charged at the appropriate PAYG rate.

PRE-SCHOOL PROGRAMMES

ETKO Gym Babies/ETKO Gym Tots (up to three years)

What should my child wear to class?
Infants and children attending ETKO Gym Babies and ETKO Gym Tots classes should wear comfortable clothing to allow freedom of movement. Please avoid clothing that is very loose, open or has flaps for safety reasons. Long hair should be tied back and jewellery removed. Children should be barefoot; parents/carers should remove their shoes but can wear socks within the gymnasium.

What happens on arrival?Please arrive promptly and wait within our main reception area. This area can get busy, however we would appreciate it if doorways and fire exits are kept clear for the safety of all. Please also note that noise from reception does travel within the building and can interfere with coaching taking place within the gymnasium. Shortly before your session is due to commence, our instructors will come out from the main gym to meet and greet you and your child. While we love to see eager little ones, we ask everyone to enter the gym in a controlled and safe manner.

What happens during class?
Classes are led and supported by ETKO instructors. Parents/carers remain with their children throughout the class and are expected to play an active role in accompanying them around the various stations that may be set up for the session. We therefore strongly discourage parents/carers spending time on mobile phones during class.

Can I bring a second child into class with me?
If you have to bring a sibling into class with you, both children are your responsibility. If, at any time, we feel that the safety of you, your children or other participants is at risk, then we may ask you to refrain from bringing another child who is not actively part of the class.

Can I carry my infant in a sling during class?
If you are participating in our ETKO Gym Tots class, then we advise extreme care if you are also carrying a baby in a sling. There are considerable health and safety risks associated with this, bearing in mind our gymnasium environment and apparatus – and the requirement to monitor and potentially catch your older child. We are also mindful of the safety, wellbeing and comfort of babies who are carried in slings while their parent/carer is engaged in physical activity that may include bending and or quick, unplanned movements.

What happens at the session end?
As the session draws to a close, ETKO instructors will normally gather the group together for some form of cool down or closing activity. Parents/carers and children will then be invited to leave the gym in a controlled and orderly fashion. All young children must be accompanied by an adult as they leave the gym, pass through reception, change clothes (if required), exit the building and cross the car park.

ETKO Gym Kids (3-5 years)

What should my child wear to class?
ETKO Gym Kids have their own uniform, which all participants are required to wear. If you are attending for the first time or a trial session – and have not yet purchased a uniform – please ensure that your child is wearing comfortable clothing that is suitable for physical activity and allows freedom of movement. Shorts/leggings and t-shirts or a leotard and shorts/leggings are recommended. Cropped/stomach exposing tops are discouraged. Long hair should be tied back and jewellery removed. Children should be barefoot. Each child should also bring a named water bottle to class.

What happens on arrival?
Please arrive promptly and wait within our main reception area. This area can get busy, however we would appreciate it if doorways and fire exits are kept clear for the safety of all. Please also note that noise from reception does travel within the building and can interfere with coaching taking place within the gymnasium. Shortly before your session is due to commence, members of our coaching team will come out from the main gym and ask the children to say goodbye to their parents/carers and line up. They will then be led in a safe ‘train’ into the main gymnasium for their session.

Can I watch my child’s session?
Our ETKO Gym Kids are encouraged to attend class independently, without being accompanied by a parent/carer. We do, however, hold selected sessions throughout the year when parents/carers are invited to come in and watch for all or part of the class.

Can I wait within the building while my child is in class?
Space within our reception area is limited and parents/carers are therefore discouraged from waiting in the building for the session duration. Parents/carers of our young members are welcome to use our fitness suite (located on the same site) while their children attend class. Those who do so can benefit from our Friends & Family rate.
We also share a site with Hoodles Playbarn & Coffee Shop; parents/carers can visit this facility if they wish to grab a seat and refreshments during their child’s class.

What happens during class?
Our ETKO Gym Kids classes are led by experienced ETKO instructors. Sessions are built around ETKO Sports Academy’s own Fundamental Movement & Basic Sports Skills programme©. Children develop their physical, social and emotional, cognitive and language skills through exposure to various songs, games and activities and the use of a variety of high-quality apparatus and equipment. Each session has a structured warm-up and cool-down activity and the emphasis throughout is on fun. Themed weeks take place throughout the year.

Can my child bring food and drink into the gym?
No food or drink is allowed in the gym, apart from a named water bottle for participants.

What happens at the session end?
As the session draws to a close, ETKO instructors will normally gather the group together for some form of cool down or closing activity. Parents/carers should arrive in good time to collect their child and are asked to wait quietly in our reception area, taking care not to obstruct fire exits and doorways. At the session end, our instructors will escort children from the gymnasium back into reception, taking care to return each child to their parent/carer. All children must be accompanied by an adult while they change clothes, leaving the building and cross the car park.

Can someone else collect my child from class?
Please inform us in advance if someone other than a named parent/carer will be collecting your child from class.

SCHOOL-AGE PROGRAMMES

Gymnastics, Wrestling, Physical Preparation & Movement (PPM), Running

What should my child wear to class?
Members of our gymnastics and wrestling programmes have their own uniform, which all participants are required to wear. If you are attending for the first time or a trial session – and have not yet purchased a uniform – please ensure that your child is wearing comfortable clothing that is suitable for physical activity and allows freedom of movement. Shorts/leggings and t-shirts or a leotard and shorts/leggings are recommended. Cropped/stomach exposing tops are discouraged. Long hair should be tied back and jewellery removed. Children should be barefoot for all gymnastics, wrestling and kids physical fitness classes. Each child should also bring a named water bottle to class.

Uniform is not compulsory for members who are attending our PPM or running classes, however a variety of branded ETKO sportswear is available to purchase for these activities. Participants are advised to wear sports clothing that is appropriate the environment (indoor or outdoor) and to follow the guidelines above relating to jewellery and hairstyles.

What happens on arrival?
Please arrive promptly and wait within our main reception area. This area can get busy – particularly during class changeovers – however we would appreciate it if doorways and fire exits are kept clear for the safety of all. Please also note that noise from reception does travel within the building and can interfere with coaching taking place within the gymnasium.

Shortly before your session is due to commence, members of our coaching team will come out from the main gym and ask the children to say goodbye to their parents/carers and line up. They will then be led in a safe ‘train’ into the main gymnasium for their session.

During the winter season, ETKO Runners may be asked to meet at the ETKO Fitness studio, which is located within the steading building. Parents/carers are advised to check for email updates as indoor/outdoor running arrangements (and kit requirements) may be weather dependent.

Can I watch my child’s session?
All our school-age members attend classes independently, without being accompanied by a parent/carer. We do, however, hold selected sessions throughout the year when parents/carers are invited to come in and watch for all or part of the class.

Can I wait within the building while my child is in class?
Space within our reception area is limited and parents/carers are therefore discouraged from waiting in the building for the session duration. Parents/carers are welcome to use our fitness suite (located on the same site) while their children attend class. Those who do so can benefit from our Friends & Family rate.

We also share a site with Hoodles Playbarn & Coffee Shop; parents/carers can visit this facility if they wish to grab a seat and refreshments during their child’s class.

What happens during class?
Our school-age sessions build on ETKO Sports Academy’s own Fundamental Movement & Basic Sports Skills programme©, which is introduced at pre-school stage. Consolidation of fundamental movements is complemented by strength and flexibility exercises – and children are exposed to various apparatus within the gym environment. Each session has a lesson plan, which follows part of our structured programme, however the emphasis is very much on fun, with progression taking place at the correct pace for each individual.

Can my child bring food and drink into the gym?
No food or drink is allowed in the gym, apart from a named water bottle for participants.

What happens at the session end?
As the session draws to a close, ETKO instructors will normally gather the group together for some form of cool down or closing activity. Parents/carers should arrive in good time to collect their child and are asked to wait quietly in our reception area, taking care not to obstruct fire exits and doorways. At the session end, ETKO instructors will escort children from the gymnasium back into reception, taking care to return each child to their parent/carer.

Children in our ETKO Runners programme can be collected from the top of the paddock when sessions are held entirely outdoors, or from the ETKO Fitness studio (within the steading building) in winter.

Children should be accompanied by an adult as they leave the building and cross the car park.

Can someone else collect my child from class?
Please inform us in advance if someone other than a named parent/carer will be collecting your child from class.