British Gymnastics has directed its remaining Club and Coach Grant towards High Performance clubs during 2012, to support the preparation of Olympic athletes.
The grants are made to help clubs invest in a recreational coach to allow the club’s high performance coaches to concentrate on their competitive squad gymnasts. The grant forms part of BGs Sport England Whole Sport Plan allocation, with outcomes based around increasing participation numbers and positively impacting on coach mentoring. The strategy of targeting High Performance clubs has allowed these outcomes to be met, with the added benefit of freeing up coaches time to support our Olympic athletes.
Martin Reddin: “The majority of our High Performance Clubs rely on recreational provision to support elite training. The Club and Coach funding has enabled us to target grassroots delivery in certain identified clubs, supporting a recreational coach to increase participation levels. By focusing on clubs in 2012 where high performance athletes are preparing for the Games the funding has had the added bonus of freeing up some coaches to concentrate on this preparation”
Clubs supported by this grant in 2012 include Huntingdon Gymnastics Club where Louis Smith is preparing for the Olympics. Other Olympic gymnasts who have benefitted are Max Whitlock at South Essex, Imogen Cairns at the Academy and Frankie Jones at Birmingham GMAC.
Huntington head coach Paul Hall: “These grants have allowed me to focus on preparing athletes like Louis for major competitions by supporting my club in its delivery of gymnastics for all levels to Huntingdon and the wider community. I have been able to travel to camps and competitions with elite gymnasts, safe in the knowledge that this funding is supporting the general gymnastics programme back home.”
Two members of the all-conquering men’s junior European team have also benefitted with Jay Thompson (Junior European pommel gold medallist) based at Exeter Gym Club and Nile Wilson (Junior European all-around silver medallist) based at the City of Leeds Gym Club.
The non-Olympic disciplines have also been supported with Deerness, Wakefield and South Tyneside gym clubs also receiving grants that have supported the preparation of tumblers and acrobats for World and European Championships.
In addition, facilities expansion has also been targeted, to ensure new capacity can be realized by supporting coaching provision in those clubs.
The full list of clubs supported and grants allocated are detailed below.
Huntingdon - £18,750
Exeter - £15,000
South Essex - £12,500
The Academy - £18,750
South Tyneside - £15,813
Deerness - £12,213
Esprit - £12,213
Bristol Hawks - £11,700
Birmingham (GMAC) - £18,750
City of Leeds – £25,326
Europa - £10,413
Falcons - £10,413
Thomas Tallis (GLL) - £10413
Abbey Flyers - £10,413
With an aerobic club still to be selected, this brings British Gymnastics’ investment to £226,580 with the total remaining grant being allocated across 2012 and 2013 to ensure the support continues post-Olympics. With an increase in participation numbers within these clubs, the plan is for the clubs to be able to self-fund the new coaching positions long-term.