The London Gymnastics Club Conference took place on Sunday 5th February at the newly renovated East London Gymnastics Club. New owners Alex Jerrom and Kirk Zammit have heavily invested in their facility and the centre is now looking amazing; a real community centre with something for everyone. Huge thanks to both Alex and Kirk for working in partnership with London Gymnastics to ensure everything ran smoothly.
Our Conference started with an opening address from Katie Richards informing our delegates about the importance of Sports Psychology. Katie has a Masters and is currently working towards her PhD, as a former National Squad gymnast and current Women’s Artistic coach she was the perfect choice to inspire our coaches.
After a quick cup of coffee, two workshop sessions followed with a choice of six different topics for the coaches in each slot. With so many people inputting into clubs across the region it was important to us that whichever discipline you were from and whatever your position was within a club there was something for you.
From Choreography, to freestyle, Behaviour to Welfare, Artistry to Volunteers and much more there was something for everyone. It was great to see so many delegates, with a range of disciplines, ages, qualifications and experience; engaged, inspired and working together.
The lunch break was an opportunity for delegates to relax, network and reflect on their experiences. For many of us working in gymnastics clubs, spare time rarely comes along so it was a very welcome opportunity for the course delegates.
Our third session was another opportunity for delegates to go back into groups and learn from our experts. Options during the final session included handstands, Inclusion, Injury Prevention and Avoiding Conflict.
We welcomed Gavin Delf (London Sport) who let us know about opportunities for clubs who need support with funding.
The last presentation was a real treat for those present. Scott Hann (Director of Coaching South Essex Gymnastics Club) and Roy Short (Chairman of SEGC) took us through the journey of their gymnastics club. Since its formation in 1992, South Essex has produced exceptional gymnasts; from 1996 Athens Olympian Annika Reeder through to Rio 2016 Olympians Brinn Bevan and Max Whitlock MBE. We learnt how they juggle the requirements of the Elite gymnasts, whilst running a successful recreational program, engaging the local community, and managing growth.
Huge thanks to all our Lecturers for inspiring our delegates, and to Anne McNeill and Helen Bates for their organisational skills in putting the event together.
We have had some lovely feedback from some of our attendees and look forward to running the Conference again soon. If your Club members did not attend this year then make sure you are represented next time at an event that you can’t afford to miss.
Feeling really inspired, what to do first? Had a great time at the London Conference, learned lots
Rachel Kay – Zodiac
Really enjoyed the welfare class, making it clear what incidents fall under which jurisdictions and key indicators of accidents and possible abuse and neglect. We worked on a few case studies - definite information to take back to the Club!
Tanya Munro - Catleaps GC
Thank you for a fantastic conference yesterday, a really insightful session and great to network with other coaches from across the region.
Katy Eagling – Enfield
Amazing day learning from some of the best coaches and instructors. So much to take back to our clubs.
David Jay - Catleaps GC
Thank you for such an amazing event yesterday, myself and the coaches really enjoyed it and learned so much!
Kerry Vickery – East London
I had such a great day which was educational as well as fun and inspiring. A well run event which really promoted team work.
Faye Walsh – Catleaps GC
Firstly, thank you for your hospitality yesterday – it’s always nice to visit London, and always well received by all so thank you for looking after us.
Geoff Grant - Volunteering Support and Development Manager, British Gymnastics