We are delighted to announce Kristian Thomas as the new ambassador for the British Gymnastics Foundation’s Love to Move programme, which is making life changing differences to those living with dementia.
Kristian, a two-time Olympian, will be working with the Foundation to help raise awareness of the great work the programme is doing, as well as being present at future fundraising events, with a view to helping expand the programme across the UK.
British Gymnastics Foundation Manager, Patrick Bonner said: “We chose Kristian as our ambassador for the Love to Move Programme as he has experienced gymnastics at all levels and has a deep understanding about core gymnastics skills and how they are beneficial to people, no matter what their age or background.
“Kristian is currently doing a sports degree in Strength & Conditioning and as part of this, is exploring how people living with dementia can benefit from exercise programmes.
“I hope that Kristian’s high profile as one of Great Britain’s best loved Olympians can help raise awareness that gymnastics is more than just a sport and has the power to transform the lives of people most in need.”
Love to Move has been delivered regularly in two care homes, one day centre and one community group in Cambridgeshire during the last 12 months following a successful pilot, with more than 150 people benefitting. Age UK have conducted research on the programme and have found it to have “a demonstrable benefit in the physical, emotional and cognitive aspects of older people. Those older people having mild to advanced forms of dementia appear to benefit the most.”
Kristian is delighted to have been asked to be an ambassador for the programme: “I was approached by the British Gymnastics Foundation and straight away I knew it was something I’d like to be involved in. A lot of people know someone with dementia, so I thought it was a great opportunity to give back to the sport that’s helped me so much. I’m really hoping my experience within gymnastics can help people doing the programme to regain some of the functions they thought were lost.”
To find out more about the Love to Move programme, visit our website www.britishgymnasticsfoundation.org.