It is with sadness that we announce the death of Geoff Bott, a former British Gymnastics Deputy President of Administration, who passed away peacefully on Saturday after many years battling heart conditions, aged nearly 89.
Geoff served the association for over 30 years in many roles. He started his career in gymnastics as a PE teacher in several schools, before becoming director at Leeds Athletic Institute where he met Dick Gradley and George Whitely at Carnegie College, whose persuasion and enthusiasm soon convinced Geoff that his future lay in gymnastics and sports administration.
In 1965, he assisted Jim Prestige with the management of the Vienna Gymnaestrada with a 400-strong contingent and in 1967, after four years at the LAI, Geoff was appointed to be the first Director of the prestigious Billingham Forum Co. Durham. By 1973 Geoff had moved again, this time to Northampton where as Chief Leisure Officer his responsibilities were more than ever, yet he found time to give valuable service to British Gymnastics. He became Deputy President Finance in 1969 and since then held almost every administrative office within the Association. He was also a major influence in the English Schools Gymnastic Association of which he became Chairman and was appointed as a representative on the FIG European Gymnastics Union.
Geoff leaves his wife Jenny, who like her husband has held a deep involvement in many aspects of gymnastics, where as a PE teacher at Slough College she took every advantage of the College facilities to promote an active and progressive gymnastic club. Jenny has also been a qualified judge and has been an author and publisher of many coaching books. With the advent of rhythmic gymnastics and the subsequent rise in popularity of the new sport, Jenny moved away from the main stream artistic gymnastics and devoted all her energies to the new medium. She became Hon. National Coach and Chairman of the Rhythmic Technical Committee. While caring full time for Geoff, she still manages to contribute to coaching at her club.
Geoff Bott had a huge influence on the early financial and administrative development of British Gymnastics and his contribution undoubtedly paved the way for the success we enjoy today.