Held at the Imperial War Museum in Cambridge on Saturday 21st October, community awards including the National Young Volunteer, Volunteer of the Year, Education Award, Safeguarding Award, National Club Award and Inclusive Award were all presented.
Congratulations to all of our nominees and winners.
National Young Volunteer Award
This award recognises a young person between the ages of 11 and 18 who has volunteered their time and enthusiasm to help others enjoy gymnastics.
Nominees: Phoebe Blair, Emily Harper & Alex McMullan
Winner: Phoebe Blair
During her time as a participating gymnast, Phoebe began picking up the sort of knowledge that would help her peers. She began implementing this knowledge without being prompted to do so. As soon as she was old enough, she started to volunteer coach and has since continued to develop her skills whilst competing for her club and school. Phoebe said: “It feels absolutely amazing to win. I’m so happy. If anyone wanted to volunteer, I’d say it’s an amazing thing to do and you get to see so many smiles on people’s faces.”
Volunteer of the Year Award
This award recognises a volunteer whose contribution to their club or region is seen as invaluable and their efforts are instrumental in the work behind the scenes. Their role is seen as vital and without them the club or region would not be the same.
Nominees: Sylvia Comber, Su Killeen & Susan Robertson
Winner: Susan Robertson
A former artistic gymnast, Susan was looking to give back to the sport she loves when she arrived at AAA Sports. On a daily basis she inspires and mentors coaches and gymnasts, as well as taking on a whole host of regional and national roles including as a judge, event official and regional committee member. Susan said: “There are so many good people that volunteer. I do it because I love it and I care about the people that are there. The sport has done so much for me and it’s great to be able to give back.”
This award recognises an organisation or individual who has played a crucial role in providing excellence in the delivery of coach education.
Nominees: Claire Chapman, Shelley Gonsalves & Elizabeth (Biz) Scales
Winner: Elizabeth (Biz) Scales
Biz has devoted most of her life to the sport of trampoline as an international coach, judge and coach educator. For 12 years Biz has led the way with trampoline coach education and has dedicated so much of her voluntary time for the benefit of the sport. Biz said: “It feels terrific. I was so shocked. I didn’t expect this at all. My work on the coach education panel has come to a conclusion but I’m still highly involved and I’ve still got plenty I want to do.”
National Safeguarding Award
This award recognises an individual who has delivered a committed and enthusiastic service to the welfare and safeguarding of children within the gymnastics environment.
Winner: Dawn Hyland
Dawn is a volunteer regional welfare officer who regularly attends meetings as directed by British Gymnastics, to determine the validity of complaints and safeguarding issues. Her professionalism is exemplary in gathering information in distressing situations. She is pro-active in addressing potential issues and has an open and friendly manner when carrying out audits at clubs that have asked for help. Dawn said: “I really feel this is an award that should go to all of the regional welfare officers. I love what I do, and that’s helping to make children feel safe in our sport.”
National Club Award
This award recognises a club which shows a commitment and passion for gymnastics, providing quality and enjoyable experiences to their members, through developing innovative ways to grow and improve the club. These clubs deliver British Gymnastics programmes and initiatives.
Nominees: Abbey Gymnastics CIC, Cambridge Gymnastics Academy & Valleys Gymnastics Academy
Winner: Abbey Gymnastics CIC
In its 17th year, Abbey Gymnastics CIC continues to grow both at club level and with its links to schools and community groups. As well as increasing the range of disciplines available to members, they have introduced a Healthy Eating Ambassador, provided opportunities to new and existing coaches and expanded their facilities. Alison McMullan, Founder of Abbey Gymnastics and one of the Club’s Directors said: “I can’t believe it actually. There are other clubs that are as deserving of the award as well and it must’ve been so hard to decide. We’ve been going 17 years now and we’ve had our ups and downs but the last couple of years have been exceptional for us. It’s been a beautiful event here at an amazing facility and we’re delighted.”
National Inclusive Gymnastics Award
This award recognises an individual or organisation that has demonstrated commitment and enthusiasm to the development of gymnastics for disabled people through the delivery of an inclusive gymnastics programme.
Nominees: Stephanie Martin, Richmond Gymnastics Association & Stacie Ridley
Winner: Stephanie Martin
Stephanie engages over 35 disability gymnasts a week and goes the extra mile to ensure that her gymnasts can participate in structured classes. Using adapted proficiency awards, she has also introduced a free roam class called GymFunPlusOne where friends and siblings can also take part. This exceptional work contributed towards her being awarded the British Gymnastics Northern Ireland Inclusive Coach Award in February 2017. Stephanie said: “I was really pleased just to be shortlisted and I honestly wasn’t expecting to win. I can’t wait to get back to my club and show the kids!”