The British Gymnastics Foundation has had a year to remember. Alongside a host of fundraising success stories, they now have Kristian Thomas and Beth Tweddle MBE as ambassadors for two of their programmes, they’ve released ground-breaking research conducted by Age UK and they've even appeared on prime-time national TV.
The Love to Move programme has been the major success story of the past 12 months. Most notably, the charity received £499,991 of National Lottery funding from Sport England which will assist a four-year project to develop and expand the programme, which is a chair-based gymnastics exercise programme, designed to get older people moving more.
The charity also launched a crowdfunding campaign which raised over £14,000 to go to the same cause.
To coincide with the crowdfunding campaign, a booklet including exercises from Love to Move was made available for download. The booklet has been downloaded more than 75,000 times! Research conducted by Age UK was also released which reported that the programme shows “demonstrable benefits in the physical, emotional and cognitive aspects of older people.”
Alongside the release of Age UK’s research, British Gymnastics Foundation Manager, Patrick Bonner, was invited on to the BBC Breakfast sofa to show some of the key exercises of the programme, allowing a national audience of 4.5 million people to see the great work they are doing.
Two-time Olympic gymnast and British Gymnastics legend, Kristian Thomas, agreed to become an ambassador for the Love to Move programme and lead coach Kim Hall has received recognition for her exceptional efforts, finishing runner-up at the European Commission’s Sport Awards in the Local Hero category.
Away from Love to Move, the Hardship Grants programme has awarded just over £17,000 to 73 British Gymnastics members in 2017, ensuring they stay in the sport of gymnastics despite going through a time of financial hardship. In November, the charity was also delighted to announce Beth Tweddle MBE, Olympic medallist and multiple World champion, as an ambassador for the scheme.
People have completed the London Marathon, Tough Mudder events, an Inflatable 5k fun-run and hosted a yoga weekend to help raise additional funds for the Foundation, and Tumble, the Foundation bear, can now be bought from the British Gymnastics Gymshop, with profits going to the charity.
In 2018 the charity will continue to transform lives through gymnastics. If you want to find out more about the British Gymnastics Foundation and how you can help, visit their website.