National Awards: Award of Merit winners announced - British Gymnastics

National Awards: Award of Merit winners announced

On the 26th January 2019 the British Gymnastics National Awards will take place at Birmingham Town Hall, and will recognise and celebrate the incredible achievements of the most inspirational people within our gymnastics community.

As we build up to the prestigious evening, we will be announcing a host of the winners and our final nominees for awards such as the National Club Award and Young Volunteer of the Year Award to name just a few.

One of the awards that will be presented is the Award of Merit. This is presented to those who have provided an outstanding service to both us and the gymnastics community for a minimum of seven years.

We are delighted to announce that the following will be recognised in the New Year for their amazing contribution.

Katherine Boden
Katherine has made a significant contribution to British Gymnastics as a gymnast, coach and judge for the past 30 years. Having represented Britain as a junior gymnast, Katherine has gone on to judge at multiple major championships, including European Championships, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and many World Cups. Katherine has also played an important role in developing judging material for courses.

Kirsty Burt
Contributing to British Gymnastics for the past 20 years, Kirsty’s gymnastics journey began at just three years old as a gymnast. Competing until she was 21, coaching and judging soon followed. Kirsty has gone on to assist coaches and gymnasts in the run up to competitions at all levels, from club grades to Commonwealth Games. A judge at major competitions such as the 2014 and 2018 Youth Olympic Games and the 2015 World Championships, Kirsty has also volunteered at major events including London 2012.

Kirsty said: "I am very honoured to receive the Award of Merit, especially for doing something that I love. Gymnastics has been a massive part of my life and I am very grateful for the opportunities and support I have had. I have put a lot of time and effort into gymnastics judging as I feel it is important to give gymnasts the opportunity to compete. I have made some great friendships and travelled to some exciting places along the way."

Siobhan Divers
A gymnast, coach and judge for the past 30 years, Siobhan has given a lot to British Gymnastics. She was a member of the GB junior and senior squads and represented Britain at senior international events. Siobhan has served as a volunteer at major events including London 2012, is a highly qualified judge and has also helped to develop judge education for the sport. Major competitions judged include the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the 2018 European Championships.

Judith Brand
Judith’s contribution to British Gymnastics has been ongoing for more than 20 years. Initially involved in coaching through volunteering at Coalville Gymnastics Club, Judith started out in recreational classes before gaining further coaching qualifications before progressing to work with the elite gymnasts. Judith gained her first judging qualification in 1997 and has been a judge education tutor for the past 16 years, since 2002, delivering courses across the East Midlands region.

Olivia Bryl
Olivia has been involved in gymnastics for more than 15 years and has achieved an incredible amount in that time. An elite gymnast, Olivia competed at both the Commonwealth Games and World Championships before retiring in 2010. Now Junior National Coach, she received the Sports Coach UK ‘Young Coach of the Year’ award in 2012. Olivia judges voluntarily and has done so at three Commonwealth Games and multiple World Cups. She is also a judge tutor in the Welsh region.

Deanna Jefferies
Deana has been involved in gymnastics since 1987 when she set up Featherstone Gymnastics Club with her husband, gaining judging and coaching qualifications in the process. Her husband sadly passed away in 2009 and Deana took over his role of Head Coach, ensuring that his high standards of coaching and achievement would be maintained. A mentor to club coaches too, Deana has been the linchpin of the club for over 30 years, sharing her expertise and knowledge with all around her.

Gail Brady
Gail has dedicated over 30 years to the development and promotion of gymnastics. Both Gail and her husband Rick joined Brumby Gymnastics Club in 1983 as parent helpers, before taking their coaching qualifications. Gail also studied for her judging qualification, achieving ‘National Club Level’ and is now a head judge of Women’s Artistic Gymnastics and general gymnastics competitions at a regional level. In 2005 the duo took over the running of the club and continue to share their expertise, offering support where needed.

Rick Brady
Rick joined Brumby Gymnastics Club in 1983 as a parent helper with his wife Gail. Rick successfully qualified as a coach to a high level in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics and general gymnastics, coaching elite gymnasts from Yorkshire and the North during the 70s and 80s. A member of the panel that produced the first Code of Points for the Special Olympics, Rick also judges at special needs events, officiating at home country special Olympic competitions. Now Head Coach at Brumby with wife Gail, Rick also contributes massively to regional activities.

Rick said: "Gail and I are honoured to receive this award. We have both put our heart and souls into coaching gymnastics voluntarily for the past 35 years and have amassed over 70,000 hours of volunteering, so you can imagine how honoured we felt when we heard we had got this prestigious award. We are really looking forward to attending the National Awards."

Dexter Millen
Dexter has worked for South East Gymnastics for over 10 years and English Gymnastics for the last three years in the new trampoline competition programme. His work, in particular with the new horizontal displacement and time of flight machinery, has been valuable, quickly mastering how they work. A mainstay of all events in the South East region, in recent years Dexter has become a board member and also a lead committee member for the county of Kent.

Jayne Armitage
Jayne creates and manages the administration of competitions and medal ceremonies to a very high standard, and has done so for over 10 years on British Gymnastics events around the country, and in the South East. Jayne is noted for how she goes about her work, always approachable and positive whilst showing great dedication to supporting these events. Her contribution is highly valued and her experience considered second to none.

Jayne said: "To say I was surprised is an understatement. I feel both humbled and honoured to have been nominated for such an award."

Stephen Wood
Stephen started trampolining when he was six and competed at elite level for 13 years between 1988 and 2001. In 2006 he returned to the sport, going back to his club to coach before deciding in 2008 to return to competition. Manager and High Performance Coach at City of Salford TC since 2008, in 2012 Stephen became Chair of the North West Trampoline and Tumbling Technical Committee. Three years later, he took up the position of Chair of the England Trampoline, Tumbling and Double Mini Trampoline Technical Committee and is the main organiser of various England events.

Lynda Tee
After taking her daughter to Portsmouth Trampoline Club 30 years ago, Lynda has been involved in the sport ever since. Initially a volunteer at the Portsmouth Schools Novice competition as a recorder, she has continued as a club official ever since. She now officiates at regional and national level competitions and has been the treasurer of South Trampolining for 20 years. Similarly, when the regional management committee needed a treasurer, Lynda volunteered to help and has been in that role for over 15 years. She is invaluable to the region.