Volunteers from clubs up and down the country have been recognised as ‘Unsung Heroes’ for their contribution to grass roots gymnastics in their local communities.
A number of nominations were put forward to us at British Gymnastics, from clubs across the UK, and a group of 11 people were shortlisted and invited to our National Awards at Birmingham Town Hall where they were celebrated for their efforts.
Joanne Conroy [pictured second on left] was one of the volunteers selected and works with Warrington Gymnastics Club. She has been involved with the club for the past four years, helping the club with its fundraising activities, event organisation and its Leadership Academy.
When asked about how she felt receiving a nomination Joanne said; “I felt very overwhelmed! From my point of view, I don’t feel that I make that much of a difference, but it seems like I do and when I was told by Mandy, our Operations Manager that she had nominated me, I was speechless.
“It was really interesting speaking to the other volunteers from the other clubs on the night, finding out what they're doing, what they've achieved, what challenges they've faced and how they've overcome them, and it gave me lots of ideas to take away to my club."
Joanne is now looking to expand the club’s Leadership Academy, a national programme that is designed to create a structure which young people can follow to help them develop as leaders within gymnastics environments
“I want to help them realise how valued they are in the club because sometimes young people don't realise what they are doing matters, so I really want to do a push on that and get them working alongside the coaches to help them grow their confidence.”
Geoff Grant, Volunteering Support and Development Manager at British Gymnastics commented: “It’s fantastic to be able to recognise some of our outstanding volunteers who are part of the fabric of our sport.
“The group joined us at our National Awards and were greeted by other members of our community including many of our elite gymnasts who they were very pleased to see.
“We are constantly looking at ways to show our appreciation for our amazing volunteers who are working hard to keep people engaged in our sport every day and we will continue to have this in our minds as we move forward.”
Whatever you want to put in and whatever you want to get out, there’s a way for you to volunteer and have fun and do something amazing with your time.
Find out more about volunteering on our