Members of the senior and junior men’s artistic squad have begun their coaching journey, in a bid to inspire the next generation of budding gymnasts.
Gymnasts have recently undertaken the latest practical and theory sessions of their UKCC Level 1 Men’s Artistic Coaching Award at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, with the scheme supported by both British Gymnastics and the English Institute of Sport (EIS) Performance Lifestyle team.
Paul Hall, Head National Coach for Men’s Artistic Gymnastics said: "The initiative to give our national squad gymnasts the opportunity to gain a level 1 coaching award is an excellent way of creating expert coaches to secure the future of our sport. It’s a way of recognising and supporting their efforts and expertise should they wish to pursue a career in gymnastics."
The course has been broken down into bitesize chunks to fit around the gymnasts training camps when at Lilleshall. The seniors began their course last November, the juniors started theirs in January, and final assessments are due to take place in August.
On Monday evening, senior gymnasts including Adam Tobin, Dom Cunningham, Donell Osbourne, Jamie Lewis, Joe Cemlyn-Jones, Joe Fraser, Joshua Nathan, Nile Wilson and Pavel Karnejenko continued the theory part of the course.
Then on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, following training, junior gymnasts Jake Johnson, Korben Fellows, Matthew Boardman, Raekwon Baptiste, Sam Mostowfi and Sam Ghinn took part in the practical part of the course.
Junior gymnast Sam from Peagsus said: "I’m really enjoying it. It’s nice to be doing something that I can take back to my club, and my coach is really supportive of the idea.
"It’s also good because I’ve now got some perspective on what my coach sees. I can hopefully use some of the things I’ve learned to improve my own gymnastics too."
Gymnasts from clubs local to Lilleshall have also helped, providing the coaches with hands-on practical experience across the apparatus.
Richard Smith, Education Programme Manager at British Gymnastics said: "As a performance athlete it can be very tough to try to develop yourself as a person as well as an athlete. We believe it is important that we support them whilst they are a member of the national squad.
"We know the athletes have the technical knowledge, but it has been great seeing them put this into practical coaching.
"We want to ensure they are ready for life after being a gymnast. By gaining these qualifications we hope to keep the knowledge and expertise they have learnt as a gymnast in the sport."
Interested in starting your coaching journey? See the full list of available courses.