Introducing our Equality & Inclusion and Safeguarding Award nominees - British Gymnastics

Introducing our Equality & Inclusion and Safeguarding Award nominees

Safeguarding Equality and Inclusion
In just over two weeks’ time some of the most inspirational people within our gymnastics community will be recognised and celebrated at the 2020 British Gymnastics National Awards.

The evening will take place on Saturday 25th January at The International Centre, Telford, with several awards set to be presented on the night.

One of those awards is the National Gymnastics Award for Equality and Inclusion, and this year will see two awards presented. One award will recognise an individual and one will recognise a club or organisation with both having demonstrated their ability, commitment and enthusiasm to reducing inequalities and widening access for their community, through an inclusive gymnastics environment for all who want to be involved.

Meet the nominees;

Individual award
Joanne Dicken 
Joanne has been involved in delivering inclusive gymnastics opportunities for 30 years and has made a huge impact in that time, most recently as part of Stainsby School of Gymnastics. She engages with the community and has greatly increased the number of opportunities for those in the area, regardless of ability or additional need. Joanne coaches gymnasts with cerebral palsy, hypermobility, down syndrome and sensory loss, and continues to impact the lives of those she teaches.

Jacqui Taylor 
Jacqui has been developing opportunities for disabled children in gymnastics for more than 14 years as part of Richmond Gymnastics Association. During the summer holidays, she works alongside Brentford Football Club, organising multi-sports programmes for children within the area. Jacqui is also the disability representative on the Acrobatic Technical Committee and has been instrumental in developing the Acro Stars Disability Programme for London Gymnastics. 

Club or organisation award
Trafford Trampoline Club 
Trafford Trampoline Club has had an incredible year. As well as linking with two local schools, where their coaches run regular after school clubs, they have also held two disability taster sessions. Disability gymnasts from the club have also won medals at regional level, which have in turn led to them competing at the English and British Championships. In August, the club entered their first gymnasts into the Adult British Championships, with a team of 10 competing. 

Valleys Gymnastics Academy 
Valleysmake sure that the community is at the heart of everything they do. They work hard to engage with young people from socially deprived communities and over the last four years have prioritised their inclusive provision for children, young people and adults. The club hosts weekly drop-in disability gymnastics sessions and offer competitive opportunities for children and young people with disabilities. 

Another award presented on the night will be the National Safeguarding Award, which recognises a British Gymnastics member who has delivered a committed and enthusiastic service to the welfare and safeguarding of children within the gymnastics environment.

The final two nominees are;

Michele Cowan
Michele has made a huge contribution to the welfare of Abbey Gymnastics’ staff and members. She has been instrumental in the implementation of all the club’s policies and has become a well-respectedand approachable figure in the gym. She continues to excel in her role by regularly attending educational courses and earlier this year she played at key part in organising and overseeing the club’s attendance at the British Gymnastics TeamGym Championships and World Gymnaestrada.  

Claire Saporita 
Claire is a key member of staff at Robin Hood Gymnastics and has played a pivotal role in integrating new gymnasts into the club. She has built great relationships with the gymnasts, coaches and management team, introduced new policies and protocols and created a culture of open communication at the club. She has also developed close connections with her regional safeguarding officer and the welfare officer team.

See the full of nominees.