Last weekend’s National Awards marked the start of a busy and exciting year for our sport and was the setting for a number of key moments.
Sir John Major’s welcome
The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH, Patron of British Gymnastics, began proceedings by welcoming all of the esteemed guests in attendance. In his keynote speech, Sir John reflected on success from the last 12 months and praised the different groups of people that are part of the gymnastics community.
"As someone with a damaged leg, but even before that was never particularly graceful, I am full of admiration for our gymnasts. Admiration for their skills, their grace, their courage, their perseverance and of course for their successes. Gymnastics is an art as well as a sport and every single one of their successes is a reward of dedication and high-quality coaching.
"We need more than the gymnasts themselves; we need the hidden heroes of gymnastics. The coaches, the administrators and the many men and women who are former gymnasts and give up their time voluntarily to build our sport. Of course, none of this could happen without the vast array of parents, families and friends who ferry young gymnasts up and down the country, encouraging them and sometimes having to console them. Of all the sports that I know in this country, gymnastics seems to be the most family orientated and that is a very, very great strength for the future of our sport."
Facility fund initiative announced
Sir John also helped to announce a new facility investment initiative which is set to be launched formally in April this year. The new facility investment initiative will allow clubs and delivery partners to apply for low interest loans to invest into gyms and facilities to accommodate more gymnasts.
"We need to expand grass roots facilities, in order to encourage more and more young people to join our clubs and become an active part of our sport. We will be investing £7.5 million into new and improved facilities over the next few years."
Lilleshall competition winner revealed
Joe Fraser, one of our Athlete of the Year recipients, announced City of Edinburgh Gymnastics Club as the winners of our ‘Win a day at Lilleshall’ competition. They will be joining us at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre later this year and will have the chance to train in our newly refurbished gym and meet some of our GB gymnasts.
This year the theme of our National Awards was to #CelebrateAmazing! From passionate coaches to dedicated volunteers, the room was full of inspirational figures who are doing amazing things to help our sport thrive. We will continue to recognise outstanding contributions and feats of success through our #CelebrateAmazing campaign. More on this will be revealed in the coming weeks!
Winners and recipients celebrated!
The main purpose of the evening was to celebrate and reward remarkable individuals who have gone above and beyond in gymnastics. From grass roots to elite, just under 400 people were acknowledged for their achievements.