Kristian Thomas Elected to Join the Athletes’ Commission

Kristian Thomas

It’s always great for the sport when a gymnast is rewarded for their professionalism, dedication and unselfish service to others. So, it’s fitting that two-time Olympic gymnast and multiple major championship medallist, Kristian Thomas, has been elected onto the BOA’s Athletes’ Commission.

This is, of course, an advisory group set up to ensure the athletes’ viewpoint and interests are at the heart of everything the BOA does. The Commission has 12 members, made up of a mixture of retired and current athletes from summer and winter sports.

It was founded in 2004 to represent the interests of athletes in Great Britain to major decision-makers in the sport. The brief also included assisting athletes in member sports to both setup and maintain athlete representative structures. It’s also specified that all candidates must have competed for Team GB at an Olympic Games or Olympic Winter Games within the past 12 years, and no earlier than Turin 2006.

A Sporting Honour

It’s a great honour for the 29-year-old former artistic gymnast from Wolverhampton to be chosen as one of five new members serving a four-year term from 2019 to 2022. It means Kristian will be at the heart of the decision-making process for Team GB so he can have a key part to play on how the sport continues to develop long into the future. No doubt his experience will be called upon frequently having performed at the highest level for a number of years.

He was, in fact, the first male gymnast ever to win a medal in ‘vault’, landing a bronze in the 2013 World Championships. Two years later he won his first major international title, securing gold in the floor exercise at the 2015 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships. And we can’t forget his contribution as part of the British team that won gold in the 2012 European Championships team event, and a historic bronze in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics.

For those who know Kristian well it comes as no surprise to see him further an ambition not just to help up and coming athletes, but also those currently working hard with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon. It’s a huge responsibility, but this exceptional athlete will surely take it all in his stride.

The Superstars of Gymnastics

Bringing out the very best talent

It was only a matter of time before a major new showcase event revolutionised the sport of gymnastics. And now it’s here in the form of ‘The Superstars of Gymnastics’. March 23rd, 2019 will become a red-letter day when this unique promotion raises the profile of the sport to a whole new level in terms of spectators, fans of the sport and organisers.

As the years go by, the sport has gained unprecedented levels of coverage on television, offering the opportunity for youngsters to see first-hand what’s involved. We all know it’s a powerful medium, of course, but by adding some glitz and glamour it’s hoped that some depth and excitement will be brought to the overall presentation of gymnastics live on Sky Sports.

A Dramatic Venue

There can’t be any better venue for this than the magnificent O2 Arena on the banks of The Thames, London – which when filled to capacity offers the most spectacular backdrop. It’s certain to provide an electric atmosphere, and naturally, there are some mouth-watering names taking part.

High-Profile Names

Though the full list has yet to be confirmed, everyone involved will be at the top of their discipline. And who better to lead the line-up than the irrepressible Max Whitlock MBE (a regular user of Gymnastics Club Manager!), who became Britain’s first ever gold medallist in artistic gymnastics winning both the men’s floor and pommel horse exercises at the 2016 Summer Olympics? Max is a five-time Olympic medallist and a glowing ambassador for the sport.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the Superstars of Gymnastics,” said Whitlock. “It is very, very exciting and it’s going to bring something never seen before. It will be a very different event from any other gymnastics event out there, and it will give the gymnasts freedom to perform anything they want to wow the crowds.

“I have had a think about my routines, and I have a few ideas up my sleeve and look forward to bringing something that has never been done. I think it’s about getting something that is very different and unique”

Gymnastics Club Administrator of the Year Award – Enter Now!

Gymnastics Club Administrator of the Year

Your chance to recognise the unsung superhero who keeps your Club running seamlessly. Nominate today to win a luxury weekend away for them with £500 spending money, £1,000 for your Club and a £100 voucher for the nominator. 

Do you know someone who is an admin-star? Someone who works tirelessly, always with a smile on their face, to do the job no-one wants to do at your Club?

If so, Gymnastics Club Manager would love to hear from you because we think it’s time we recognised all those good folk who go the extra mile to keep the world of gymnastics ticking. We want to showcase the work of these amazing people and ensure they get the recognition they deserve. So we’ve created the first-ever Gymnastics Club Administrator of the Year Award.

How it Works

If you know an unsung admin-hero who deserves recognition, simply click the button below to nominate your Administrator of the Year.

You’ll need to write a brief summary of why you feel they are worthy of this award and provide a ‘supporter’ who is prepared to endorse the nomination and list their name and mobile phone number. 

Nominations close on Friday the 7th of December. The Gymnastics Club Manager team will then select a shortlist of 10 nominees who will then be submitted to an independent panel, from which the winner will be selected. The judging process may include a phone or in-person interview for the leading contenders.

The Prizes

The winning Administrator will receive a luxury admin-free weekend for two at a hotel of their choice (up to the value of £500) and £500 spending money so they can put their feet up and enjoy a well-earned rest. Plus, their nominator will receive a £100 Amazon or M&S Voucher and the Club, £1,000!

So, what are you waiting for? Click the button below to nominate your Gymnastics Club Administrator of the Year today!

Nominate your Admin Superhero today - click here!

Lucie Colebeck Retires

Taking a Final Tumble

Lucie Colbeck

European tumbling champion Lucie Colebeck has announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics.

There aren’t many sports that include natural retirements at the tender age of 22, but Gymnastics can certainly fall into that category. On closer analysis, however, the Pinewood Gymnastics Club stalwart has spent most of her early life as an athlete, and as a regular in the British tumbling team. Given all of this, she’s packed a fantastic amount into a colourful gymnastics career. It’s also true to say she has been one of our most successful athletes in her niche, winning a number of medals at both European and World levels.

Outstanding Athlete of The Year

Two years ago, Lucie was named Outstanding Athlete of the Year at the British Gymnastics national awards ceremony. She was recognised at the time for 15 years of amazing discipline. This included winning a silver medal at the World Championships, by being named the top athlete from the ‘non-Olympic’ category.

Through the years this excellent role model has combined her training with coaching both at Pinewood and several local schools, including Ludgrove in Wokingham. Tumbling may not be an Olympic discipline, but that hasn’t stopped her progress as a great exponent of the art. And it’s true to say she’s helped raise the bar in terms of high standards.

A Titled Presence

Lucie has experienced 12 British Championships, five Europeans, seven Worlds and a World Games. In this time, she’s won eight British and European titles, a couple World age titles, six World championship medals and a World Games medal. But more than that, she’s been a tremendous example to those starting out in the sport and can move on to new things with her head held high at what has been an emotional time.

Lucie said: “The gym family is something I absolutely love about being part of the Great Britain team. Each and every one of them is brilliant. It’s been amazing.”

“Personal triumph is not done with one person alone. It involves a whole bunch of people; coaches, judges, teammates, friends and family. Many, many individuals are involved in the road to success and there are lots of people I have to thank for their constant support, including my parents who have been fantastic.”

Tumbling Explained

To succeed long-term at Tumbling means marrying together the skills of artistic gymnastics and trampolining. In certain cases, a 52-metre-long spring track is utilised, and now the exercise is regulated, codified, performed and judged using acrobatic equipment of the same standard. A total of eight skills are used together by both male and female athletes.

The discipline has been an Olympic event only once, at the Olympics of 1932. It was a demonstration event in both 1996 and 2000. It is, however, one of the main events at the World Games and an annual World Championships event held in conjunction with the ever-popular Trampoline World Championships. Make no mistake, it’s a thrilling discipline to watch with exciting twists and turns, and no end of personal skill.

Getting a Taste

Many clubs offer tumbling taster sessions for anyone who would like to get involved, with an emphasis on simply enjoying the discipline. Recreational tumbling classes can be hugely enjoyable, and if you want to take things further, their coaches can offer the right advice and guidance. You can start from as young as eight years, and you know what they say? ‘It’s never too early to take up gymnastics’. Finding your local club online might be a good place to begin.

Looking Back

“The first time I jumped on the track I fell in love; fell in love for the first time and this will certainly be the hardest heartbreak I’ll have.”

“Getting to be a part of so many spectacular things that I would never have imagined this sport would allow me to do, the Common Wealth Games and the Olympic Games; I mean, WOW. To have the opportunity to go to Rio and show the world the art of tumbling was a massive honour and something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”


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SportsAid Week – September 24th-30th

Supporting the Next Generation of Athletes

SportsAid

One of the wonderful things about the sporting community is their generosity. So many charities and organisations have benefited from the good deeds of the sporting fraternity, and gymnastics is certainly no different. To this end, the arrival of early Autumn heralds the onset of ‘SportsAid Week’, and the chance to support one of our most important fundraising groups.

What is SportsAid?

This dynamic and visionary charity works hard to both encourage and support young athletes aged 12 to 16, providing them with an average financial reward of £1,000. In fact, this involves more than 1,000 athletes across more than 60 sports each year. And it’s driven by one determined ambition – to help the nation’s brightest sporting prospects develop their abilities and skills even further. The overall aim, of course, is to give them an extra push as they strive toward representing Team GB at future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

What Is the Key to SportsAid Week?

It’s all about fundraising on a major scale involving our National Governing Bodies, schools, universities, companies and even individuals with a passion for sport. And all this is before our Olympians and Paralympians get behind the scheme in a really big way. Everyone comes together to help generate major funding in a short space of time. Since its launch back in 2016, more than £90,000 has been raised for some very talented potential stars of the future.

Amelie Morgan Excels in European Championship

Britain's newest gymnastics star re-writes history

Amelie Morgan

It was always on the cards that new ground and new history would be written into the European Championship record books. But it’s such a fantastic boost for the sport to see it all being done by one of our finest junior gymnasts. In fact, The Academy at Portishead is still celebrating the achievements of Amelie Morgan, whose magnificent five medals became the most won by any British junior girl. If ever there was proof of the wonderful jobs our gymnastics clubs do up and down the country, this was it. And as ever, her thrilling exploits will have inspired people of all ages – such is the beauty of this sport.

Amelie Morgan – Raising the Bar

If we thought our flexible and highly efficient software was a winner, Amelie has shown us the bar can always be raised higher. Her Glasgow adventure began with a couple of extremely creditable medals in both the team event, where she helped earn a British Bronze, and the all-round competition earning a Silver. And of course, for most athletes, all of that would have been most acceptable in such a prestigious international arena. But this highly likeable 15-year-old was in no mood to make do, promptly bagging Bronze with a superb performance on the vault. Yet another Bronze would ensue following an impressive floor routine, but she’ll also be very proud of her second Silver claimed on the beam.

In short – there’s little doubt this was a scintillating performance, taken all in her stride.

Glasgow 2018 Multi-Sport European Championships

European Championships

Glorious Glasgow is dancing to the beat of the magnificent 2018 multi-sport European Championships. The city is pulsating with the vibe from athletes heading from every corner of the continent to Scotland’s second city, for 10 days of sporting bliss.

European Excellence

The Artistic Gymnastics European Championship taking place at the Hydro Arena is an integral part of the proceedings from the 2nd – 12th August. This is causing even greater excitement amongst the athletes, as they’ll have to chance to sample an Olympic type family atmosphere on UK soil. And in many ways, this can act to spur them on to even greater achievement.

This hasn’t been lost on star gymnast Ellie Downie who said: “It’s going to be amazing to perform on home soil, The Hydro Arena is a very memorable arena for me, it’s where we won our first World team medal, so it will be nice to be back there. I think the atmosphere is going to be incredible with the home crowd, and there’s going to be a lot of hype around it.”

The senior gymnasts are competing for team and individual apparatus titles, with the juniors contesting the team, all-around and apparatus events. As an added bonus, The European Gymnastics Federation has given British Gymnastics the rights to film all of Britain’s rising stars across male and female events.

Bobby Crutchley – New British Gymnastics Performance Coach Developer

The Role of a Lifetime...

Performance Coach Developer

Wirral born Bobby Crutchley has made the switch from Men’s Hockey Head Coach at Great Britain to Performance Coach Developer at British Gymnastics.

There were certainly a few eyebrows raised when he resigned his post at Bisham Abbey with little more than two years to go before Tokyo 2020. But the lure of a new challenge will certainly be to the benefit of our top-class gymnasts with the next Olympics in mind.

Moving from one sport to another may seem a brave move to many. It’s true to say, however, a wealth of experience in team-building, managing athletes and helping individuals to reach their peak can help in any area of sport. Well versed in preparing athletes for highly pressurised sporting environments is what he does best of course.

A Glittering Career

In an illustrious playing career, Bobby won 80 caps for England and Great Britain in the 90’s, before becoming a coach at Bath University.

Making Your ClubMark

ClubMark

Thousands of people across the UK take enormous pride in the work and running of their own gymnastics club. You wouldn’t expect anything else of course, given that magical sense of togetherness and belonging.

A fantastic amount of work goes into the running of a gymnastics club from administrators, volunteers, coaches and gymnasts. The good news is each and every one of those organisations can be universally acknowledged, as having the right environment in which all those involved can prosper in both comfortable surroundings and complete safety.

And it’s a fact, so much more can be achieved when all those involved are pulling in the same direction.

Totally Inclusive

Both large and small clubs can currently accredit to the very popular ClubMark scheme under the umbrella of British Gymnastics. And it’s reassuring to know, the sports’ major body in Britain is continuing to work with Sport England into the foreseeable future, in order to forge a solid batch of recognised clubs.

Paul Hall MBE – A Hall of Fame

The new Head National Coach for Men's British Gymnastics.

Gymnastics club software

Britain’s New Head Coach

He has a big mantle to carry but Paul Hall MBE can shine as brightly as the sun itself in his new role as British Gymnastics Men’s Head National Coach. If that famous old rugby union commentator Bill McLaren had been passing judgement, he’d have surely said: “They’ll be dancing on the streets of Huntingdon tonight.” For Paul has been a leading light at the town’s excellent Gymnastics Club since 2003. He has lectured for the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) across the globe and was awarded an MBE for services to the sport six years ago. He is in essence, a highly respected and regarded gymnastics figure with the feel of the sport very much at his heart.

The Driving Force Within

This likeable man will be practising what he’s preached over the years, having guided Louis Smith MBE to Olympic medal success at Beijing 2008, London 2012 and then Rio four years later.

But it doesn’t end there as his expertise steered Daniel Keatings to a historic world all-around Silver in 2009. In fact, his CV reads like a successful novel, with great reading at every page turn. Two Olympic Games, eight European and five World Championships, and a host of much smaller but telling achievements.

You see, Paul Hall isn’t just about medal winners – he’s also about grassroots and those club members who simply enjoy keeping themselves fit and healthy. This is why he is, without doubt, the right and inspiring choice moving forward.

British Gymnastics is changing in a positive fashion, and given the increasing profile of the sport, any head coach needs to be dynamic and understanding in their approach. You don’t have to win an Olympic medal to furnish a personal success of course. Mind you, men’s gymnastics teams around the world will have been making a note of the competition as Tokyo gets ever nearer.