Celebrating Mary Louise Wright

The power of gymnastics clubs is inspiring

Mary Louise Wright is a perfect example of just what can be achieved by our gymnastics clubs given space and time. Recently recognised in the Queens New Year’s Honours List and awarded a British Empire Medal, she’s now been nominated for an Education Award through British Gymnastics for her work in helping develop preschool gymnastics education.

In more than 30 years of coaching this highly regarded figure in the sport has helped many dreams come true and offered lots of young people the chance to become fit, healthy and have fun along the way. In fact, she runs the Tooting Gymnastics Club in South London which is now so popular with parents and youngsters alike its waiting list is seemingly endless!

British Gymnastics

The sport’s governing body were keen to celebrate her achievements, and at the same time demonstrate they are there for all aspiring clubs.

“What I enjoyed most about the National Awards was the recognition from British Gymnastics in being nominated,” said Mary. “They have done a great job in communicating the National Awards to the gymnastics community and it has hopefully increased the profile of preschool gymnastics and what it’s about.”

Preschool gymnastics is a vital tool in getting young people involved in the sport at a very early age. It can open doors to a happy and healthy childhood and may even pave the way to future glory.

More importantly, it’s about being part of something special – just like the club at Tooting.

A Tooting Success

Tooting marks 30 years of success in April, but it’s not just about finding potential medal winners. The ethos of the club centres around teaching gymnastics to the highest standards and enabling youngsters to make new friends and encourage social interaction in a child friendly and safe environment. After all, when done correctly, gymnastics can be a character forming and recreational sport.

Mary and her hard-working team have continued to offer gymnastics sessions for more than 500 boys and girls. All of their coaches hold British Gymnastics qualifications, are DBS checked and have Safeguarding qualifications. This popular head coach has also ensured her charismatic club adheres to the principles of equality of opportunity, with equal access to all the facilities for everyone. She is in every sense a role model for how a gymnastics club should be run.

Mary added: “30 years is a long time, yet it sometimes doesn’t feel that long ago. I feel immensely proud of the club and what we have achieved over the years. It’s not just been me, but many, many people have been involved and there are some who are still involved with the club who have shared the journey with me. I didn’t set out to start a club, it has just grown organically, and I am forever grateful to all those that have been involved and those who will continue to be involved.”

The Queens Honour

The Empire Medal will be presented for her services to gymnastics and engaging children from her local community into the sport. In essence, this is what club gymnastics is all about. This is why clubs are always on the lookout for volunteers and staff who are passionate about helping their local community.

Mary explained: “I was surprised and a bit shocked! I really didn’t know anything about it until a letter arrived a few weeks before Christmas. When I then heard how the nomination had come about and all the people who were involved it was very emotional and obviously a huge honour. To have been nominated in the first place was amazing, but to have been given the BEM was something else! I am very aware that there are so many other people out there doing the same as me and more, so it’s been very humbling, and I am very grateful.”

Well Deserved

It should also be pointed out Mary was joined in the New Year’s Honours list by John Wills, the founder of Banchory Trampoline and Double-Mini Trampoline Club in Aberdeenshire.

Back in 2018, two of his members were chosen to represent Great Britain in Double-Mini Trampoline. John, who also gets a BEM, is the Trampoline Judging Convenor on the Scottish Gymnastics Technical Panel.

Both Mary and John will receive their medals later this year, no doubt in their own likeably modest fashion leaving inspiration behind them for others to follow.


Does admin take up all of your free time? If so, Gymnastics Club Manager can help.

Typically, we help reduce our clients’ time spent on admin by 80% whilst helping to improve their cash flow.

To book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our customer support specialists, click here – we’d love to hear from you.

Gymnastics Profile – Louis Smith MBE

Louis Smith MBE is well versed in taking to the stage at the highest level. So swapping one for another actually seems to be a logical switch. His recently announced retirement from gymnastics isn’t a case of ‘Rip it Up’, though that’s the musical he’s now co-starring in. So, it’s actually a case of from the high end to the west end for this pommel expert now set to enter the world of show-business.

Olympic Four Timer

Louis is a four-time Olympic medallist, carrying history on his shoulders having won Britain’s first medal on the pommel horse in 100 years in Beijing 2008. It was probably the most valuable Olympic bronze ever. It didn’t stop there of course, as he went on to win an individual silver and a team bronze at the London 2012 Olympics.

As yet another games arrived in Rio, Louis rose to the occasion with another silver on the pommel. By then he’d forged a reputation as one of the finest ever pommel horse workers. As a result, his achievements created a massive impact on the development of men’s gymnastics across the UK. A huge inspiration to the next generation of athletes, this Peterborough born artistic gymnast leaves a fantastic legacy.

His gymnastics experience is a unique nationwide gymnastics course for both girls and boys aged five to 12 years of age. It’s been custom designed to deliver all appropriate gymnastics disciplines for those just starting out, or for individuals who want to develop existing skills further. Those on the course are very likely to get a visit from the man himself.

Love of Gymnastics

Speaking after he’d announced his retirement on ‘Lorraine’, Louis said: “Gymnastics has given me everything. It gave me the tools necessary to channel my ADHD throughout my childhood, and as I grew up through the sport, I quickly found a purpose in life, and it has made me the person I am today.

From a young age it became my dream to compete at an Olympic Games and represent Great Britain, so to have had the opportunity to do that on three separate occasions, and bring home four Olympic medals in the process, is something I will forever cherish and for which I am eternally grateful.”

Sport to Show-Business

Smith, who also won three World Championship medals, was the winner of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing programme in 2012 alongside partner Flavia Cacace. There’s little doubt this is where the show-business bug really took shape, though he’d had previous ambitions as a singer auditioning for the X Factor in 2008.

Louis went on to take part in the 2014 Strictly Christmas special with guest professional, Aliona Vilani. He also performed in a live dance show called ‘Rip It Up’, starring McFly’s drummer Harry Jud, and JLS’ Aston Merrygold. If that wasn’t enough to impress, how about appearing on The Jump, only losing out to Made in Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews in the final? Not bad for a lad who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), at the age of six.

It’s clear from this the 29-year-old has a range of talents at his disposal, meaning the future looks very bright indeed away from the sport of gymnastics.

A Special Find

“I first met Louis when he was around seven years old. His mum couldn’t decide whether to send him on a choral scholarship or to go with gymnastics.” said British Gymnastics Men’s Head National Coach and Louis’ former personal coach, Paul Hall. “Seven years later, Peterborough Cathedral may have missed a boy soprano, but GB had a Junior European Champion on Pommel Horse.”

Recognised by Britain

Celebrated for services to gymnastics he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list. His legacy is a reminder of just what can be achieved both in and through this wonderful sport. And the message from Louis is anyone from any background can succeed given the will and determination.

Speaking further about Louis, Paul Hall said, “his contribution deserves to be recognized. Four Commonwealth medals, seven European medals, five world medals, four Olympic medals, and one Glitterball. Great job Louis!”

The Stage Is Set

Despite Louis Smith swapping one stage for another, it certainly seems that he has a lot to offer. We can’t wait to see what he does next.


No-one likes admin, so why spend more time than you need to doing it?

Typically, Gymnastics Club Manager helps its clients reduce their time spent on admin by 80% whilst improving cash flow.

To book a free, no-obligation consultation and speak to one of our customer support specialists, click here – we’d love to talk to you.

Celebrating Inspirational Achievements

The British Gymnastics Awards 2019

It’s one of the highlights of the busy gymnastics calendar and the culmination of years of dedication for many of those involved. The British Gymnastics National Awards 2019 will be recognising all that’s great and good in the sport. And it’s of course fitting, the governing body helps pay tribute to all the wonderful people and clubs up and down the UK.

Birmingham Town Hall will provide the backdrop for what looks to be another enthralling and sociable evening bringing some very special individuals together on January 29th.

Valuable Roles

It’s a fact there are some incredibly inspirational human beings within the gymnastics family, and everyone from the athletes themselves to coaches, admin staff to volunteers, parents to organisers, have a valuable role to play. Both recognising and celebrating their achievements is always a joy to behold. Anyone nominated can feel justifiably proud their efforts have been taken into consideration, and of course, making the shortlist is a huge compliment in itself.

With all this in mind, the nominations have been officially announced, and it makes for fascinating reading. Let’s take a closer look at the lineups!

The National Club Award

This award officially recognises a club affiliated to British Gymnastics, providing a first class quality experience for all their members. It’s also a reminder of how important the feel, welcome and professionalism of a club can be.

Three clubs have been shortlisted this time, and they include AAA Sports of Sunderland, DC Gymnastics in Berwick Upon Tweed and The Pegasus Gymnastics Club based in Maidstone. Each is a club of outstanding quality with an a superb reputation and example for others to follow.

The National Volunteer Award

We’ve touched on the contribution of volunteers in the past, and this particular award recognises a volunteer over the age of 18 whose contribution to gymnastics has been invaluable. It also takes into account just how vital their work has been behind the scenes. Michael Gevaux, Sandra Crowe and Su Kileen are shortlisted on this occasion, shining lights within the gymnastics community.

The National Young Volunteer

It’s not always easy to give up your free time when there are so many things going on in our younger years. So this special award is aimed at those who provide enthusiasm in helping others enjoy the sport. Step forward Alice Elizabeth Corden, Amber Turner and Bradley Welsh. Every one a background star.

The Equality And Inclusion Award

Both diversity and equality are significant in gymnastics. As a result, the governing body has created this prestigious award for those who demonstrate these values through the delivery of a quality inclusive gymnastics programme.

It was no easy task finding the final three, but the judges arrived at Kelly Morrow from Club Gymfun and both Woking and Nuneaton Gymnastics Clubs.

The Education Award

The vital delivery of coach education is always looked upon as one of the key areas of the sport. In fact, it plays a crucial role. This is an award for people who bring excellence to the table in their own delivery.

Gary Kirby, the Pre-school Panel and Paddy (Alan) Lavelle have been shortlisted for the 2019 title.

The National Safeguarding Award

It’s already clear there are so many valuable roles within gymnastics. So many parts we can all play. And in this fast moving age, none are more important than keeping children both safe and protected. This is is why it’s totally necessary to recognise an individual who has delivered a committed and enthusiastic service to the welfare and safeguarding of the young ones.

Christine Cason, Jenni Harris and Mike Gevaux all fall into this category. Their work means parents especially can relax, safe in the knowledge their young ones will always be in a safe environment.

Recognising Gymnasts

We mustn’t forget the athletes themselves of course and there are several other awards paying tribute to a number of outstanding individuals. These include the Award of Merit, Nik Stuart Honorary Life Member, the Frank Edmonds Trophy and the Alex Strachan Trophy. Look out too for the Outstanding Coach of the Year and an award for the most outstanding athlete. There will also be inductions into the British Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Whatever happens, people will leave the event knowing their sport is in a wonderful place, and hopefully, it will inspire everyone for the next year and long beyond.

Short-listed Nominees:

National Club Award
– AAAsports, DC Gymnastics and Pegasus Gymnastics Club

National Volunteer Award – Michael Gevaux, Sandra Crowe and Su Kileen

National Young Volunteer Award – Alice Elizabeth Corden, Amber Turner and Bradley Welsh

Equality and Inclusion Award – Kelly Morrow (ClubFUN), Nuneaton Gymnastics Club and Woking Gymnastics Club

Education Award – Gary Kirby, Paddy (Alan) Lavelle and the pre-school panel

National Safeguarding Award – Christine Cason, Jenni Harris and Mike Gevaux


Are you looking to reduce your gymnastics club’s time spent on admin by 80%? If so, Gymnastics Club Manager can help.

To book a FREE, no-obligation consultation with one of our customer support specialists today, click here – we’d love to speak to you!

Trampoline, Tumbling and DMT World Age Group Championships – Special Delivery from Russia

The beautiful city of St. Petersburg proved to be the perfect inspiration for those athletes charged with representing Britain at the 2018 Trampoline, Tumbling and DMT World Age Group Championships. What’s more, it resulted in a magnificent haul of ten priceless medals, enough to show the world just how good our gymnasts can be. What made it even better was the fact the medals were won in all three disciplines across the age groups, though it’s true to say it was in tumbling the team really impressed. It also demonstrated the tremendous strength in depth we have within this area of the sport.

Tumbling

Age 17 to 21

The delightful Megan Surman from the City of Birmingham club certainly made the judges happy scoring 33.900 in her tumbling final. It was enough to secure a valuable gold, though praise must also go to silver medal winner and team-mate Aimee Antonius who finished just behind her with marks of 33.800. The Black Country was also celebrating as Jaydon Paddock stormed to victory in the men’s event amassing a total of 36.900.

Gymnastics Club Administrator of the Year Award – Winner Announcement

Gymnastics Club Manager created The Gymnastics Club Administrator of the Year Award to recognise the unsung efforts of all the gymnastics club administrators who go, for the most part, without thanks. 

The work they do both in front and behind the scenes of their clubs is crucial, so we wanted to recognise their efforts and put them in the spotlight for once. 

Having read through all the submissions, the whole team at Gymnastics Club Manager have been blown away by the number of truly incredible and dedicated people working at the clubs throughout the country. Everyone who was nominated should be hugely proud of themselves. 

That being said, we had to select a winner. So, congratulations to Kelly Wilson of Athena Sports Academy.

Kelly was nominated by Shaun Carruthers. We think her story is incredible and one certainly worthy of The Gymnastics Club Administrator of the Year Award:

“Kelly was simply ‘a parent’ just two years ago, attending the club with her two children in our Disability classes – shy and lacking any confidence to interact with other parents or staff. Kelly has never had an easy route in life but doesn’t take any time to complain about the misfortunes she has faced.

“With some persuasion, Kelly agreed to volunteer her time at one of our events. Since then, we have seen Kelly absolutely transform into a professional, approachable and organised individual who is now incredibly confident in herself and her ability – made even more so with the introduction of Gymnastics Club Manager.

“Kelly has embraced the system and is now our ‘super user’, spending her days on (and off!) ensuring that it’s accurate and up-to-date. She now volunteers 5 days a week, for hours at a time making sure our customers are looked after and it’s incredible to see her previously shy character develop into such a well-rounded individual. 

“Kelly, we really couldn’t do it without you and we really hope this nomination shows our appreciation.”

An honourable mention also goes to Mandie Adams of Forest of Dean Gymnastics Club who narrowly missed out – another exceptional administrator with a wonderful story which we will be sharing in the coming weeks.

We didn’t want Mandie’s efforts to go unrecognised either so we will be giving her a runner-up prize of a £200 Amazon voucher. 

Keep an eye on our social media in the coming weeks as we will be sharing the stories of all ten finalists. We think the work they do is incredible and we think the wider gymnastics community deserves to know about it.

On behalf of everyone at Gymnastics Club Manager, thank you for everyone who sent in a nomination. But, more importantly, thank you to everyone who was nominated for doing such an incredible job at your clubs – the gymnastics community is a better place thanks to your work.

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.

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.”


Do you work at a gymnastics club? Does admin take up all your time? If so, Gymnastics Club Manager can help.

Typically, we help our clients reduce their time spent on admin by 80% whilst drastically improving their cash flow.

To book a FREE, no-obligation consultation, click here.

Youth Olympic Games – An Overview

British Gymnasts impress in Buenos Aires

Youth Olympic Games

The Youth Olympic Games

The gymnasts left these shores carrying high hopes and a real willingness to give everything in pursuit of medals at the Youth Olympic Games. On their return, every single team athlete could feel proud of their achievements. And there were certainly five great reasons to smile with the word, ‘final’, constantly springing to mind.

First Day Feel Good Factor

To spring from ninth place up to fifth in a world competition is a feat in itself given the fine margins at play in the sport. Artistic gymnast Adam Tobin provided a wonderful example of what real character is all about, in doing just that. He conjured up a brilliant vault at a crucial time to leapfrog those directly in front of him and notch up an overall score of 79.573. He said: “I was pleased with fifth. I was in ninth at one point and had to do something spectacular to get back in the top six. I had to do the best vault I could, and I did, I stuck that and got a high score.”

As for high-level consistency, how does reaching five finals in total sound in vault, floor, pommel, rings and parallel bars? There may have been no medals, but for North Devon based Adam, who gave the eventual winners a real run for their money, it offered up hope for future success.

In short, he was a credit to the team.

Second Day Supremacy

Day two at the Youth Olympic Games largely belonged to the amazing Amelie Morgan who blitzed her way to a Silver in the all-around event. Pressure is something the young Buckinghamshire gymnast takes in her stride. Amelie sat fourth following early routines needing to produce something special to get into the medals. And the athlete responded with a couple of completely unblemished performances to power her way into second place. She told the media: “I’m over the moon to be stood here in second place at the Youth Olympics. I was definitely a bit more nervous coming into this event knowing that the standard was that much higher than what I’ve competed against before. I just went out there and did the best that I could, and it’s paid off.”

Mason Younger – British Gymnastics’ Star Volunteer

Volunteer

The Epitome of a First-Class Volunteer

Mason Younger is the epitome of what a good volunteer should be. In fact, he’s the brightest of beacons in terms of selfless dedication, great character and personal sacrifice. So much so, this wonderful 18-year-old has been recognised at the recent 2018 Trampoline, Tumbling and DMT British Championships for his incredible dedication to volunteering in recent years. This very likeable young man has volunteered at nearly every British Gymnastics event for the past four years, regularly giving up his weekends. It’s clearly something he loves, and this year alone Mason has volunteered at 11 separate British Gymnastics events and was most recently involved as a volunteer for two weeks in Glasgow for the European Championships. For him, it’s a total labour of love.

A Priceless Presentation

Back in Birmingham Mason was presented with a commemorative framed poster of the event, signed by all of the senior trampoline gymnasts. But it became even better when the youngster was also given a photo montage of the events he helped at which was signed and autographed by those he volunteered with.

It was a truly wonderful moment and one he fully appreciated; Mason said: “It’s amazing to be recognised for the volunteering I’ve done. That’s not the reason I volunteer, but it is great to be recognised. I just enjoy the experience of volunteering with a team and the opportunities that come with it. I really want to keep volunteering with British Gymnastics as they’re great to work with.”

Product Update – September 2018

Product Update

In this month’s Product Update, we detail our latest enhancement – improved functionality for removing members from a group. And, as always, we give you a sneak peek at some upcoming functionality in development.

To find out everything we’ve been up to through September, keep reading.

New Enhancement: Remove from Group

What’s New…

Previously, when in a member’s record and attempting to remove them from a group, it was necessary to make sure the relevant group form was displayed in the ‘Select which form you would like to view/edit’ first.

This meant that you were only able to remove a member from one group at a time.

The new enhancement enables you to remove a member from multiple groups in one easy step whilst in their record.

Step 1: To remove a member from a group, you first need to go into the member’s record.

Step 2: From here, hover over the ‘Member’ icon and select ‘Remove from group’.

Step 3: You will then see a pop-up box appear displaying the groups which you can remove the member from. Tick the groups you wish to remove the member from and click ‘Remove’.

Step 4: Another pop-up will then appear asking, ‘Remove contact from selected group(s)?’. Click ‘OK’ if you are happy to remove the member from the selected group(s).