Berkhamsted Gymnastics Club gets national recognition with award nomination

A Hertfordshire gymnastics club have received national recognition three years after rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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In need of a staffing overhaul, and forced to close its doors, Berkhamsted Gymnastics Club's days appeared numbered in March 2020.

Few could have predicted that just three years on from the start of the pandemic, they would be shortlisted for the Community Club of the Year (+250 members) gong at the British Gymnastics Awards.

Club consultant Carina Brown believes a refreshed emphasis on a family feel and fun for all has taken the crucial local facility to the next level.

Berkhamsted Gymnastics Club was nominated for a national award.Berkhamsted Gymnastics Club was nominated for a national award.
Berkhamsted Gymnastics Club was nominated for a national award.

"We nearly shut our doors before Covid-19, so actually being able to start again was a blessing in a way," said Brown, 33, from Hampshire.

"We were able to change the ethos and feel of the club, making it a place where people want to keep coming back instead of having a high turnover.

"It is pretty amazing, the journey that the club has been on, we are unrecognisable from where we were.

"We just wanted to open our doors to the community and be able to offer them the chance to get active again.

Berkhamsted Gymnastics Club has won a national award.Berkhamsted Gymnastics Club has won a national award.
Berkhamsted Gymnastics Club has won a national award.

"One of the big shifts since the Covid-19 Pandemic has been making the club not just about gymnastics skills but also about life skills as well.

"If our members stay in gymnastics or not, we can be part of their long-term journey.

"As we have got back on our feet, we have been able to open classes, and they have been filled immediately.

"Slowly, as we have developed the team, we have been able to maximise the opportunities we can offer the community, and that is fab - it's a great team."

The British Gymnastics Awards are community led and about championing those who make the sport an uplifting experience for all, with more nominations than ever before coming in this year.

It is the creativity, dedication and passion from people in the sport that make gymnastics an accessible, inclusive and enjoyable sport for all.

The nominations have been judged by panels made up of British Gymnastics committee members and external panellists from across UK Sport, Gymnova, Milano, Gymaid, Youth Sport Trust, Sport England, Women in Sport, The Include Summit, Sport and Recreation Alliance, The Sport for Development Coalition and GB gymnasts.

The 250+ Club of the Year award is presented to a British Gymnastics-affiliated club that provides a quality experience for its members.

Brown believes the prize would be an incredible way to recognise the hard work that has transformed Berkhamsted Gymnastics Club in recent years.

She added: "It would be absolutely incredible; we were just gobsmacked to be shortlisted.

"We were just so proud of the club and the journey that it has been on.

"It would be fantastic recognition for everyone behind the scenes and our wonderful coaches who make this happen on a day-to-day basis.

"And after the transformation, it would just be amazing.

"It is not for one person; it is about the team."

The British Gymnastics Awards celebrate those at the heart of gymnastics who create an uplifting experience for all. British Gymnastics has launched a new vision for a new era of gymnastics, learn more about Leap Without Limits here - https://www.british-gymnastics.org/vision