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Welsh Gymnastics has today (4 May 2016) been awarded the insport NGB Silver standard from Disability Sport Wales, for its efforts and commitment to ensuring opportunities for all within the sport.

Presented to the Chair of Welsh Gymnastics, Helen Phillips, by Executive Director of Disability Sport Wales, Jon Morgan, at the National Women’s Artistic training facility in Sport Wales, the award marks the next milestone in the NGB’s disability pathway since achieving Bronze insport NGB standard in February 2014.

There are now 22 insport gymnastics clubs across Wales and 317 affiliated disability members, with 17 disability-specific competitive opportunities in place, including the Men’s and Women’s Welsh Championships, Gemau Cymru and the Rotary Welsh Schools Disability Competition. The latter saw record numbers of participation in 2016, with 625 disability gymnasts from 63 schools partaking across nine regional rounds; a 38% increase on 2015.

Executive Director of Disability Sport Wales, Jon Morgan; “I am delighted to present Welsh Gymnastics with our insport Silver Standard, as one of the first governing bodies in Wales to come through the programme. The panel were really impressed by the commitment and the effort, not just of the officers on the ground but from the entire community of gymnastics. There is some really innovative work going on and great practice to be shared with other sporting governing bodies. I welcome Welsh Gymnastics coming through our Gold Standard in the future.”

Welsh Gymnastics’ application for a Kick Start Equality and Human Rights Funding proved successful back in June 2015, when the governing body was awarded £9106 from Sport Wales to help with its mission to support affiliated clubs to build their infrastructure and raise awareness surrounding inclusivity. A total of 16 clubs were chosen from across Wales to share in the funding to help upskill workforce. One year on, 27 coaches, 55 volunteers and 32 teachers have now received Disability Inclusion Training (DIT) and shared in over 90 hours of mentoring from three disability mentors.

The panel welcomed the Welsh Gymnastics on-going collaboration with Disability Sport Wales and insport Club, which has resulted in a more focused delivery at club level, identified as being clearly targeted and set to ensure long-term sustainability and an increase in standards of development, training and support.

Chair of Welsh Gymnastics, Helen Phillips; “Inclusivity is embedded within our organisation. I, along with my colleagues, will continue to strive to ensure that gymnastics is accessible to every child in Wales, irrelevant of impairment or disability. Disability Inclusion Training is encouraged across the community of staff, coaches, leaders and volunteers, while clubs across Wales are showing their commitment to offering gymnastics for all. It is vital that we continue to evaluate our progress in workforce development, programme support and the on-going exciting possibilities for expanding disability gymnastics in the future.”