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Welsh Gymnastics had a bumper evening at the British Gymnastics National Awards.

The awards recognise and celebrate the most inspiration and influential people within the gymnastics community and are a chance to say thanks to the unsung heroes of our sport.

It was a record year for Wales as we had three entries shortlisted. Debra Cavill for volunteer of the year, Heather Sargent was up for the inclusive gymnastics award, while Valleys Gymnastics Academy was up for the National Club Award.

Getting three nominees shortlisted was a great achievement as there are only six categories in the whole awards event.

All three were up against tough competition, but Welsh Gymnastics were thrilled when Debra and Heather were announced as winners of their categories.

On awarding Llanelli Gymnastic’s Debra Cavill with her award, the judges remarked that Debra’s tireless work in all parts of the club had helped it flourished. Its coaches have increased from five to 26, and its members from around 100 to 500 members in the past four years.

Debra said: ““I am overwhelmed to receive this award and I would like to thank the Welsh Gymnastics for nominating me; my club for supporting me and my family for understanding my love for my chosen sport. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart!” 

Heather Sargent was awarded the inclusive gymnastics award for her work at Rebounders Trampolining Club. Heather was recognised for her commitment and enthusiasm to the development of gymnastics for disabled people through the delivery of an inclusive trampolining programme.   Rebounders was established as a trampoline club for any disabled child or adult who are unable to or dont feel comfortable taking part in a mainstream class.

The judges said of Heather that her tireless efforts have enabled more people than ever with disabilities to participate in trampoline gymnastics in Cardiff. As well as over 200 children and adults now taking part in weekly classes spread across 6 days a week, she has also helped children achieve success at British level.

Although Valleys Gymnastics Academy didn’t win in their category Valleys Gymnastics founder Melissa Anderson said that they were thrilled to be shortlisted in such a competitive category.

Welsh Gymnastics CEO, Rhian Gibson, said: “We are so proud of all of our Welsh Gymnastics community, but to have three shortlisted in the National Awards is an amazing achievement.

“The work that Heather, Debra and all the team at Valleys Gymnastics put into our sport is admirable and it is testament to the way our sport is growing and developing in Wales.”

Rhian added: “Well done to all of you and thanks for flying the flag for Welsh Gymnastics.”