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Abigail Godsall

Abigail Godsall

Wye Gymnastics and Galaxy Cheerleading has been presented with the coveted StreetGames Engaging Women and Girls Award. The award recognises those who have made significant contributions to promoting women and girls’ involvement in sports and physical activities, encouraging increased and sustained participation for these groups.

During 2020, sports clubs nationwide grappled with various challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some clubs were able to reopen and resume their operations, Fantastic Gymnastics, a small gymnastics club offering girls only gymnastics classes in Butetown, found itself unable to reopen. The Wye Gymnastics and Galaxy Cheerleading management committee conversed with the lead coach of Fantastic Gymnastics, and together, they developed a strategy that allowed the club to reopen and provide gymnastics classes to the diverse communities of Butetown.

When speaking about the inspiration to take on the project in Butetown, Carly, the clubs CEO, said ‘We are passionate about inclusion in the workplace and are keen to ensure that opportunities are provided to all that wish to participate. We are committed to delivering to all who want to access the sport and with this vision we hope to be able to expand opportunities in various other areas‘.

The club has flourished since reopening in March 2022. They have had over 150 girls take part in gymnastics from a variety of backgrounds. In the summer of 2023, the club launched the Fit and Fed programme, which successfully engaged 92 girls in free, multi-sport activities along with a free hot meal during the summer holidays.

Additionally, the club has now hired 5 women from the local community and established a Young Leaders Academy, empowering girls aged 12 and older to volunteer in sessions, undergo training, build their confidence, and serve as role models for younger girls in their club. On top of all their other work, the club has provided bursaries to four families that cover 50% of their costs to help them continue their involvement in the sport.

Speaking about the clubs’ experience branching out into new areas, Carly stated, ‘The community were so welcoming and really open to change and development. We have found this project so unbelievably rewarding and something we believe could be replicated and have a huge impact in the communities and areas we target.’

The club is constantly growing and improving and has now facilitated a women’s coaching course and invested in new equipment for the venue. Carly’s’ advice for clubs looking to develop provisions in new areas is, ‘Speak to the community, it is so important to forge relationships, not only with the community first and foremost but also the local schools, the local council and with your NGB for any support that can be provided’. She also spoke about ensuring the staff are culturally aware and the importance of adaptability.

As Wye Gymnastics and Galaxy Cheerleading celebrate their StreetGames Engaging Women and Girls’ Award, their commitment to inclusion and empowerment shines brightly. They’ve shown what’s possible with dedication and heart, setting a powerful example for others.

If you have been inspired by the work from Wye Gymnastics and Galaxy Cheerleading and are looking to reach out to new communities, take a look at the training courses Diverse Cymru have on offer and contact your area development officer for more support.

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