Valleys Gymnastics Academy has been awarded the Silver Insport Award for its dedication to inclusion and disability provisions for gymnasts.
The award, which was presented to Valleys Gymnastics Academy (VGA) by Disability Sport Wales, is given to those clubs that demonstrate inclusivity in their approach – this includes workforce development, communication and club procedures.
The Silver award is part of a series, and the team at VGA have already completed Ribbon, Bronze and Silver and are now working towards achieving Gold standard results, which they hope to complete very soon.
In order to facilitate inclusivity, for the past six months VGA has been running a series of dedicated disability sessions both at the Academy and in community venues around Merthyr Tydfil. It also runs a fully inclusive programme, which means that children with disabilities and additional needs are able to take part in mainstream sessions.
Several special schools and additional resource base-groups now attend VGA on a weekly basis and work with its coaches - using illustrated schedules and visual aids to help participants reach their full potential.
In addition to receiving the Insport Award, Valleys Gymnastics Academy also has a disability gymnast, Bethany Paull, heading to the Special Olympics 2019 to represent Team GB.
Bethany trains with both the mainstream squad and the disability squad at VGA. In 2017 she won the Special Olympics UK Games and she has now been selected to represent GB in the World Games in early 2019, which will be held in Abu Dhabi.
This is a brilliant opportunity for Bethany, who is also a young leader at VGA, assisting during recreational sessions and recently completing 50 hours of volunteering to earn her MV50 Sport Certificate. She is currently attending regular training sessions with the Special Olympics squad in preparation for the Games.
Welsh Gymnastics would like to send huge congratulations to Valleys Gymnastics Academy and to Bethany on their achievements.
For more information on VGA, visit www.valleysgymnasticsacademy.co.uk.