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This week is National Coaching Week 2019 and so we'd like to say a big thank you to our inspiring coaches that have dedicated so much time and effort to making sure that our gymnasts are the best they can be - both in and out of sport. 

Over the coming week (3rd - 9th June) we'll be sitting down with some of Welsh Gymnastics' brilliant coaches to find out more about what they do, why they love it and what it means to be a gymnastics coach. 

First up is Olivia Bryl! Olivia is our Women’s Artistic National Junior Coach and has been coaching at Welsh Gym ever since her retirement from gymnastics in 2009.

She not only coaches those full time gymnasts who train at Sport Wales within the Welsh Gymnastics centralised programme, but also runs the monthly development squads that take place for gymnasts aged 6-9 years old.


Hi Olivia. Tell us a bit more about your role

“Being a coach is so much more than just coaching!  We spend so many hours with the gymnasts as they train 6 days / 26 hours a week, and through this you are able to build good relationships with the gymnasts and get to know how each individual works best.

I try to not only coach the girls to be the best gymnasts they can be, but also the best people they can be. In doing this, gymnastics teaches them so many life skills, in and out of the gym which they will use in their life and beyond their gymnastics career.”

How did you first get involved in gymnastics?

“My Aunty did gymnastics and also then coached at Barry YMCA, so she took me down to the gym because I was quite active at home. I was looked at by the head coach, and that was it! I took part until 2009 and now have spent the last ten years as a coach – it’s scary how fast that time has gone!”

What’s your favourite part of coaching?

“The best thing about being a coach is seeing our gymnasts achieve their goals through the enjoyment of the sport, and the happiness that this brings them! Gymnastics is a very tough sport and like all sports it comes with a rollercoaster of a journey, but it makes those 'highs' even more special.”

What has been your gymnastics highlight?

“When Wales won the Team Bronze Medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - it was an unforgettable moment as I knew how much it meant to everyone.” 

"I love gymnastics because...

The people who work within the sport are so passionate and it can offer you so many amazing opportunities. From travelling the world, to meeting new people, it teaches you so many life lessons from an early age. It has always been such a big part of my life, from being a gymnast myself and I am so thankful for all the opportunities this sport has given me.”