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Helen Phillips MBE steps down as Chair of Welsh Gymnastics

It comes with great commiseration that Helen Phillips MBE has decided to step down as Chair of Welsh Gymnastics.

Helen would like to thank you all for your dedication and commitment to the gymnastics community across Wales. Beverley Smith will serve as an interim Chair, and together with the board, will open the appointment process for the role of Chair at the end of September.

On announcing her intent to step down, Helen expressed her gratitude to have been a part of such a vibrant and talented gymnastics family: “I feel privileged to have worked in such a dynamic and inspiring sporting community. The commitment of the volunteers and club officials never fails to amaze me.

Our reputation as a leading sport in Wales is all thanks to you, our staff, our volunteers, and our trailblazing gymnasts.”

Welsh Gymnastics has achieved a lot during Helen's 18-year tenure in driving the sport forward with our members and support from our partners, British Gymnastics and Sport Wales:

  • In 2002, there were less than 2,000 members, now we have approximately 25,000.
  • The first NGB to achieve intermediate equality standard, and already preparing for advanced.
  • We achieved the silver InSport award.
  • In 2002, we had just 1 opportunity for gymnasts with a disability, this membership year saw up to 48 opportunities offered.
  • We are closely approaching 100 clubs with 60+ satellite clubs.
  • There are over 40 dedicated, full-time facilities.
  • We were the first traditional mid-size sport to become a limited company and competency-based board. 
  • 14 medals won across 3 Commonwealth Games.
  • Over £2m turnover with financial stability and appropriate governance policies. 

As a departing note, Helen would like to thank you all for making gymnastics what it is today: “I know that you will continue to cherish the sport we love and ensure that every child has the opportunity to be part of our wonderful family.”

So what is next for Helen? A few of you may know that Helen currently holds the office of Chair for Commonwealth Games Wales, and has recently been elected to the Sports Committee for the Commonwealth Games. In addition to this, Helen has agreed to be nominated for the prestigious role of President of British Gymnastics and voting will commence in the next few weeks. 

Whilst the succession of the key role has been planned over a 4 year exit strategy, Helen will continue to support Beverley and the board until a new Chair is appointed to ensure a seamless transition.

The board of Directors wish to acknowledge Helen’s outstanding contribution to the growth of its membership and success at every level during her 18 year tenure at Welsh Gymnastics. She led from the front with professionalism and the highest integrity. Whilst sad to see her go, there is no doubt that Helen will continue to have a positive impact on sport in its widest sense,  and Welsh Gymnastics would like to wish her well in all her future endeavours. 

Don’t forget to keep up-to-date with the latest news and activities via the Welsh Gymnastics social media channels.