Skip to content
Close notice

Our website uses cookies to give you the best possible experience. Cookies are unique identifiers that we transfer to your device to enable our systems to remember your session and how you interacted with the website. They are not there to identify you personally. To find out more about the cookies we use, click here.

Welsh Gymnastics is delighted to confirm the appointments of three new Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) to further strengthen its Board – with a fourth joining in January 2021.

Dean Williams, Christopher McLarnon and Mark Petherick have taken up roles as Independent Board Members, with Melissa Anderson joining them early next year.

They join existing members Barbara Beedham, Sally Church, Dr Lisa Gannon and Tracey Singlehurst-Ward on the Board, which is chaired by Bev Smith.

Dean, pictured below, is an executive coach for senior leaders in business as well as being co-founder of The Business Coaching Academy and Leading Energy Profile Ltd.

An author of three leadership books, Dean has also served on the Board of a leading children’s charity and a non-league football club.

He said: “I am delighted to have secured my first NED role on the Board of Welsh Gymnastics – taking responsibility to govern the sport across Wales, maintain and grow a participative environment across the communities and, of course, help enable the elite gymnasts to thrive.

“I am ready to play my part in line with the Board responsibilities, including helping create and lead a response to the pandemic challenges that have impacted the sport.”

Christopher’s background is in project, programme and portfolio delivery excellence within the defence, intelligence and financial service sectors.

A formal Naval officer, he has been working within the IT & Information Systems fields for the last decade and currently heads up a team at BAE Systems preparing for the most ambitious programme of aircraft manufacture in the last 20 years.

“I am proud to have been chosen to act as a NED for Welsh Gymnastics,” said Christopher, pictured above.

“I will be helping Welsh Gymnastics exploit current and future technologies to make the organisation a pioneer in digital collaboration and communication.”

Mark, pictured below, brings with him over 20 years’ experience in business management, governance, marketing and event management.

He is also a former Welsh international gymnast at both junior and senior level, gaining experience at Cardiff Central Boys Club before moving on to represent Swansea Gymnastics Centre, both individually and as part of the men's team, on many occasions.

Mark says he brings a passion and understanding of the sport from grassroots through to international level and added: “I’m looking forward to working alongside and supporting a great and successful team.”

Melissa, who will join the Board in January, is Managing Director of the award-winning Valleys Gymnastics Academy, where she also coaches.

She is also a Board Member of Merthyr Leisure Trust – Wellbeing @Merthyr – and is a former lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

“I’m very thankful and excited to have this opportunity,” said Melissa, pictured above.

“I’ve been involved in gymnastics all of my life basically and it’s a great opportunity to continue making a contribution to the sport I love – and be able to give back in a different way as well at a more strategic level.”

On the new NED appointments, Chair Bev Smith said: “I am delighted to welcome new members to the Board of Directors of Welsh Gymnastics.

“Each new member brings a variety of skills and experiences which I anticipate will be an asset to our organisation. I look forward to working with them.”

Meanwhile long-serving Technical Director and Welsh Gymnastics stalwart Andrew Morris has come to the end of his tenure on the Board, with Education Director Dr Lisa Gannon stepping up to now become Education/Technical Director.

Lisa, pictured below, represented Wales and Great Britain as an international gymnast, before qualifying as a women’s artistic, men’s artistic, pre-school and disability coach.

She is a prominent voice of the sport; presenting and commentating within the arenas of numerous global events, including the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, 10 World Championships and four Commonwealth Games to name but a few.

Lisa is also a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Trinity University and specialises in bone health and applied sport science.

“My expertise straddles performance and education, so I’ve always had an interest in both roles,” said Lisa, who also worked closely with her predecessor.

“And I suppose now that I’m chairing the performance committee, it’s a natural progression and slight shift in focus, notwithstanding the importance of education generally.

“I’m delighted to continue in supporting Welsh Gymnastics as it moves into the future.”