Julie Phillips MBE
Welsh Gymnastics would like to congratulate Julie Phillips who, after 48 years volunteering in the sport, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to gymnastics in Merthyr Tydfil.
It was a journey that began back in 1972 when, after taking her daughter Alison to St Tydfils Gymnastics Club, she began volunteering there.
Julie went on to become synonymous with the club in the years that followed and was one of Latalia Bevan’s first coaches – helping to set her on the road that would lead to winning a silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
In 2016, Julie was presented with a prestigious Torch Trophy Trust Award by HRH The Duke of Kent in recognition of her Voluntary Services to Sport.
She retired as head coach at St Tydfils two years ago and worked with Valleys Gymnastics Academy on a succession plan to ensure the ongoing success of the club – one of the oldest sports clubs in Merthyr Tydfil.
Prior to the Covid-19 shutdown, Julie was still attending weekly sessions to guide and encourage coaches and leaders and help at some parent and toddler classes.
“I am thrilled and very honoured,” said Julie.
“I have enjoyed every single moment being part of a great club and sport which has been very much at the heart of the community in Merthyr Tydfil.
“Little did I know all those years back when I was asked to help it would lead to this. I have met so many wonderful people over these years and have seen gymnasts return with their children – and even their grandchildren.”
Bev Smith, Chair of Welsh Gymnastics, commented: “On behalf of Welsh Gymnastics, I would like to congratulate Julie on being awarded an MBE.
“She has been at the centre of the gymnastics community in Merthyr for almost 50 years and I am delighted that her hard work and dedication has been recognised at the highest level.
“She is a most deserved recipient and we wish her continued success in the future.”