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Welsh Gymnastics’ inaugural Coach Scholarship programme is now firmly up and running.

The programme launched back in April, with 17 individuals from across three disciplines (Men’s Artistic, Women’s Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics) selected to form the first cohort.

The aim of the programme is to give these individuals the tools and experience to develop as Performance Coaches and, in turn, allowing them to contribute to their club and the Performance Pathway within Wales.

Those selected have worked with the Welsh National Coaches along with the Performance Pathway Manager, Holly Broad, to devise a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) plan for the year – tailored to their specific needs.

“This is a really exciting project,” said Holly.

“We have a great group of coaches involved in the programme and I’m looking forward to following their development over the next 12 months.”

Each individual CPD plan includes access to formal coach education, opportunities to observe GB squad sessions, attendance at camps and visits to performance clubs.

Meanwhile each scholar has also been linked with a relevant mentor to support their CPD plan and holistic development over the next year.

A series of interactive workshops have been designed to support the Coach Scholars, with experts in their fields leading and facilitating sessions on subjects such as biomechanics, ballet, building a coaching philosophy and developing a growth mindset.  

Danielle Wrigley, from Buckley Girls’ Gymnastics Club, said: “I’m really grateful to be accepted on to the Coach Scholarship programme.

“Even during lockdown, there have been plenty of opportunities including online workshops to develop my coaching. I’m looking forward to meeting my mentor once restrictions are eased and we can get back into the gym.”

Valleys Gymnastics Academy’s Aled Jones said: “The coach scholarship programme is a great way of upskilling coaches across a number of disciplines.

“I'm excited to attend workshops on a number of different topics, as well receiving mentoring from more experienced coaches.

“I’m also looking forward to learning from coaches from different disinclines!”