We were delighted to send a family to the 2018 Gymnastics British Championships, all because of our Inspirational Experiences Programme.
Our programme funding aims to deliver unforgettable and inspirational experiences for individuals and British Gymnastics clubs experiencing crisis or extreme financial hardship.
On this occasion it was a friend of the family that got in touch with us to let us know of the difficult time they’d had. Matthew’s wife passed away in October last year, and he was desperate to give his three children something to look forward to.
Matthew said: “It helped them to have the event on the calendar – and fortuitously it also fell on Mother’s Day weekend which meant there was a distraction for them to lessen the pain of the day.
“My daughters, aged 16, 14 and 12, participate at a recreational level in gymnastics (and the elder two also coach) and have never been to see a top-level competition. They were all delighted with the day and got selfies with Max Whitlock at the end!
“The experience helped provide a valuable weekend of ‘family time’ for us and created lasting happy memories. Even better that the weekend was on Mother’s Day weekend and we were away from home on what was the first such day since their Mother’s death. Thank you all.”
Over the past three years our Inspirational Experience Programme has seen individuals like Libby, who lost her mum after her battle with Leukemia, being given the life-changing opportunity to do gymnastics for the first time. We were also delighted to give Kendal Gym Club a time to remember after their club was devastated by the flooding that hit Cumbria in 2015.
Patrick Bonner, Head of British Gymnastics Foundation said: “We were so sorry to hear about the traumatic time that Matthew and his three daughters are going through. It’s a privilege to be able to help families like theirs through our Inspirational Experiences Programme and to witness the positive differences that gymnastics can bring. For clubs in crisis and people struggling with mental health issues or gymnasts dealing with injury, our inspirational experiences can do just that; inspire and motivate!
“We wouldn’t be able to create these experiences and create happy memories for those most in need without the support and donations from our community. So, a huge thank you from me, to all of you who support us to make this possible.”
If you think that British Gymnastics Foundation Support could benefit you or your club, please contact us and tell us your story – firstname.lastname@example.org.