Alex Laybourne named as new Foundation Chair

We’re pleased to announce that Alex Laybourne is joining as our new Chair, taking over from Jerry Tweddle who has been involved with the charity for eight and a half years.

Alex takes up his position as Chair having spent 15 years involved in sport, education and the charity sector.

He is currently the CEO for Power2Inspire – an inclusive sports charity based in Cambridgeshire – and combines that with being Head Coach for Sweden Men’s Rugby alongside being a Performance Lifestyle Mentor for Dual-Career Athletes.

As Chair, Alex will oversee all aspects of the Board; ensuring that the Board of Trustees executes its responsibilities with care and integrity, whilst developing the Charity’s strategy, governance in the pursuit of the Charity maximising its public benefit.

Alex said: “I am delighted and honoured to be taking on the role of Chair for the BGF. Using the power of gymnastics, the Foundation is making real improvements to the lives of individuals and communities most in need. In the current climate the Foundation is needed more than ever, and they are doing some incredible work to ensure people continue to have access to, and benefit from, gymnastics in all forms.

“I look forward to working with my fellow Board Trustees and the Head of the Foundation, Patrick Bonner, and his team to build on the success of the Foundation to date. The opportunity to build on this work and to deliver the vision is a truly exciting one. I’d also like to take this opportunity to celebrate the wonderful job that my predecessor, Jerry Tweddle, has done during his time on the Board and as Chair.”

Goodbye to Jerry Tweddle

Jerry retires from the Board having spent an incredible eight and a half years working for the charity.

Speaking about his time with the Foundation, Jerry said: “I am grateful to have had the real privilege to act as a Trustee for the British Gymnastics Foundation for several years from its inception in 2014. Gymnastics has given myself and my family so much pleasure over the years, so I am delighted to see BGF grow so rapidly and support so many deserving people in the wider gymnastics community. I wish BGF every success in the future as it develops exciting new projects and expands the help it can bring to a diverse range of recipients, in its mission to transform lives through gymnastics”.

Having been on the Foundation’s Board as one of the original Trustees when the charity started in May 2014, Jerry’s contribution has been extraordinary. Since the beginning of his work with BGF, Jerry stepped up and volunteered to be on the Hardship Grants Committee, a sub-committee of the Board.

In the time since, Jerry helped to establish the process, criteria, policy and Terms of Reference that supports the Hardship Grants Programme. He has also sat on 34 Hardship Grants Panels and personally reviewed 816 Hardship Grant Applications, giving an incredible amount of time which has led to keeping many people in the sport of gymnastics during times of crisis.

Jerry became Chair in March 2020, giving stability to the organisation and to oversee the continuity of the Board as four trustees retired, and five new trustees were appointed in 2021/22.

Speaking about his contribution, Patrick Bonner, Head of the British Gymnastics Foundation, said: “Jerry’s perspectives and life experience as a parent raising a gymnast in the family, and understanding the gymnastics world across all the stages a family goes through when supporting someone all the way through to elite level (Beth Tweddle), has helped to inform decisions about Hardship Grant awards and criteria.

“Jerry has always been a constant source of support and unwavering wisdom for BGF throughout the 8.5 years he has been a Trustee. Particularly throughout the pandemic and beyond, Jerry has always been so freely giving of his time and has been super supportive to all the Staff Team at BGF; we will miss him hugely but know that he will always be a part of the gymnastics family.”

Our Trustees play a huge role in shaping the work of British Gymnastics Foundation. You can read about our board of trustees and the expertise that they bring to our charity here