Award for coach to cap stellar year for gymnastics club

Jenny Swallow with her coach/manager of the year award.
Jenny Swallow with her coach/manager of the year award.

Double success at the annual Derbyshire Sports Awards has capped a year to remember for the Amber Valley Gymnastics Academy.

Coach Jenny Swallow was named the county’s coach/manager of the year, while the academy as a whole was named runner-up in the overall club of the year accolade.

It was the perfect to end a campaign in which the club moved to new premises with a big party attended by Olympic gymnast Becky Downie. It has now doubled in size and boasts 500 members, from pre-school age to adults, who take part in classes six days per week.

Downie and her sister, Ellie, also hosted a national competition that attracted clubs from across Britain. Amber Valley enjoyed terrific success, with four girls in the top ten at level four, Mia Cantillon second overall, Eleanor Belbin third at level three and Francis Stone, Isabelle Overy-Jones and Isobel David in the top three at level five.

Several gymnasts also won county titles or medals at the Derbyshire Championships, and some were successful too at the regional championships. Additonally, nine members of the women’s artistic squad were seleted for the county squad, and seven for the East Midlands squad for the first time in the club’s history.