We are the Champions! Reflections on being Club of the Year

It’s been two weeks since Affinity won the British Gymnastics Club of the Year award. In my last blog post we chatted about how mad the idea of us potentially winning this was.

Well we only went and won it, didn’t we!!

It’s an incredible achievement, to win the award but also to have got our club to this position. Those of you who were with us in spring 2014 may remember me sending out a letter outlining our vision and intention for the club as we looked for premises. In that I wrote: ‘My vision is to create the leading Gymnastics For All club in the county.’

A lofty dream some might say? Pretty mad? (barking mad maybe). At that point we were training 4 nights a week, about 16 hours in total at local Sheredes Primary School. 

I’d say winning Club of the Year can put a ‘tick’ next to that goal, wouldn’t you?

Wow. It’s still honestly not sunk in yet. Possibly as it’s really REALLY easy just to keep on going and *almost* forget about it. We won the award the weekend before term started. We literally came home from the ceremony and started the busiest time of the year for us. Autumn term brings new classes, new gymnasts, many gymnasts having moved classes and all the associated admin for a growing club. It’s an exciting time but it’s full on. It’s very easy to get caught up in what needs doing each day and not have time to appreciate what we’ve achieved. To be honest, the whole of the past year has been a little like that!

It’s all too easy to overlook achievements in the busy-ness of day to day life isn’t it? But thats not really fair on anyone. So I have taken a few moments over the past couple of weeks to take in whats around me and thats an incredible club and achievement. From my position as club leader i’ve really enjoyed seeing our enthusiastic, dedicated coaches (the dream team!) having fun with their classes and sharing their passion for gymnastics. Seeing new classes start; freestyle gymnastics classes for younger gymnasts - fab for boys, who might not otherwise be engaged by our core classes. New tumbling and acro classes. The return of GymFit and skills classes for adults. Welcoming new gymnasts and parents to the Affinity world. Along with all of our returning classes and gymnasts, all working together with fun and passion. Then there’s the planning of new exciting things to come (it doesn’t stop here!). All of this in a gym that looks a-ma-zing right now, following our mini refurb over the summer (new heating and air con and painting, oh yes). A gym that looks and feels unlike no other.

And it is like no other - we do things differently here and I’m proud of that. The club started nearly ten years ago now out of a need for not just gymnastics classes in East Herts but more so the need for better, higher quality experience for grass roots level gymnasts. We believe gymnastics is truly a ‘for all’ sport - there is something for everyone and more often than not its the individual we’re coaching first, then the gymnastics. It’s been ten years of breaking down boundaries to the sport for all levels and ages. Yes, you CAN. It is FOR YOU! Oh and the most important bit? it’s FUN!!!!

Now we’re not the only ones sharing this ethos. It’s spread far and wide and the BG award shows us this. It’s been an honour leading this change and really, to be honest, we’re only just getting started :-)