In September 2016 British Gymnastics launched our first 4 Disability Gymnastic Ambassadors to act as inspiring role models within our sport.
The vision Impaired Ambassador: Tiri Hughes
Disability: Physical Disability and Visual Impairment
As an 11 year-old, Tiri liked sport, wanted to be active and was keen to find an activity she enjoyed and could succeed at. Tiri has visual impairment which means she has some usable vision in one eye but no usable vision in the other.
She explains that in the past, she struggled with contact and ball sports, but always loved gymnastics and wanted to give it a try. Tiri went along to her local gymnastics club and 7 years later she hasn’t looked back, being involved in trampolining, acrobatic and artistic gymnastics within that time. “I enjoy the variety of gymnastics – no two sessions are the same! I love the feeling of achieving a new skill which I’ve been working towards, especially when it’s been tricky to get!
I also enjoy the social side; the family feeling you get in a gymnastics club.” Tiri’s gymnastics clubs have always supported her to take part, adapting activities and helping her to find solutions to suit her needs. “I can’t see the vault from the end of the run-up, or the beam when I’m stood on it. We get around this by counting the number of steps I need in my vault run and memorising the distance of the beam from end to end. I have some physical disabilities which mean I need to take regular rest breaks, especially between repetitive strengthening exercises, but my club have always supported me to do that without separating me from other gymnasts.”
With plenty of support from her club, Tiri has achieved a great deal of success within gymnastics. Tiri has 4 British Disability Gymnastics Championships medals to her name, also travelling around the country to take part in smaller competitions. One of her greatest moments though, has been travelling to South Africa as a Disability Gymnastics Ambassador, supporting clubs there to offer more opportunities for disabled children. There’s no doubt that Tiri is passionate about gymnastics, and the fantastic opportunities it has given her. “Anyone can do gymnastics, regardless of ability or disability. There is always something, or some type of gymnastics which you can take part in, as long as you are enthusiastic, committed and enjoy it!”
Now, we’re really excited to introduce you to 3 more incredibly passionate and enthusiastic disabled gymnasts, who want to share their story within gymnastics and encourage others to give it a try. Our Ambassadors speak about their experience in gymnastics, what they have achieved and what they love about it. They tell other disabled people how inclusive they have found gymnastics to be, in clubs up and down the country.
Meet our newest Disability Gymnastics Ambassadors-
Since the launch of our I’M IN programme nearly 4 years ago, we have supported an increasing number of gymnastics clubs to develop inclusive opportunities. Within our gymnastics community, we now have more than 200 clubs offering specific Disability Gymnastics sessions, with many more ensuring that their mainstream offer is inclusive and accessible for all. To find a gymnastics club offering Disability Gymnastics near you visit www.british-gymnastics.org/discover
We would be really keen if you were able to support our promotion of our Ambassadors and the inclusive opportunities that are available within gymnastics, and I have therefore provided some resources that I hope will be of use to you:
Alternative format: Each individual’s story is available by following the link to our website above, but I have also attached a word version.
- Social media: I’ve included an example ‘tweet’ below and attached an image of each of our Ambassadors, which you are more than welcome to use to promote gymnastics opportunities:
Meet @britgymnastics newest Disability #Gymnastics Ambassadors. Read their journey here http://bit.ly/2c5c7e7 (insert picture of two gymnasts)
- Hard copies: I also have plenty of hard copies of our Ambassadors’ stories printed as double sided A5 flyers – if you’d like any of these to promote at your events, please just let me know how many and where you’d like them send and I’ll arrange to get some to you.
- Opportunity for interview: Finally, if you have any questions at all about Disability Gymnastics or are interested in interviewing one of our Ambassadors please email firstname.lastname@example.org.