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DIRECTORS OF SPELTHORNE GYMNASTICS
- Bob Cooper
- Alison Cooper
- David Rigney
- Virginia Lara
- Mary Crocker
PRINCIPAL COACHES AND COORDINATORS
BOB AND ALISON COOPER
Bob & Alison have over 20 years’ coaching experience and are well known and respected throughout the world of Acrobatics. They have worked for British Gymnastics as National Tumbling and Acrobatic Coaches taking teams to World and European Championships and have produced many Senior & Junior World Champions for Spelthorne and Great Britain.
They hold 5 National titles each (Bob in Mixed Pairs and Alison in Women’s Pairs) and as former gymnasts won medals at World and European Championships. Both Bob & Alison are International Performance Coaches and are holders of the British Gymnastics Master of Sport and British Gymnastics Master Coach Awards.
FIG MANAGER AND HEAD COACH
Adam has over 13 years’ coaching experience and has had numerous partnerships achieving World and European Championship medals. He is the current coach to the 2 times World and European Men’s Group champions and current Senior bronze medalist from the 2016 World Championships. He was also coach to the Junior European Champions for both Men’s Pair and Men’s Group in 2013. Adam has been lucky enough to be selected as a gymnast from 2003 and then as a coach from 2013 to attend every European and World Championships.
As a former international gymnast in Men’s Groups and Men’s Pairs he became Junior World Champion in 2006, and was a World Senior bronze medalist in 2008 before becoming Senior World Champion in 2010. He also placed 2nd in the Senior World Championships in 2012 as a Men’s Pair. Adam is 3 times Junior British Champion and 5 times Senior British Champion and was also one of the original members of Spelbound.
TUMBLING MANAGER AND HEAD COACH
Rob is the current Head Tumbling coach for Great Britain, and is responsible for the selection and preparation of the Senior National Tumbling squad. Alongside Kath, Rob was the personal coach for World Age Group Champion Heather Cowell, as well as many other World Age group medallists and British Champions.
Rob initially trained as an Acro top before transferring to Tumbling at age 15. He went on to become Senior European Champion, World Bronze Medallist and was a member of the Gold medal-winning Senior Tumbling squad, as well as being 5-time Senior British Champion.
TUMBLING MANAGER AND HEAD COACH
Kath is the current Assistant Junior Tumbling squad coach for Great Britain, and assists with the training camps and International competitions. Kath has been coaching for over 12 years and alongside Rob was the personal coach for World Age Group Champion Heather Cowell, as well as many other World Age group medallists and British Champions.
Kath was originally a member of the National Artistic Squad before moving over to Tumbling at the age of 14. She went on to become Senior European Champion, Individual World Champion and World Team Champion, as well as being a 7-time Senior British Champion.
Melanie has been the welfare officer for the past 4 years and has qualifications in both safeguarding and child protection. She is a qualified primary school teacher and currently works full time at Spelthorne Gymnastics as the Public Relations and Welfare Manger. Melanie has been involved with the club for over 11 years supporting her son who is part of the Elite Acrobatic Squad.
IT MANAGER AND WELFARE OFFICER
James has been coaching since the age of 14, and has been with Spelthorne since 2013. He is a level 2 Tumbling coach, and is currently working through his level 3 modules. He has experience teaching pre-school, adults, and special needs children. James teaches the Junior & Senior Advanced groups, as well as the prep tumbling squad. He has qualifications in first aid and child protection, and is one of the club’s Welfare Officers.
Leighanne is the Operations Manager and also the Head Coach for NDP level gymnastics. She was a member of ‘Spelbound’ and has been training as a gymnast since she was 2 years old! She was the 2009 Junior British Champion in Women’s Groups and was part of the Acrobatic Team representing Great Britain at the European Championships in October 2009 and the World Championships in July 2010. Leighanne began coaching as an assistant at the very young age of 12 and has gained experience working at many different Clubs. She is a Level 3 Coach in Acrobatics. She is also a Level 2 Coach in Pre-School Gymnastics and Cheerleading, and she has a First Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science.
CHOREOGRAPHY AND DANCE MANAGER
Ellie is the Head Choreographer for the Club. She is a former International performer in women’s groups and women’s pairs. She placed 2nd in the World Junior Acrobatics Championships in 2004 and 2006 and was British Junior Champion and British Schools Champion. Ellie trained in dance at Laines Theatre Arts in Epsom, Surrey and spent one year at the Orange County High School of the Arts in Los Angeles, California studying commercial dance. She was also a member of the Cheerleading and Dance Team at Capistrano Valley High School, Orange County, California and a member of ‘Orange Crush’ cheerleading team where she competed at the California State Championships at Universal Studios. She is a Level 3 Coach in Acrobatics and is also qualified to judge at regional level.
CLUB DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
As a gymnast Keri trained in both Tumbling and in Acrobatic Gymnastics as a base of a mixed pair, becoming British Junior Champion in both. Keri represented Great Britain in numerous international events as well as the World Championships in 1990. He was the first gymnast in Western Europe to successfully complete the triple back somersault in competition.
As a coach Keri has tutored numerous British National Development Plan Champions, many of which went on to become Great Britain representatives. He was coach to the 2010 11-16 Age Group World Champions as well as the 2014 World Championship Senior Men’s Pairs Bronze Medalists.
LEVEL 4 COACH
Kim is a keen, enthusiastic and committed coach with a real love for the sport of acrobatic gymnastics – she coaches NDP levels in the Spelthorne Grades Group. She is a level 4 acro coach with loads of experience from several different clubs, including her own club Trust, now run by daughter Grace. She has trained many NDP British medallists and champions, British Schools Champions and has been involved in both club and school level gymnastics for many years. She is also a National Judge.
Kim has a degree in Psychology and works full time, as a teacher, in a local Primary School. She is known for her nurturing role in the gym, having been ‘second mum’ to many gymnasts over the years. Her own daughter Grace Blacklock, was a senior GB representative for 6 years, achieving a World Silver medal in 2010. She has had the privilege of working alongside many brilliant coaches over the years and is thrilled to be part of the Spelthorne coaching team.
LEVEL 3 COACHES
Keri trained as an artistic gymnast for 10 years before she got married and had 5 children. She is a Level 3 Pre-School Coach, a Level 2 General Coach and a Level 1 Artistic Coach. Keri has tremendous patience and enjoys working with children of all ages especially teaching the Pre-School Classes. She also is in charge of all the Intermediate and Pre-Advanced classes for those children with a little more talent, and generally runs the holiday camps.
Hayley has been coaching at Spelthorne for over 7 years and helps with the Mini squad, Prep acro and Grades groups. She was an extremely able acrobatic gymnast before stopping training in 2013. She is a Level 3 Acrobatics coach and Level 1 Pre-School coach.
LEVEL 2 COACHES
Tom is the Head Coach of our General Gymnastics and Additional Needs programs. He trained as a Gymnast and Trampolinist for over 10 years before starting coaching at the age of 16. Tom coaches our General, Boys Intermediate, Advanced and Additional Needs classes. He has a Level 2 qualification in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, Level 1 qualification in Trampolining and additional coaching qualifications earned in America. Tom is also part of our Welfare team.
CALLUM PORTUGAL WALKER
Callum has been coaching for over 5 years and currently works with our Grades groups. As a gymnast he won World Age Group Championships in 2016 in a Mens Pair, and was Junior European Champion in 2017.
Callum has a level 2 qualification in Acrobatics and level 1 in General Gymnastics, and also choreographs the routines for our Grades groups.
Leah trained as a gymnast for 10 years before she started coaching at the age of 15. She has worked at multiple clubs in the local area, and currently coaches our Additional Needs, Pre-School, Pre-Advanced and Advanced classes. Leah has also been a dancer for 17 years and has performed at the O2 and in music videos. She has a level 2 qualification in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics.
LEVEL 1 COACHES
Beccy discovered gymnastics in 2014 when her daughters joined an artistic club, before moving to Spelthorne in 2015. She is a Level 1 Womens Artistic Gymnastics coach and works with both our General and Pre-School classes throughout the week.
Conor coaches our acro preparation group and has a level 1 coaching qualification in Acrobatics. He is currently a member of our Senior Mens Group, and has previously won the World Age Group Championships in 2012 and 2014, and European titles in 2013 and 2015. He also won Bronze at the World Championships in 2016 in China, before winning Gold at the World Games in 2017.
Lucy has been coaching at Spelthorne for the past four years and has recently passed her level 1 General Gymnastics qualification. She has also trained for the past eleven years in the Senior Advanced squad and has represented the club at many competitions and displays.
Laura is a level 1 General Gymnastics coach who works with our General Gymnastics groups. She is also a qualified Sports Coach, working with Primary Schools in the local area, and is a qualified First Aider.
Owen started volunteering with Spelthorne at age 15 whilst training in our Junior Advanced group. He coaches our General and Intermediate groups, and has a level 1 qualification in both General & Acrobatic Gymnastics. He is currently working towards his Level 2 qualification in Acrobatics, and is qualified to judge Acrobatics at Club level.
Frazer has been training since the age of 5, and has been coaching since 2016. As a gymnast, Frazer was part of a successful Men’s Pair and was World Champion in 2014, Silver medallist at the 2017 European Championships, and Bronze medallist in World Championships of 2018. He is now training as part of a Men’s 4, and coaches our General, Teens, Intermediate, Pre-Advanced and Advanced groups. Frazer has a level 1 Acrobatic Gymnastics qualification, and is waiting to start his level 2 course.
We are pleased to have 2 young coaches enrolled on British Gymnastics’ Apprenticeship scheme from 2018.
Filicia works with our General, Preps & Grades groups. She was an Acrobatic gymnast for 8 years competing mostly in a Mixed Pair, and was a two time British Champion as well as European Champion in 2013. She already holds a level 2 Cheerleading qualification, and will add to this over the course of her Apprenticeship.