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HGC Statement (July 2020)
Dear Members

Recent allegations about HGC

I am sure that you will have heard about or have seen on social media, a number of allegations that have been made about HGC by three former members of the Club.

I am heart broken that such allegations as these have been made. The Club entirely refutes them. We take pride in the fact that we have for many years introduced thousands of young people to gymnastics and have been privileged to share in their journey through the sport. We value the long lasting relationships that we have with our gymnasts and their families and never lose sight of the fact that whilst our sport demands long hours of hard work and commitment from all those involved, it is in the end about the enduring friendships and enjoyment of our sport that matters most to our members. We never forget the commitment that parents and very often siblings of our gymnasts make, as well as the gymnasts themselves and in return we put their wellbeing as our priority, whether they be elite gymnasts or one of the hundreds of children who come along for sessions once a week.

It is therefore important that when allegations such as these are made that they are fully and properly investigated. That is essential not just to our sport but also to the staff, members and families of HGC and to the complainants themselves. For that reason our Chairman has today written to British Gymnastics to invite our governing body to extend the Terms of Reference of Jane Mulcahy QC, the leading sports lawyer appointed by British Gymnastics, to undertake a review of recent complaints to include those made against HGC so that there can be a full and independent assessment of the allegations that have been made. We will of course assist with an independent review in every way that we can.

I and my staff have been greatly heartened by the many messages of support and positive recollections by both current and former members of their time with us. These have meant a great deal to us – thank you.

Yours Sincerely

HGC Management

Keeping your child safe, a guide for parents.

When your child is taking part in gymnastics, we want you to be confident that they can have fun in a safe environment. Here’s some useful information to help you understand what is in place and who can help you.
Your child

It is important that your child has FUN and is happy whilst they are taking part in gymnastics. Parents and clubs together should create an environment where your child knows:

  • Not to worry about progression or failure.
  • Not to try and please others rather than enjoying the sport.
  • What is acceptable coaching practice.
  • What is not acceptable coaching practice or abuse.
  • That they can TELL and talk to someone if they have a concern.
  • Who to TALK to within their club.

Remember:

It is important that your child knows that if they feel uncomfortable being asked to do anything, they always have the right to say no.

You

Parents are extremely influential in a child’s enjoyment and development in gymnastics. Your support is vital and if you positively support your child, you can help them to:

  • Reach their potential
  • Enjoy the sport
  • Be motivated
  • Develop life skills

Be positive:

  • Provide a positive role model to all.
  • Acknowledge the efforts of all.
  • Reassure and praise.
  • Encourage fair play.
  • Nurture positive behaviour and attitudes.
  • Tell club officials of concerns.
  • Support your child and the coaches.

Aim not to

  • Verbally abuse or harass anyone.
  • Push your child too hard, too fast.
  • Expect too much.
  • Let your child think they’ve let you down.

Heathrow Gymnastics Club

We work hard to ensure your child is in a safe and fun environment. Here is a list of what we have in place:

  • A Club Welfare Officer for you and your child.
  • Safeguarding policies and procedures.
  • A procedure for reporting and dealing with safeguarding concerns including poor practice.
  • Codes of conduct for all at the club.
  • Parent contact details for all emergencies.
  • Safe recruitment process which includes criminal records checks for relevant staff.
  • Qualified staff with up to date safeguarding training.

Concerned?

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and if you are concerned then you should discuss and report the matter. If the matter is not immediate you can discuss with:

  • Your child’s coach directly
  • Our Welfare Officer (Katie Newman)
  • A member of the British Gymnastics Safeguarding team
If you think a child is in immediate danger of abuse or risk of harm, contact the police on 999. When raising a concern, you should assure your child that they did the right thing by SPEAKING OUT and telling you.

Contacts

Heathrow Gymnastics Club Welfare Officer is Katie Newman. If you have any concerns, you can confidentially contact Katie by phone on 0208 569 5069, or by email ObscureMyEmail (for confidentiality access to this email is by Katie Newman only).

For more information about safeguarding, you can call or visit British Gymnastics Safeguarding Team on 0345 129 7129, email them at ObscureMyTwoEmail or visit their website british-gymnastics.org/safeguarding

NSPCC
0808 8005000
nspcc.org.uk

CPSU
thecpsu.org.uk

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