The biggest sporting event to be staged in Scotland since the Commonwealth Games, the first ever European Championships, is gaining momentum with just under 200 days to go.
Taking place from 2 to 12 August, Glasgow 2018 will see around 3,000 athletes compete in six sports at 12 venues across Scotland. The new multi-sport event is set to celebrate the country’s young talent and achievers coinciding with the Year of Young People.
During a significant year for sport, 12 venues across Scotland will host 84 sessions across six different sports - Artistic Gymnastics, Aquatics, Cycling, Golf, Rowing and Triathlon.
Six ambitious young athletes, representing each of the sports, are looking forward to the spectacular and hope that the profile of Glasgow 2018 will help inspire more young people to get involved in sports.
Fraser Lynes, a 14-year-old gymnast from East Ayrshire who studies and trains at Glasgow School of Sport already has a collection of medals to his name, having represented Scotland in the sport several times, and believes the Glasgow 2018 action at the SSE Hydro will help encourage more people into gymnastics and demonstrate the benefits of sport.
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken, said: “The Glasgow 2018 European Championships promises to be a fantastic platform to inspire, engage and celebrate young people – from sports fans and athletes to artists, performers and volunteers. In 200 days Glasgow and Scotland will come alive with an unforgettable display of sport and culture that is a must-attend, must-watch event for 2018.”
The first ever European Championships will bring together some of the continent’s leading sports including the existing European Championships for Aquatics, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rowing and Triathlon with a new Golf Team Championships and Athletics hosted in Berlin.
To be staged every four years, the European Championships will be an 11-day celebration of world-class sport and produce a packed 10-day broadcast schedule, with audiences of up to 1.03 billion.
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British Gymnastics is proud to confirm that it has received formal confirmation of full compliance from UK Sport and Sport England with their new world leading Code for Sports Governance.
British Gymnastics is one of 55 of the 58 national bodies for sport involved in the process so far which the two sports councils have written to to confirm that they have met all the necessary requirements of the new Code. This followed the most widespread set of sports governance reforms implemented anywhere in the world.
Jane Allen, CEO of British Gymnastics said:
"I am pleased with the confirmation that we at British Gymnastics fully comply with UK Sport and Sport England’s significant new Code of Sports Governance. We are delighted that the fact we take governance extremely seriously has been recognised in this way but understand that achieving outstanding governance is a constant commitment and will continue to work hard to improve governance at all levels."
The Code contains several significant changes to the governance of sport, including creating a set of 58 mandatory governance requirements across five themes: structure, people, communication, integrity and policy.
The requirements include:
Greater transparency, enabling participants and fans to better understand the decision-making of those leading their sports
Reforms to board memberships, including at least 25% independent members
Commitments to greater diversity, including at least 30% of each gender on boards
Establishing boards as the ultimate decision-making authority within a sport rather than traditional councils
Tighter term limits for board and council members to ensure a regular renewal of ideas and expertise
Going forward, British Gymnastics and the other governing bodies will continue to work closely with UK Sport and Sport England to ensure they all remain compliant with the Code and put into practice action plans and commitments.
Sport Minister Tracey Crouch said:
"We have been clear that we want our sports governing bodies to have world-leading standards of governance and I am delighted that they have responded so positively to the introduction of the Code. The positive, extensive changes being made will strengthen sport in the UK, increase transparency and diversity and make sure that sports leadership is more representative of modern Britain."
UK Sport Chief Executive Liz Nicholl said:
"Our National Governing Bodies should take great pride in what they have achieved. As a nation we have delivered on our promise to develop the strongest set of sport governance requirements anywhere in the world. The impact of these reforms will take time to have an effect however, and the true test will be in how sport in the UK operates every day in its leadership, management, decision-making and commitment to diversity and engagement."
Further details about the Governance Code for Sport can be found on the Sport England website.
Congratulations to the founder Chairman of the British Gymnastics Charitable Foundation, Ray Phillips who has been awarded a Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for his services to gymnastics and to Helen Phillips who has been awarded an MBE for her services to Welsh Gymnastics.
Ray Phillips was a member of the British Gymnastics Board from 2005 until 2013 as the representative NED for Northern Ireland. During this period, he was the British Gymnastics Deputy President from 2006 to 2012 and the President from 2012 to 2013.
He has been a highly valued member of the Board bringing vast experience both as a volunteer and as a senior officer in the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC. This experience enabled him to work closely with the executive team to bring about the modernisation and integration of Northern Ireland Gymnastics within British Gymnastics. Ray has travelled extensively and worked tirelessly to support gymnastics at all levels.
Ray Phillips: “The award of the BEM for something you do freely and enjoy is very special and humbling. Through our family my wife Lynda and I have been involved in gymnastics particularly in Northern Ireland for most of our married life, I see this award as recognition of not only my service but also that of Lynda, who although having reduced her current involvement continues to support my wider UK commitment”.
One of the youngest ever to lead a National Governing Body, Helen Phillips was appointed Chair of Welsh Gymnastics in 2001 at the age of 29. In 2013, she became the first female Chair of Commonwealth Games Wales and is currently the only female Chair in the Commonwealth Games Federation's European group.
Helen was instrumental in leading both organisations to the most successful ever Commonwealth Games for Wales in Glasgow in 2014. She is now playing a key part in ensuring that Team Wales is fully prepared ahead of the 2018 Games in Gold Coast Australia.
On hearing the news of her MBE award, Helen said: “I am simply overwhelmed by this announcement, it truly does mean so much to my family and I."The role of the volunteer is significant in sport and there are so many others that deserve recognition. Without my family’s support - and particularly my mum’s inspiration – I simply wouldn’t have lasted volunteering for the last 25 years in these significant roles. I certainly wouldn’t have survived the last 10 challenging but rewarding years where we have transformed the two organisations!"
Our annual digital magazine celebrating the year, is now available to read online.
Catch our exclusive interview with European all-around champion Ellie Downie, as she speaks to us about making history in 2017. We speak to Adam Upcott, the ‘top’ of the men’s acrobatic four, about a remarkable year where they were crowned World Games champions.
We also look back at more history-making achievements from our senior gymnasts as well as focusing on #BritishGymnasticsLife, where we speak to Lauren Brookes from Salto Acrobatics about her own journey in to gymnastics.