Gymnastics led the way in August’s Team Scotland Stars awards with Beacon Rhythmic Gymnastic Club and Chris Chalk from Central Gymnastics Academy sweeping the top spots in group and individual categories respectively.
First launched in June of this year, Team Scotland Stars is a monthly award to recognise those going above and beyond to help others through the Coronavirus pandemic. The response to the awards has been overwhelming with inspiring nominations and thousands voting in the online polls.
From an impressive list of deserving nominations, Beacon Rhythmic Gymnastics Club topped the public vote in the Group/Organisation category ahead of runners-up Edinburgh Hockey Club, Scottish Squash and a quartet of former Scotland rugby internationals who took to their bikes to raise money for charity.
Beacon have impressed throughout lockdown with their emphasis on the health and well-being of all their members. The club was quick to organise zoom sessions inclusively for novice, development and squad gymnasts as well as fun challenges, like recreate the fashion photo and recreate the gymnastics pose, which has been a huge emotional support with training facilities shut since March.
When the usual summer camp was not physically possible, they gave the replacement real meaning by holding a summer series of online zoom competitions. This also allowed the girls to see their friends, not just within their own club but from rhythmic clubs across Scotland. One of the competitions even attracted entries from England and Russia.
In the Individual category it was Cetral Gymnastics Academy head coach Chris Chalk who took the public vote and August’s Team Scotland Stars award.
Chris has worked tirelessly to help create a new normal for both members and non-members of Central Gymnastics Academy in Stirling, helping keep gymnasts and their family members stay active during lockdown. He came up with over 100 daily challenges to keep gymnasts motivated, developed weekly team meets via zoom so that gymnasts and parents could meet up and chat virtually and held four zoom classes weekly which saw over 140 gymnasts from all over Scotland, and as far away as Manchester, enjoy physical activity while they were unable to leave their house.
Chris also organised a virtual competition where gymnasts sent in home videos of their routines which Chris then sent to judges to be scored, as well as editing all the videos together and streaming the event on zoom for parents, gymnasts and family members to watch. Having also run outdoor sessions for 125 gymnasts, all free of charge, the club is now celebrating being back in the gym with government guidelines now allowing facilities to reopen. His dedication gave him the nod over runners-up Ross Ferguson, Rhoda Yaramoudi and Rod & Pauline Smith.
Huge congratulations to our winners and to all our finalists and nominees, it’s amazing to see the good work being done by the Scottish sporting community in the face of these unprecedented circumstances.