Erewash Bronze Medallist Wants to Give Back

Teenage gymnast Charlotte Notley spoke to Fen Regis Trophies about her goal to coach her display team after winning bronze at this year’s EuroGym in Switzerland.

Aged 18, Charlotte has been involved in gymnastics since the age of two, becoming enamoured with the sport from watching the Commonwealth and Olympic Games with her father on television. From joining Erewash Valley Gymnastics Club as an eight-year-old, Charlotte is now part of the senior display team and develops her own groups.

Having achieved success both on and off the floor, Charlotte is already focusing her time and attention on gaining the qualifications she needs to teach and coach gymnastics. Currently working through her Level One in men’s gymnastics, she hopes to hold a Level Two qualification in 12 months which would enable her to move into teaching older boys and take teams to bigger events.

Erewash Valley Gymnastics Club

EuroGym Success

In the summer, Charlotte was part of the display team to compete in the Gym for Life Challenge and come away with a bronze medal at EuroGym, one of the biggest youth gymnastic events in the world taking place every two years.

The 13th holding of the event was held in Neuchatel in Switzerland, seeing hundreds of Europe’s most talented gymnasts aged between 12 and 18 perform.

“Clubs were entered from different countries,” Charlotte said of the event. “Every club got a medal – we were judged on technicality, costume, and technique.

“We managed to come third with other countries also coming third. Nobody really won and nobody lost, everyone got a medal, and we got a big plaque for the club as well.”

Though Charlotte will be 20 by the time the next EuroGym is held in 2024 and too old to perform at the showpiece, she plans on being there as a coach.

“I am hoping to go as a coach and create a routine for the girls that I am training with now.

“Eventually, I want to build up my qualifications so that I can teach gymnastics. At the moment, I am doing my Level One and by this time next year, I want to have finished my Level Two.

“That will mean that I can go on to teach the older boys and see how they progress and start going to the bigger competitions with them.”

World Gymnaestrada

Held every four years, like the Olympics, World Gymnaestrada is a non-competitive showcase of the finest gymnasts from around the globe. In 2019, Charlotte and her display team from Erewash Valley Gymnastics Club performed in front of 20,000 strong crowd in Dornbirn, Austra.

“It was a great opportunity to create memories and perform in front of thousands of participants and members of the public,” Charlotte said.

“It was quite nerve-racking, but once you get over the fear of going out on stage you just carry on. Just put on a brave face and do it!”

She added: “We got a lot of support from people who didn’t really know us and other clubs because we had to perform alongside other clubs.

“All of GB, we had this little chant going to support each other when we were on stage. We would always go and watch the other British performances.”

Erewash Valley Gymnastics Club at World Gymnaestrada

Young Leader

Charlotte is now in her 10th year at Erewash Valley Gymnastics Club and is now a Young Leader taking on coaching responsibilities within her display team and newcomers to the club. As well as working to nurture and develop the stars of tomorrow, Charlotte and the coaches at the club ensure that everyone – regardless of age and ability – can have fun through gymnastics.

“Our club motto is ‘gymnastics for all’,” she said. “We get quite a lot of children with disabilities, including autism and ADHD.

“We don’t see it as a barrier, we just get on with it, and if there is something they don’t like we change the gymnastics class to suit them.

“All the Young Leaders and coaches are mentored on how to deal with children with additional needs. If we have a child with autism, we are advised on how to manage them, and then the class is just ran as normal.”

Charlotte added: “We tell anyone new to have fun, especially in the recreational classes. We let them come in and try all the equipment and see how they get on and see if there is anything that they want to progress in.

“We try and get them onto the basic skills straight away and see how they are walking on the beam or swinging on the bars, eventually building those skills up.”

While Charlotte is hugely thankful to everyone that has supported her at Erewash Valley Gymnastics Club, she is particularly appreciative of the support she has received from her coach, Megan Bramley, and manager, Hannah Gibbs.

“My coach Megan, she’s the head of display and because I coach display she has helped me a lot with choreography courses and getting choreography into the girls. At first, she mentored me, but now she just lets me crack on with it.

“My manager, Hannah [Gibbs] has also been a strong influence. She comes with us to events like World Gymnaestrada and EuroGym.”

As Charlotte continues her transition from performer to teacher, Erewash Valley Gymnastics Club continues to support her on her journey, just as the club does with everyone that comes through their doors. As the club’s motto states, gymnastics is for all.

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