A GROUP of more than 40 Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) apprentice coaches have met Olympic medallist Alice Kinsella during a residential at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Newport, home of the British Gymnastics team.

Run in collaboration British Gymnastics, the two-day residential is an annual event open to BTC apprentices working in gymnastics or trampolining environments across the UK.

The learners are all completing British Gymnastics-affiliated programmes with the College, encompassing level 2 Community Activator Coach, Level 3 Community Sports & Health Officer and Level 4 Sports Coach.

Olympian Alice Kinsella led an ‘Audience with’ event, delivering an elite level warm up session for the apprentices and talking about her career as a top gymnast, including her bronze medal win as part of the British National Gymnastics team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Bridgwater Mercury: BTC students train with Olympian

The apprentices took part in a range of sessions over the two days, including safeguarding, MIND Uplift, which focussed on how getting active can help with mental wellbeing, and Love to Move, which explored working with the elderly and those with dementia.

The final sessions aimed to help prepare learners for their final assessments and gave them an opportunity to gain a qualification in judging.

Community activator coach apprentice Connor Harding (17) said: “I really enjoyed the weekend overall and all of the different activities I participated in. My favourite was the session led by Alice Kinsella because we were able to join in and attempt the same warm-up she does for all of her training sessions.

"I also enjoyed the team-building exercises as they gave me a chance to meet new people.” Connor works at Quayside Gymnastics in Bridgwater."

BTC Assistant Principal Jason Gunningham said: “We’re proud to work in partnership with British Gymnastics so we can provide excellent learning opportunities like this for our apprentices and students.

"Meeting elite sports people like Alice is both a privilege and an inspiration that will create higher aspirations in both our learners and the people and communities they work with."