South Essex Gymnastics Club thrilled with Royal visit

By JAMES COLASANTI

SOUTH ESSEX GYMNASTICS CLUB were delighted to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to its Basildon-based home this week.

Prince William and Kate Middleton were guests of honour at the Basildon Sporting Village on Tuesday (Oct 30) and spent time chatting to several members of staff, including SEGC’s director of coaching Scott Hann and recreational manager David Rapley.

Their Royal Highnesses were in town to meet new apprentices, hear from graduates, and learn how to Coach Core scheme is engaging a diverse local community with sport.

Long-term SEGC staff member David (pictured above in the white top, chatting to Prince William) said: “I explained who I was, what I do here and that I run our Coach Core scheme for apprentices.

“He asked how the club became involved with the project and I said it was around 2016 when everyone was away at the Olympics, and it was left to me to decide whether we did it or not.

“We did, of course, and it has been a really good move for us as a lot of our younger guys transition from gymnastics to coaching, so it is fantastic to have a programme that is set up for them.

“We have been part of the project since it started in Essex and I think we have one of the highest retention rates with five out of six of our apprentices still here full-time or in another capacity.

“I think he was suitably pleased with what I told him – well, he didn’t send me off to the Tower anyway!”

Coach Core Essex has been running for almost three years and has built strong partnerships with local organisations year after year.

The Duke and Duchess also met representatives from Sport for Confidence and took part in a game of Boccia.