Glenys Derry

Categories // Women's artistic

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Notts Gymnastics Academy are sad to announce that Glenys Derry, founder and Head Coach of the original Notts and friend to many, passed away on Sunday 15th April, age 76.

Glenys or Mrs Derry, as she was affectionately known by her gymnasts, made an enormous contribution to gymnastics both nationally and regionally.  She founded Nottingham Trent Gymnastics Club in 1974 which later became Rushcliffe Gymnastics Club.  For many years the club trained at two sites, Trent Polytechnic Campus in Clifton and in the Sports Hall at Rushcliffe Leisure Centre and like so many clubs of that era, had to erect and dismantle the apparatus each and every session. 

In the 1990’s after many years of planning she led the development of a purpose built facility at Rushcliffe.  Glenys, together with others, worked in partnership with Rushcliffe Borough Council and British Gymnastics to create the National Sports Acrobatics and East Midlands Gymnastics Centre.  Initially the facility included the sports hall and the smaller pitted gym before a further large extension resulted in the hugely impressive Notts Gymnastics Academy that exists today.  Unfortunately, at the very point when everything came together for her, Glenys became ill. Her illness and other factors beyond her control, were to significantly impact on her life and she was never to reap the rewards of her vision and was never to work fully at the very place that had been the culmination of a lifetime's ambition.

The success of the Academy today owes much to her dedication, determination and drive. Glenys was always delighted with the success of Notts Gymnastics Academy and took great pleasure in the work of previous head Coach, Claire Barbieri (Starkey), and present incumbent, Adam Folwell and his team and the fantastic achievements of past and current gymnasts which saw her dream become a reality.

In a career that spanned over 40 years Glenys excelled as a High Performance Coach producing numerous international gymnasts who represented Great Britain at World Championships, Senior and Junior European Championships and World Student Games.  Her enormous contribution to performance coaching was recognized by British Gymnastics who awarded her the title of Master Coach in 1996 and by the wider sporting community when she received the prestigious United Kingdom British Institute of Sports Coaches (BISC) ‘Coach of the Year Award’ in 1989.

Glenys was hugely passionate about coach education, mentoring and supporting many of the country’s current elite Coaches.  After her enforced retirement from coaching she focussed her efforts in this area and worked tirelessly to support the development of coach education nationally through her work on the Women’s Technical Committee and in the East Midlands Region. 

Glenys made a huge contribution to the development of gymnastics within the East Midlands.  She was Regional Coach for many years and provided invaluable support to many clubs and Coaches.  She was also a longstanding member of both the East Midlands WTC and JTC and contributed massively to advancement and development of gymnastics in the Region.

While she will be remembered for her many significant achievements those who knew her well will remember her for her dry humour, her sense of fun and for always having the courage to stand up for what she believed in. 

We, at Notts, owe a huge debt of gratitude to Glenys for all the hard work she put in on our behalf, we respect the tremendous affection she had for Rushcliffe and how proud she was to know that her Legacy will continue.

Our deepest sympathies go her daughters, Karen and Tanya, her beloved grandsons Sam and Joe and to ‘her girls’ who all thought the world of Mrs D. 

Funeral arranagements and information on where to send cards and flowers are now available on the British Gymnastics website here: Glenys Derry.

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