Dorset gymnastics star Kirsty Way has been singled out for national recognition after her medal-winning exploits during a stellar 2022 season.
The 24-year-old, who lives in Bournemouth and trains in Poole, has been nominated for the Elite Athlete of the Year Award at this month’s British Gymnastics Awards.
Way’s nomination follows her two gold medals at the Trampoline, Tumbling & DMT European Championships in Rimini last summer, reclaiming the double mini trampoline title she first won in 2018 before helping Britain win team gold.
She said: “If you had told eight-year-old me when I started trampolining that I was going to be a two-time European individual champion, I’d probably laugh. I think it’s just incredible.
“Doing it once was something I thought was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and then to go and do it again – and against such a strong group of girls – it just shows that I am up there as one of the best in Europe and one of the best in the world. That’s a nice feeling to have!
“Team events are really fun but extremely nerve wracking. It’s pressure but it’s also not pressure because every one of us, all four of us in that team, would be completely understanding if one of us was to mess up or not perform at our best, because at the end of the day we can’t all be perfect at the same time.
“It’s just a real sense of understanding between the girls that we will all just give it a go and have fun, but we all smashed it, we got huge scores.
“We’ve been fighting for a gold in the team event for absolutely years, so we finally did it and it was celebrations all round. We were overwhelmed and just really, really happy – it was the pinnacle of Great Britain’s success so far.”
The British Gymnastics Awards are community led and about championing those who make the sport an uplifting experience for all, with more nominations than ever before coming in this year.
It is the creativity, dedication and passion from people in the sport that make gymnastics an accessible, inclusive and enjoyable sport for all.
The nominations have been judged by panels made up of British Gymnastics committee members and external panellists from across UK Sport, Gymnova, Milano, Gymaid, Youth Sport Trust, Sport England, Women in Sport, The Include Summit, Sport and Recreation Alliance, The Sport for Development Coalition and GB gymnasts.
Way followed her European triumphs with sixth at the World Games and the British title, but despite her success award recognition was not something she had thought about.
“I was really surprised, shocked and overwhelmed when I saw the nomination,” added Way.
“I just wasn’t expecting it at all. You see the nominations or the advertisements going out on social media about how the awards were coming up, but I didn’t think for one minute that I would get nominated and shortlisted.
“I just think it shows that everything you work towards is being recognised and a medal means a huge amount to a gymnast, but also just recognition from your governing body and the people who are supporting you – it just tops it off really.”
The British Gymnastics Awards celebrate those at the heart of gymnastics who create an uplifting experience for all. British Gymnastics has launched a new vision for a new era of gymnastics, learn more about Leap Without Limits here – https://www.british-gymnastics.org/vision