University Club President wins British Gymnastics Young Person of the Year

Edinburgh University Gymnastics Club President, Aaron Walker, was presented the 2023 British Gymnastics Young Person of the Year earlier this Semester.

The award recognises Aaron’s selfless dedication to both Edinburgh University Gymnastics Club and the wider sporting community.

Open to everybody

Aaron, a former Law Undergraduate student and now Global Environmental and Climate Change Law Masters student, began his monumental journey with Gymnastics Club in 2018, joining as a complete beginner and has been an integral part of the club community ever since. Following his positive experience of competing as a novice gymnast, Aaron worked tirelessly to encourage other members to start representing the club regardless of their ability.

During the 2021/22 season, Aaron took over the role of Competitions Captain, dedicating his time to fostering a more inclusive environment within the sport. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, EUGC presented around 5-8 competitors per competition, with only 1-2 of these individuals competing within the beginner/intermediate categories. This figure increased to 20-25 competitors per competitions under Aaron’s leadership, with this high participation being carried over during the following season.

The confidence he inspired amongst our athletes, many of whom started gymnastics at university, is a truly inspiring testament to his willingness to represent all abilities on the competitive stage.

Aaron Walker performing gymnastics

Enabling Excellence

In 2021, Aaron achieved his level one coaching qualification allowing him to become an employed member of the club coaching team and provide valuable insight to other gymnasts. He continued to apply this knowledge through becoming a British Gymnastics and a UGC  qualified judge which has allowed him to judge at competitions on both a regional, and national level.

Alongside his work as President during the 2022/23 season, Aaron was elected to the UGC league committee to take on the role of Assistant Head of Men’s Artistic Judging. He became responsible for the scoring of male competitors, from complete beginners to national team gymnasts, and his aptitude for the role led to his re-election for the upcoming season.

Anything is possible

Aaron also worked hard to re-establish the club outreach programme. Reaching out to his own high school, Leith Academy, Aaron invited the children to take part in a free gymnastics session in February earlier this year. As one of the most deprived schools in Scotland, the children often have very little opportunity to take part in extracurricular sports, particularly a sport as expensive as gymnastics.

Aaron was also instrumental to the implementation of our weekly EDEX sessions which eventually transitioned into our recreational programme. Importantly, this offered a more casual method of practising gymnastics in the wake of the costs of living crisis, allowing both students, and non-students the opportunity to train with us on a more affordable basis.

Aaron, congratulations from the Edinburgh University Gymnastics Club and the entire University of Edinburgh Sport community.

Related links

Edinburgh University Gymnastics Club (external site)

British Gymnastics (external site)