Having been given the green light to continue elite-level training amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bracknell Gymnastics Club are stepping up their preparations for the rescheduled TeamGym European Championships.
The biennial event sees gymnasts at junior and senior level partake in three pieces of apparatus – tumble, floor and trampette – and Great Britain will endeavour to win their first-ever medal at senior level when the 13th European Championships take place next April in Copenhagen, Denmark.
One man tasked with training up the selected gymnasts for the European Championships is Lewis Jones, a high-performance coach and former GB athlete from Bracknell.
The 30-year-old juggled his coaching and training commitments until his retirement in 2016 – prior to which he won numerous British titles and competed as part of the GB Senior Mixed team at the 2014 European Championships.
Jones is part of the Technical Expert Pool in the GB coaching team – which also includes a unit leader and choreographer for each category (men's, women's and mixed) – and the former GB gymnast is working with the men's teams after overseeing the women's unit for the 2018 Europeans.
The pathway to the European Championships has changed drastically since Jones plied his trade as a gymnast, and here, the GB coach speaks to Sports Mole reporter Ben Knapton about the build-up to the Europeans and how he managed to adapt his coaching methods during lockdown.