Welcome to our series of #KentGirlsCan blogs, where we will be sharing inspiring stories of women and girls from around Kent who are getting active and doing their thing, no matter what anyone else thinks. Today we’re featuring young volunteer Emily, who is proving that #KentGirlsCan by helping out at a local gymnastics club to achieve her Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award.

Emily was formerly a member at Maidstone Gym Club but has now returned to the club to volunteer.  By helping to set up the apparatus, oversee the warm-ups and helping younger members improve their skills she plays a vital part.

The club was established in 1976, has around 40 members and has always been run by volunteers.  Sadly its founder Mrs Coleman passed away two years ago and the club struggled to recruit new helpers.  Head Coach Zoe Hoadley said, “fortunately for us Emily came along at the right time. She’s a fantastic asset to the club and we aim to support her through her coaching pathway”.

Maidstone Gym Club #KentGirlsCan

Emily isn’t just volunteering at Maidstone Gym Club. She’s a Young Leader for a local cub group whilst also learning how to play bowls at Mote Park Indoor Bowls Club. All three activities contribute towards The Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award.

Norry Barber, County Co-ordinator for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said, “under the Kent County Council licence around 2,500 youngsters achieve an award each year with 57 per cent being female”.

Emily has attended some gymnastic specific proficiency courses and is hoping to complete a Level 1 coaching award.  Whilst still young, a future career as a PE teacher interests Emily where the above experience in volunteering and coaching can only enhance her chances.

Emily is really exemplifying the values of #KentGirlsCan through her dedication and enthusiasm to sport, and to helping ensure others have the chance to take part!

For more information on Maidstone Gym Club please visit www.facebook.com/pg/maidstonegymclub.

For more information on The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award please visit www.dofe.org/   or email DofE@kent.gov.uk