Buckley Girls Gymnastics Club is marking the end of an era with Stan and Diane Buckley stepping down after being at the heart of the club since its early days.
The club has been under the guidance of Stan, director of coaching, since 1979, with Diane, as treasurer, also working hard behind the scenes.
Coach Ceri said: “We cannot thank Mr Buckley and Diane enough for all the work they have done getting the club to where it is today.
“They have worked tirelessly to ensure that the club is as good as it can be for its members and coaches.
“Buckley is a family that they will always be a part of and I hope we can continue to grow on the solid foundations they have created for us.”
Mr Buckley said: “Over our time at Buckley Girls Gymnastics, working out of a school gym 2-star facility, we were able to produce many GB and Welsh internationals and provide Wales with representatives at three separate Commonwealth Games.
“Fostering friendships through our sport of gymnastics was always my aim, in addition to high performance gymnasts.
“To help achieve these aims, giving the opportunity of travel, new
training and competitive adventures for our gymnasts, we began with a visit to Bulgaria, later visiting Russia, Ukraine, France, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland and Scotland.
“Working alongside me has been my wife Diane who, as the administrative anchor, helped me achieve my dreams along with the help and support of people I am glad to call my friends.
“Professor Walter Consonni became my mentor and with his help and guidance we achieved much success which included a British junior champion in women’s artistic gymnastics.
“There were times I didn’t always agree with my mentor but understood his advice would provide me and the club with the success I craved.
“We have now progressed to a 4-star facility with a new head coach and I wish the club much success in the future.
“Leaving the club I have served for over 40 years is the hardest thing I have had to do and will leave a big hole in my life that will be difficult to fill.
“For Diane I believe it will be a great relief and a rest from the constant delegation of tasks that need to be completed.
“I will be continuing my tutoring/assessment work for British Gymnastics and look forward to welcoming the club’s up and coming coaches when courses get the all clear to go ahead.
“There are many people that have helped me achieve the dreams I had for the club and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.
“I make a special mention to my gymnast and coach Ceri Sass who has always supported me in my dreams, also that great gymnast and friend Lisa Gannon (nee Barton).”
We would like to wish Mr Buckley and Diane well for the future.