Chris Walker

Name: Chris Walker
Role: Joint Head Coach, Director

Qualifications:
Level 3 TeamGym Coach
Level 3 Women’s Artistic Coach
Level 3 Pre School Coach
Level 2 Tumbling Coach
Level 2 Freestyle Coach
Level 2 Cheerleading
Disability add on module
Fun for Baby add on module
British Gymnastics Coach Mentor

Other Certificates
Child Protection Certificate
First Aid Certificate
Up to date CRB

Involvement in Coaching:
I started my coaching career as a swimming coach at Leeds swimming Club in 1982.
I became a volunteer at the City of Leeds Gymnastics Club in 1984, which was then held at Leeds Athletic Institute on Jack Lane where my older daughters Evy and Nikii attended training. I was inspired and supported by my mentor coaches Marjorie Carter and Barbara Collins who were both Olympians. A year later I gained a level 3 coaching qualification, and secured a coaching position alongside them. I also ran Saturday gymnastics sessions at Scothall sports center for many years.
 When City of Leeds moved to its new home, the Gymnastics Center of excellence at Carnegie, in around 1988, I coached the girls’ development squad. I coached this squad alongside Barbara Collins and other coaches including Rob my husband, preparing gymnasts from 6-10 years towards a competitive career in Artistic Gymnastics. I also later worked with older age groups, and during this time I was lucky to have had the opportunity to work with many high level international coaches from around the world.
In around 1985 alongside Barbara Collins and Mike Talbot I helped set up, and coached the first pre-school “Gym Mini “ classes in Leeds. During this time I also worked extensively in Leeds schools, running after school clubs and also the “Activate” curriculum sessions for Leeds City Council.
Rob & I decided that we would like to set up a community club, so on the 26th June 2004 Leeds Esprit Gymnastics club was founded, starting with a handful of gymnasts. Some of our early gymnasts and their family members, are still involved with the club today, as coaches and gymnasts. The club has grown so much from those early days. One of the best things about coaching, is seeing a gymnast’s face when they achieve a new skill (however small) for the first time.
I still love artistic gymnastics, but my passion lies within TeamGym, as its more inclusive for girls and boys, for all levels and ages of gymnasts ( 5 years to adult), and it builds great team spirit, dedication and enthusiasm for the sport of gymnastics that unites the club as a whole, and is what Leeds Esprit is all about.

Involvement in Sport:
I trained as a swimmer for a number of years learning some basic gymnastics during this time whilst practicing for tumble turns in the gym, and realized that gymnastics was what I liked the best. Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to go to a gymnastics club, but attended a club at High School and also taught myself gymnastics.