Triple Olympic champion Max Whitlock is using his platform as a gymnast and father to give back to the grassroots community.
The 30-year-old will launch Max Whitlock Gymnastics alongside his wife Leah in November 2023, with the aim to transform gymnastics in primary schools and to create a profoundly positive influence on young individuals.
Speaking at the SportsAid PE Conference at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, organised by Leap, Britain's most successful gymnast stressed his excitement about using his knowledge and experience to inspire younger generations in a new and innovative way.
"I've been doing gymnastics for 23 years and what I'm now seeing is how much it can benefit children and how many doors it can open," he said.
"Children need to be moving more and more active in this day and age as it will help them more in their future lives.
@BensonJMiyoba thanks for your help today and the use of your studio. We captured some great moments with @maxwhitlock1 @AliOliverYST and Leap's Chair, Sue Imbriano... much appreciated 🙏🏻 @Leap_BMK https://t.co/9qr3SXDZGT pic.twitter.com/5W1YqTI8CW
— Mark Ormerod (@MarkOrmerod1) October 12, 2023
"I'm not trying to create the next elite gymnast; I just want to help at grassroots level and help children figure out what you want to do.
"I believe gymnastics is one of the best starting sports and we want to promote that in the best way.
"We want to give every ingredient to these teachers to help them make gymnastics the very best it can be for the children."
Whitlock became a father in 2019 and also cited his daughter Willow as a key inspiration behind his latest venture, knowing first hand just how important it is to keep a young child active through sport.
"My little girl Willow is four years old now and has just started school and I think we've learnt a lot from being parents, knowing how much we want to keep her active," he added.
"She obviously does gymnastics and she's obsessed with it, but she also does tennis, dance and sometimes skiing.
"Because of her, it's almost instilled in me about how important it is to keep children active.
“We all know the benefits that come from active but there's so much more than surrounds that, from social interaction to building confidence and Willow has told me that."
Over 100 teachers from across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes attended the PE Conference at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.
— Leap BMK (@Leap_BMK) October 12, 2023
The event saw a fantastic line up of keynote speakers including special guest Whitlock and provided the opportunity for primary and secondary schools to enhance their teaching skills and take part in several practical and theory-based workshops, including a session with Whitlock and his wife Leah, as they walked through their programme and highlighted one vital point: gymnastics is easy to teach.
"We ran a lesson of what teachers can experience from our programme and what they would be teaching," said Whitlock.
"A big part of our work is showing how gymnastics is not a big and scary thing to teach.
It's a very simple sport and we need to eradicate the fears that teachers may have from teaching it.
"You teach them that golden rule of a forward role and that's staying for life, so let's give them some fun and let them move forward in conference.
"We want to provide teachers with everything they can ever need in the sport and feel at ease when it comes to gymnastics."
Leap, the Active Partnership for Bucks and MK, hosted the PE and School Sport Conference at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. An opportunity for primary and secondary schools to enhance the teaching skills and new opportunities with a host of practical and theory-based workshops.