“Recognising every child’s worth”: Chichester's Tracey Angell named Everyone Active's Coach of the Year

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A gymnastics coach from Chichester, who believes in "recognising every child's worth," has been named Sports Coach of the Year out of more than 230 leisure centres across the UK.

Tracey Angell, Head Gymnastics Coach at Westgate Leisure Centre, was awarded Everyone Active's ‘Sports Coach of the Year’ Award, recognising her exceptional dedication and contribution to gymnastics coaching.

National leisure operator Everyone Active manages Westgate Leisure Centre in partnership with Chichester District Council and hosts annual awards to recognise outstanding staff achievement across its entire business.

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The award was presented to Tracey by Stuart Mills, Everyone Active's Area Contract Manager, and Richard Minton, General Manager at Westgate Leisure Centre in a presentation alongside a group of Tracey’s pupils.

Richard Minton, Tracey Angells and Stuart Mills of Everyone ActiveRichard Minton, Tracey Angells and Stuart Mills of Everyone Active
Richard Minton, Tracey Angells and Stuart Mills of Everyone Active

Tracey – who lives locally in Chichester - has been a gymnastics instructor for more than twenty years, following a career as a swimming teacher. Her journey into gymnastics coaching began when her young daughter started at a local club two decades ago.

"I was already a swimming teacher, which I loved," Tracey explained. "Watching my daughter at gymnastics, I realised there was an opportunity to make the sport more inclusive and accessible, locally. I wanted to create an environment where no one would be turned away, regardless of gender or ability."

This inclusive philosophy stems from Tracey's own experiences. "Growing up I loved sports which I excelled in. As I grew to my teens a teacher told me I wasn’t putting my full effort in and to try harder - which I was. It made me feel I wasn’t good enough.

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“I don't want any child to feel pushed aside or not good enough. I'm passionate about recognising every child's worth and giving them opportunities to reach their potential."

Tracey celebrates her awardTracey celebrates her award
Tracey celebrates her award

Tracey has been instrumental in developing the gymnastics programme at Westgate Leisure Centre from the ground up. Her dedication has led to a thriving programme that now instructs 145 children per week and includes the successful Westgate Gymnastics Club.

Upon receiving the award, Tracey was overcome with emotion. "I really couldn't believe it. This award means so much to me and makes what I do all the more worthwhile. It's more than a job – it's incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. I have to give credit to my team and my partner in coaching, Michelle West. Without them, this wouldn't be possible."

Tracey's impact extends beyond regular coaching sessions. She coordinates gymnastics camps during holidays, mentors younger coaches, and organises competitions that attract gymnasts from other centres and clubs.

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Tracey's commitment to her students is evident in her coaching philosophy. She said: "I want to recognise everyone as an individual and help them realise their self-worth. If there's something they really want to try, I encourage them to go for it. I've seen so many children come in, never having tried gymnastics before, frightened to attempt it. But very often, they surprise themselves with what they can achieve."

Stuart Mills, Everyone Active's Area Contract Manager, praised Tracey's accomplishments: "Tracey's passion for gymnastics is clear for all to see and is the embodiment of what we strive for at Everyone Active.

“Tracey's dedication goes beyond teaching routines; she instils confidence, nurtures talent, and inspires success in every child she coaches.

“Her impact extends far beyond the sports hall – she positively influences the lives of hundreds of young people in our community. We're not just lucky to have Tracey—she's a true asset to Everyone Active and a role model for coaches nationwide."

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Richard Minton, General Manager at Westgate Leisure Centre, added: "Tracey goes the extra mile in providing quality sports lessons each week, ensuring the sessions are fun, safe, and challenging. Her genuine interest in every child and parent has created a uniquely inclusive and dynamic programme. Tracey doesn't just teach gymnastics; she inspires a lifelong love of fitness and personal growth."

“It’s people like Tracey who make a huge difference in our communities and have a really positive influence on our children,” says Cllr Jess Brown Fuller, Cabinet Member for Culture and Events at Chichester District Council.

“I’d like to congratulate Tracey and thank her for the commitment and dedication she has shown in supporting young people in our area over the past 20 years.”

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