Bristol Hawks Coaching Team are passionate about and dedicated to providing the best quality care for our gymnasts.
All our coaches are CRB checked and hold qualifications recognised by our sports national governing body.
Our gymnasts benefit from the wealth of knowledge gained in over 30 years of involvement in gymnastics from grassroots to elite level.
Meet our Team~
‘Coaching Team Manager’: Elaine May
Founder of Hawks Gymnastics Club, Elaine has been coaching champion gymnasts for over 30 years. She has recently retired as an ‘International Brevet Judge’ for Womens artistic Gymnastics. She judged for Great Britain at International events both at home and abroad. Her most recent major assignment was at the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships in London. Over the years Elaine judged at numerous prestigous events including Commonwealth Games, World Grands Prix, European Youth Olympic Festival and the World University Games. Elaine holds a Level 5 ‘High Performance Coaching Award’. She has coached numerous G.B. International gymnasts and was the G.B. coach to the Junior European Championships in Turkey. For many years she was both South West Regional Coach and National Zone 3 coach [covering the whole of the S.W. & Wales].
‘Coaching Director’: Helen Potter [nee May] BScHons
As a gymnast Helen competed for both the Great Britain Senior & English Schools [Junior] Teams and studied Anatomical Sciences at Birmingham University. After graduating with a first class honours degree she decided to follow her heart into a career in gymnastics coaching. Helen is an Level 6 ‘International Performance’ coach. She has had numerous international coaching assignments including World & European Championships, Commonwealth Games, Grand Prix events and World University Games. She is the personal coach of Rhian Pugh [G.B.‘s first ever Women’s European Gold Medalist] & Claudia Fragapane [GB Team Silver Women’s European Championships 2014]
‘Head Coach’: Sean Potter
As a gymnast Sean represented England as a School Boy International and competed for the North East Region in numerous competitions. His coaching career started at the club he trained at Eston [now GymWorld] and, amongst others, he coached the ex-Blue Peter presenter Matt Baker & Ged. Swash [National Team Member]. In 1994 he moved to Bristol and became Head of Men’s Coaching at Bristol Hawks. He has coached many Bristol Hawks Boys to G.B. National Titles including 3 time Elite NDP Tiltle winner & National World Class Start Squad Member Kelvin Williams. Sean is a Level 5 ‘High Performance’ Men’s Artistic coach and also a National Men’s Artistic Judge. His high performance remit is only part of his work for the club he is very popular as our party host, toddler instructor and as coach to our recreational classes.
Head Coach : Carolyn Fyfe
Carolyn is a British Gymnastics Level 5 ‘High Performance’ coach. She has a degree in Sports Science and is a qualified Sports Masseur. Since retiring from competition in 2007 she has taken on a role in the development of our Junior Squads & Elite performers in addition to our BG Award Scheme classes.
She brings a wealth of top level experience to the job having had a highly successful career as a top class gymnast. She is personal coach of Rowena Needham & Izzy Davis [GB National Squad Gymnasts 2014]
During her gymnastic performance career she won 12 county titles; 8 regional titles and in 2006 she won the British Universities Senior Elite Title. She has competed for her region, South West, on numerous occasions helping the team to win National titles at both British Schools & Inter-Regional Championships. She has been a member of the SW Regional squad & the Junior National Squad.
In 1996 she was selected to represent Great Britain in a Junior International against Holland.
In 2005 she was selected to represent Great Britain at the World University Games in Turkey where she qualified for the AA final.
In 2007 she was selected to represent Great Britain at the World University Games in Thailand again qualifying for the AA final and achieving a personal best score.
Head Coach : Rory Weavers
Rory was part of the Great Britain coaching team at 2014 European Championships. He is the personal coach of Claudia Fragapane [GB Team Silver at the European Championships 2014] & Rowena Needham [GB National Squad member]
A former competitive gymnast from Norwich Gymnastics Club, Rory moved to Bath to study for a BA in Coach Education and Sport Development at Bath University. He previously coached at both Norwich & the Norfolk Gymnastics Academy. His degree specialized in coaching and his dissertation was gymnastic based. After graduating in 2009 Rory joined the Bristol Hawks Team full time with responsibility for the development of our Elite Squad gymnasts and Development work.
Rory is a British Gymnastics Level 5 ‘High Performance’ coach and also holds a regional judging award.
Head Coach : Stephanie May [nee Micklam]
Steph brings her wealth of experience, both as a top class gymnast & coach, to the Bristol Hawks team.
In her competitive career she was a member of the G.B. National Squad from age 11yrs and represented G.B. as both a Junior & Senior International. She attended Wrekin College from age 14yrs where she trained with Park Wrekin G.C. under the tutelage of the famous coaching duo Chris & Colin Still. She competed worldwide at the highest level and in 1985 she represented Great Britain at the World Championships in Montreal. In 1986 she was part of the Silver Medal winning England team at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. In the same year she was once again selected for the World Championships this time held in Rotterdam. On her retirement from competitive gymnasts she was awarded the title of ‘Master Gymnast’ by British Gymnastics in recognition of her achievements.
Steph has a BA[hons] in Human Movement Studies and is a BG Senior Club Coach.
She has previously coached at LOGY G.C. in Scotland & Notts Gymnastics England. More recently Steph set up and ran her own club in Saudi Arabia, ‘Salto Arabia’. Steph’s input to Bristol Hawks will allow us to further develop the club and expand the programme of classes on offer.
Choreographer: Helen Edwards
Bristol Hawks is fortunate to have our very own choreographer,Helen Edwards. Helen is a former a top class gymnast and was a member of the Great Britain National squad from age 11yrs. She started her gymnastics in the North East and was a member of Whitburn gymnastics club where she was coached by June Groom. She gained a scholarship to Millfield School and was a member of the elite gymnastics squad there. In addition to the dance training Helen received as a gymnast she also has a background in Laban Contemporary Dance Technique.
Helen has a full time teaching post at Clifton College Bristol. In addition to this she has worked for Bristol Hawks on a voluntary basis for over 15 years, providing her expert gymnastic & dance knowledge to gymnasts of all levels throughout the club.
Her work has been acknowledged on both the national & world gymnastic scene most notably Carolyn Fyfe’s floor routine which Helen developed with Carolyn in preparation for the World Student Games in Bangkok. The club continues to benefit both from her dedication and friendship. In recent years Helen has moved into a more specialized role within the club concentrating on floor routine choreography and developing dance presence with our competition squads.