March 26th 2021
British Gymnastics Is Accused Of Losing The Plot In Governing Body Row
British Gymnastics

Gymnastics two governing bodies, British Gymnastics and UK Gymnastics, have continued their war of words following the recent Court of Appeal hearing on which one could call themselves a governing body.

British Gymnastics have put out a statement saying that they accept that the Court of Appeal found differently to the High Court, which last March attempted to say that UK Gymnastics could not call themselves a governing body.

In a clear ruling delivered on Wednesday, the Court of Appeal said that the previous judge, Melissa Clark – who has chequered history of her judgements being overturned in the Court of Appeal –  was wrong in that assessment and were entitled to do so.

The ruling meant that effectively there were now two official governing bodies for gymnastics in the UK, one that is  recognised by Sport England, and one independent governing body.

However, British Gymnastics statement focused on potential trademark infringement but failed to address the issue of Governing body status.

UK Gymnastics Chris Adams said: “Clearly the Court of Appeal has embarrassed British Gymnastics because the whole point behind their trademark infringement claim against us was that we couldn’t call ourselves a national governing body. The Court of Appeal has corrected this and made it clear that we are, and we can, and we are naturally very pleased about it. The trademark infringement issue simply flowed from that, and to be honest, it looks like they losing the plot. We weren’t concerned about the trademark’s anyway.”

Meanwhile, gymnasts across the country have been universally, have universally praised the Court of Appeal, saying that finally the monopoly of single governing bodies in the sport has come to an end, and a real choice for the consumer has happened.

Stephanie, who runs a gymnastics club in New Brighton said: “Finally, we have got what we wanted. Gymnasts and gymnastics clubs up and down the country can finally go to a proper independent governing body for our sport, which gives fair opportunities from lower to higher levels, whilst encouraging enjoyment for the sport. We’re all thrilled about it.”

Chris Adams said: “It’s been a great week for our sport. And probably a great week for choice and competition as well. The consumer deserves it to have more choice, not only in sport, but in every walk of life. Now sports governing bodies are catching up with that reality. It doesn’t matter what sort of silly spin British Gymnastics put out by clinging onto parts of a judgement which didn’t make any difference anyway. The fact is we won, we are a national governing body, and that is all there is to it.”

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