Olympic Trampoline Gymnast and Athlete Mentor, Laura Gallagher, joins the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Laura has joined our BRIT Ambassador family and is championing the BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult and student mental health and fitness throughout the UK.
Laura has represented Great Britain in Trampoline Gymnastics since 2008. She is an eight-time World and European Championship medallist and a British Champion. In 2021, Laura represented Great Britain at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Through my own lived experience as a Great Britain gymnast, I understand the mental health challenges that young adults and students face.
In 2007, after winning the Junior World Championships, I struggled with my confidence, skill confusion and mental blocks. It took me 10 months to overcome those challenges and progress to the Great Britain Senior Team and compete at the World Championships a year later. 13 years on, and having suffered with injuries, I struggled with self-confidence and walked away from the sport I loved. Having then been re-introduced to hockey, I started to fall back in love with sport and this was a turning point in my life. Taking my time to return to Team GB, I rekindled my passion for trampolining, competed at the 2017 British Championships and won gold. This boosted my confidence and set me on the path to the Olympic Games in 2021.
I know that there has been a worrying increase in the number of students living with mental health challenges and am passionate about supporting and improving young adult mental health and fitness; we must do more now to proactively support students in order to avoid them facing long-term mental health difficulties. This is why the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) Vision resonates with me both personally and professionally.
I am delighted that BRIT are delivering the annual BRIT Challenge as a feelgood February fundraiser for every university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams and encourage student and staff participation. It’s great that the BRIT Challenge has been designed to be an inclusive event and enables students and staff of all abilities to participate and add their miles to their team’s 2,022 mile target by hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding).
I am thrilled to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family to promote the BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion. I would be delighted to support and encourage students and staff at The Open University, Strode College and Bridgwater and Taunton College as they take on their BRIT Challenge”.
Olympic Trampoline Gymnast and Athlete Mentor
After attending Strode College, Laura studied part-time, alongside training and work, and graduated from The Open University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology.
Between 2008 and 2010, Laura was a Teaching Assistant at a Primary School in Somerset where she supported teachers to help young people with a variety of behavioural, social and emotional needs; mostly 1:1 work both inside and outside the classroom. Between 2011 and 2013, Laura was a Teaching Assistant at a school in Somerset where she supported young people with SEN needs including dyslexia, ASD and other developmental, social and emotional behavioural needs. Between 2015 and 2016, Laura was a Learning Support Assistant at a School in Somerset where she supported teachers to help young people with SEND and look after student emotional welfare. Between 2016 and 2018, Laura was a Behavioural Specialist with Five Rivers Child Care in Somerset, where she used a therapeutic approach when working with young people between the ages of 8 and 19 for whom school had not worked. Her work included providing students with the opportunity to reengage in education and succeed. Working with a small team, she worked to address barriers to learning, boost confidence, self-esteem and identity.
In 2007, Laura was Junior (17 to 18 years) World Champion.
Laura has been a Great Britain Trampoline Gymnast and Squad member since 2008.
In 2011, Laura won team silver at the World Championships and bronze in the World Cup synchro.
Laura won team gold at the 2012 European Championships and also won bronze.
In 2013, Laura won gold at the World Championships and in 2014, won team gold at the European Championships.
Laura became British Champion in 2017 and that same year, won team bronze at the World Championships.
In 2018, Laura won bronze at the World Cup and in 2019, won team silver at the World Championships and as a World Championship finalist, qualified Great Britain a quota place at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In 2021, Laura represented Great Britain at the 2020 Olympic Games.
Since 2020, Laura has been a member of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s More than Medals Athlete Transition programme. The programme includes training and practical experience with the Trust’s education and community programmes and working toward an ILM accredited level 5 in coaching and mentoring.