Coaches

At HGA we have a team of highly qualified and experienced coaches trained to British Gymnastics standard.

Natasha Maxwell, as our Director of Coaching overseas all areas of coaching from recreational to our elite gymnasts. Her team of coaches includes a number of former championship gymnasts who provide a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience, backed up with British Gymnastic qualifications.

All our coaches hold the appropriate level of child protection security checks including DBS and Safeguarding certificates.

Our Coaches…

Natasha Maxwell –  Natasha is our Director of Coaching, founder and joint owner of Harefield Gymnastics Academy. As an international, high performance coach, Natasha has been involved in gymnastics and gymnastic coaching for most of her life. She began her coaching career when she was just 15 years old and has coached ‘Team GB’ for acrobatic and European games. Prior to founding HGA, Natasha was head Acrobatic Coach at Harrow Gymnastics Club.

Ventsi Genov –  Ventsi is an intenational, high performance coach for acrobatic gymnastics and has been coaching gymnastics for over 31 years. Ventsi has been instrumental in coaching gymnasts to achieve medal success at both European and World Championships, during his long career as a coach. He also achieved great medal success himself as an acrobatic gymnast, collecting over 30 individual medals at European and World Championships and at World Cup level. Ventsi is also an assessor for British Gymnastics coaching exams and a great asset to the HGA Coaching Team.

Rachael Prest– Rachael is a senior coach and has been associated with the Academy since it was set up in 2006. Rachael was one of HGA’s elite performance gymnasts, having moved to HGA at the age of 14. She went on to compete as part of the Great Britain national team, winning gold at the European Championships.  Rachael has a degree in Sports Science, is a qualified nutritionist and is a full time secondary school PE teacher.

Anita Bedwell –  Anita has coached artistic and acrobatic gymnastics for over 25 years and joined HGA over 11 years ago. As well as her extensive coaching experience, Anita has a sports degree, is a qualified sports injury physiotherapist and also currently works as the ‘school sports co-ordinator’ for the Watford and Hertsmere Partnership. Before this Anita was a primary school teacher for 12 years.

Nicola Powell – Nicola is a senior coach in artistic and sports acrobatic gymnastics. She has over 24 years experience both squad and general gymnastics having started her coaching career at the age of 15. As a competitive gymnasts herself, Nicola competed and meddled at international level, competing for the Great Britain Tumbling Team.  Nicola is a qualified physiotherapist and has worked at various private and NHS hospitals as well as local clinics.

Mel Smith – Mel is Head Coach for our HGA recreational squads overseeing all training and development. A successful gymnast herself, Mel competed at numerous regional, national and International competitions. In addition to her responsibility as Head of recreational gymnastics, Mel also works with our performance squad. She has been coaching for over 10 years.

Kathryn Bowra –  Kathryn is a former international performance gymnast who has been with HGA since she began competing at the age of 10. Kathryn started her coaching career at the age of 14, when she began to coach on a voluntary basis while still competing at elite level. Kathryn has extensive experience of competitive gymnastics, competing at local, national and international level, in both a women’s pair and women’s trio. An experienced gymnast and qualified coach, Kathryn started coaching her first squad at the age of 16. She has since developed her coaching experience and now coaches a number of our recreational classes and squad groups.

Josie Cook –  Josie has been with HGA since she was 10 years old. As part of the Academy’s elite performance squad, Josie has competed at a local, regional, national and international level. With a succession of gold and silver medals at performance level, Josie has a great deal of gymnastics experience. Josie started her coaching career on a voluntary basis at the age of 13, while still competing as a women’s pair and women’s trio at an international level. She now coaches a number of our recreational classes and squad groups

Hannah Bowra – Hannah began her coaching career at the age of 13 on a voluntary basis, becoming an assistant coach at 16. Hannah was a competitive performance level gymnast with HGA competing at a local, regional, national and international level. She ‘retired’ from competitive gymnastics at the age of 19 in July 2017 having competed as a 13-19 base in a women’s trio.

Kyla Cook – Kyla has been involved in gymnastics since the age of 10 and is still competing as a base in a women’s trio. She has a wealth of gymnastics experience at both local, regional, national and international level where she has been in mixed pairs, women’s pairs a women’s trio. Alongside competing Kyla is a qualified coach and has been coaching our younger gymnasts for a number of years.

Ron Powell Ron is the chairman of HGA having helped set up the Academy, with Natasha over 11 years ago. As well as the many hats that Ron wears for the club he also helps to coach our younger gymnasts. Ron has a wealth of knowledge and experience about acrobatic gymnastics and has been a huge support to the Academy over the years.

Gemma Martin – Gemma is our dance teacher working with our squad gymnasts to develop a range of dance techniques and assists with choreography of routines.

Chelsea Pledge – Once a competitive gymnast herself, Chelsea is now coaching and working with our National Development Programe (NDP) squads. During her time as a gymnast, she achieved medals at both local and regional competitions.

In addition HGA has a number of coaches working alongside our main coaching team who are currently studying for coaching qualifications.We encourage our younger performance gymnasts to volunteer, to develop coaching skills and pass on their knowledge and expertise of the sport, while they are still competing gymnasts.