Meet Our Coaches


All our coaches have been police-checked and hold DBS certificates, formally known as CRBs. All hold British Gymnastics (BG) qualifications, or are working towards them under the supervision of a fully qualified coach. All members of the coaching team have been trained in emergency first aid, have attended and passed child protection courses and remain committed to the important principles of child protection, welfare and equity in their coaching.

Heather Sampford – Head Coach 

E – T – 0787 245 1517

imageHeather is the founder of Worthing Gymnastics Club and has been Head Coach since its inception in 2011. With almost 20 years’ experience in gymnastics she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience.Heather oversees the whole club and its sessions, organises the yearly plan together with Gemma, and gives guidance to Junior Coaches in all areas of their roles.She also oversees Men’s Artistic and training with a keen eye  as this is where her expertise lies.


British Gymnastics Qualifications: Level 3 General Gymnastics – Level 2 Men’s Artistic, Pre-School and Trampolining Add on Module: Fun 4 Baby – Freestyle

Gemma Bland – Assistant Head Coach

E – T – 0775 341 1070

IMG_1116Gemma is one of the club’s core coaches and has a history in participating and coaching cheerleading teams. She has been coaching at WGC since the club originated in 2011 will run Cheer sessions on Friday nights. Gemma runs the girls programme with Jacque and Di Lascelles.

Gemma heads up many of our club’s events. The years calendar includes Broadwater Carnival, FKA ‘fire station open day’, The Elderflower Festival and our in house annual club competition. She also helps to plan, choreograph and run WGCs spectacular Christmas Display and Annual Club Awards.

British Gymnastics Qualifications: Level 2 General Gymnastics – Level 2 Freestyle – Floor & Vault Judge.



Kai Sampford:

First one in and last one out, Kai is a key member of our club coaching all ages and abilities in every session we run, connecting with both Gymnasts and their Guardians helping to keep a real community spirit about the club. Outside of the Gym Kai heads up our digital marketing campaigns and looks after our website while assisting our admin team.

Di Lascelles:

Brings fun, energy and bundles of enthusiasm to her general gymnastics sessions. She is keen to support the girls in a floor and vault programme and offers competition opportunities. She is dynamic and gets the gymnasts to achieve at their level at every session.

L 1 GFA Gymnastics qualification.



Karina Brandina

Has extensive knowledge in dance and choreography and was a national rhythmic gymnast in her county of Latvia. We welcome her and the opportunities she brings to expand our menu of gymnastic disciplines and activities especially for our girls. She has a keen interest in  sports acrobatics as well, we can’t wait to expand our programme in September to accommodate her new programmes.

Rafe Brooks:

Rafe Brooks has made a big impact with our boys as a Coach and Mentor to our Men’s Artistic Squad. A Talented Gymnast himself, Ex MAG National Rafe is helping to inspire and produce the next generation of competitive 6 piece gymnasts!

Kim Mercita:

Kim is a B.G qualified Men’s Artistic Coach and Judge, with a long history in the sport. She supports our club in all areas, mainly behind the scenes and actively supports at MAG regional – national level for competitive development. Her expertise in choreography, and displays are invaluable.

Jacqui Voice:

Jacqui is a British Gymnastic level 3 coach in general gymnastics and level 2 pre-school. She also has a trampoline coach cycle 5, and a woman’s artistic coaching award together with being a trampoline and floor and vault club judge.

Jacque has a diploma in play work in children’s care and education.


Most of our wonderful voluntary coaches are ex gymnasts from many years ago or have experience in other sports they are all parents of our amazing boys and girls in our club. We couldn’t operate with out their support!

Emma Dewy – Gymnastics for all

Aja Person – General Gymnastics

Irina Lilova – Hood –  Pre School & Rising 5’s

Pete Pearson – Boys Development

Leadership Academy Coaches

With our young adults free runners and gymnasts already an inspiration to our club members, these boys and girls have taken the next step, either assisting in coaching, being involved in day to day running of the club as well as helping at events and competitions. They all play an important role in transforming the future of WGC, by passing on their knowledge experience, mentoring younger members and assisting in club development roles.

Our over 16 boys Karl Edward-Hibbert and Joseph O’Reilly are making a real impact on the club and looking to take their first Level in coaching,

U16 – 11+ : Jacob Tidley, Joshua Cridland, Zander Pearson, Zak Lawrence, Rhys Jones, Fynlay Rolfe.

Recently joining the Leadership Academy Programme, and already becoming more involved with their club by recently completing a 6 week coaching mentoring programme. A special mention to our Leadership girls.

U16 – 11+ : Galatee Oger-Libor, Lucy Gould, Eliza Rhodes, Felicity McGregor, Catherine Montero.

Our over 16 girls looking to take their L1 in coaching, we welcome the super keen hard working dedicated Larnni Mason and Megan Villis.

Invaluable to our club and lots of fun! Keep up the good work girls and boys.