Meet The Team


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

Heather 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. Heather oversees the whole club and its sessions, organises the yearly plan together with the team, 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

Gemma Bland – Assistant Head Coach

Gemma is one of the club’s core coaches, Gemma is a well experienced coach within the WGC team who has helped the club to become what it is today and a fantastic, fun, and focused coach. 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.

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 British 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.

Sadie Fletcher

Sadie is very happy to have joined the wonderful Worthing Team. Coming from a successful background herself in both gymnastics and dance, and following an extensive professional dance career, Sadie has always been involved with teaching children in all disciplines of dance, gymnastics, and martial arts. She brings all her experience enthusiasm and passion for these vocations to her coaching.
Sadie is a British Gymnastics Level 1 Coach in general gymnastics and looks forward to developing her coaching skills further with WGC.

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!

Claire Jones

Has a level 1 in Sports Acro, she runs her squad on a Friday evening, we can’t wait for her to expand this fun team building discipline to produce show stopping routines to music for boys and girls.

Megan Villis, Leilani Mason and Joesph O’Reilly: 

Our L1 GFA coaches Megan, Leilani and Joesph are working with our development girls and boys, producing new and exciting programmes. They are  enthusiastic creative and hardworking coaches and strive to provide a safe and fun environment for all gymnasts to engage in the sport that they love.

Catherine O’hagan

The gem from the Emerald Isle that joined WGC earlier this year. Catherine has injected her Irish charm into the coaching team with contagious fun and enthusiasm.

A teacher by day Catherine brings her experience of engaging with young people and building their confidence and skills within the WGC framework.

Catherine will shortly be completing her Gold Award coaching course which will further help her support our gymnasts in achieving their proficiency awards on their gymnastics journey.


Josy Stoker

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!

Mum of 4 Josy is our most recent volunteer coach to join WGC. With 3 of her children already keen gymnasts Josy is all too aware of the commitment needed both by the gymnasts and their parents.

Josy is on hand to support parents with any questions they may have and additionally and new and/or existing gymnasts that may need additional support.

Josy is inventive, imaginative and innovative and also has her own craft business that she manages to fit in around the Gym and her busy family life.

Keep an eye out for our “crafty” new coach.

Emma Dewy – `pre school Rising 5’s

Ju Ferris – Men’s gymnastics

Pete Pearson – Boys Development

Kai Sampford

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 social media and digital marketing campaigns.

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  next generation of leadership coaches 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, Fynlay and Oscar Rolfe.

The Leadership Academy Programme, continues to make headway and encourages sustainability and a sense of ownership. A special mention to our Leadership girls.

U16 – 11+ : Galatee Oger-Libor, Lucy Gould.


Our leadership team is invaluable to our club and lots of fun! Keep up the good work girls and boys.

Hannah Ferris – Competition Secretary 

Hannah has three children, two who are members of WGC. She is your first point of contact for all things competition related, including club kit. She is also a valuable volunteer and organises our fundraisers at all our events and displays. You can contact her on

Katherine Lawrie – Funding & Sponsorship Manager

 photo-1Katherine has two sons. Her youngest, Joseph, has been a member of WGC since its inception and is now coaching and training to be a L1 Coach. She heads up the fantastic group of parents and friends who organise the wonderful fundraising and events and all the hard work behind the scenes. She is also one of the main points of contact for funding and grant bids. Half of our equipment would not be here without the hard work she puts into writing bid and grant proposals. Please contact Katherine with any funding ideas on

Alex Walter – Welfare Officer

FullSizeRenderAlex Walter has three children, two of which attend WGC. He is a specialist paramedic in urgent and primary care, working for the out of hours GP service here in Worthing. He is also the Resuscitation Officer for the local community NHS Trust and teaches first aid to local school staff and parents.

He has been involved with young people, ever since he was one himself! Previously he has been the chairman of a local Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Committee

Alex believes that we need to encourage our children to take more exercise than they do and to instil a sense of discipline that will enable them to tackle today’s world in a more confident yet caring and healthy way.

He will be available at some classes throughout each week, although please feel free to ask to meet him in person and he will attend any class that he can.

You can also contact him about anything regarding the welfare of our young gymnasts, including health related matters. It is usually best to contact him via e-mail – – or give any of the coaches your number and they will contact him to call you.