Introducing Mr Scott Patterson

We are delighted to announce Mr Scott Patterson will be taking on the role of Head of Gymnastics from Summer 2022.

Scott is a familiar face to many at Tormead, having helped coach our extremely successful Gymnasts for the past ten years. Upon appointment to his new role, we sat down with Scott to find out more about his career and what he is most looking forward to when leading the Gymnastics department.

Congratulations on your appointment – can you tell us a bit more about your background and career history?

I’ve been teaching Gymnastics since I was 14 years old – I taught and participated in Gymnastics throughout my whole education until after I graduated from Durham University and moved to Surrey to pursue a career in finance. I quickly realised that life behind a desk wasn’t for me, and I moved back into teaching Gymnastics at Guildford High School and The Gymnastics Factory. After a year or so of getting back into the swing of Gymnastics teaching, I made the move to Richmond Gymnastics Association, and it was then that I also started working at Tormead. Over the last ten years I have continued to teach the extra-curricular Gymnastics classes at Tormead and have taught competitive acrobatic gymnastics at Richmond. Most notably, I have been fortunate enough to lead several Gymnastics partnerships in achieving World and European championship titles.

What are you most looking forward to when you start as Head of Gymnastics at Tormead?

I’m really looking forward to being handed the baton by Mrs Jo Drury and understand that I have some big shoes -to fill! The Gymnastics programme at Tormead is second-to-none and I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead it. I’m excited to work with the rest of the Gymnastics team to continue to position Tormead as, arguably, the leading school for Gymnastics in the UK.

Can you tell us more about your own Gymnastic background, especially when you were competing?

I competed in Acrobatic Gymnastics from the age of 11 until I retired in 2006. During this time, I competed for Great Britain at all major events between 1999 and 2006 and won several World and European medals; between 2003 and 2006 I was ranked 1st in the world in the overall World Rankings List. I was also awarded a Master Gymnasts award by British Gymnastics and am an honorary lifetime member of Team Durham for continuing to compete in Gymnastics at GB level whilst undertaking my undergraduate degree.

You’re clearly a very talented gymnast and coach, is there any particular aspect of Gymnastics you would like to promote or introduce as Head of Department?

I’d like to introduce elements of Acrobatic Gymnastics and Gymnastic coaching into the programme at Tormead. Acrobatic Gymnastics is my specialism and I started coaching when I was 14 years old. These aspects of my life have certainly made me the person I am today and have given me many good habits and life skills; I’d love to be able to pass this onto a new generation of students.

What is your favourite element of Gymnastics?

Honestly, I just love teaching Gymnastics. The joy that you get from seeing the look on a child’s face when they’ve achieved a new skill or conquered a challenge that they’ve been struggling with is almost tangible. That’s where the love of Gymnastics lies for me, no matter how difficult the element I’m teaching is.

If you weren’t a Gymnastics coach, what do you think you would be doing instead?

I think I’d have ultimately ended up doing something in a creative industry. I have a love of house renovation and interior design and architecture when I’m not teaching Gymnastics. Something in this field would have definitely drawn my interest.

Do you have any hobbies, aside from Gymnastics, that you partake in outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy participating in Cross-fit. As well as being a fun fitness activity for myself, I have also found it useful in developing my lesson plans for improving the fitness of my gymnasts. Using adapted Cross-fit training, I have been able to create a quantitative fitness programme so that the students can see their progress over time. As well as this, it also provides me with information so that I can see areas of weakness and areas that need to be worked on or developed.

Outside of sport, I spent five years renovating an old cottage. I found this incredibly rewarding and it was a brilliant outlet for my more creative side. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve now moved on to a new project which I hope to develop again having learnt some lessons and developed some new skills.

What is your proudest achievement?

As a gymnast, it would be achieving 2nd place at the World Games in Duisburg in 2005, missing out on the gold medal by only 0.003 marks. As a coach, I would have to say that there were two proudest moments: One would be my 12-18 men’s group winning the World Championships in 2016 in China, and the second would be my senior men’s pair winning a silver Dynamic Medal at the European Championships in 2019 in Israel.

What is a current goal of yours?

Following what has been a difficult few years for everyone, I’d like to move into 2022 with renewed energy and vigour. Professionally, I’m looking forward to taking on the role of Head of Gymnastics at Tormead and working with the other Gymnastics coaches to make a success of the upcoming competition year. Personally, I’m looking forward to ongoing time spent with family and plan on travelling more.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone wanting to try Gymnastics?

Anyone can do Gymnastics (but may not always win an Olympic medal!). The best advice that I could give would be to enjoy the small wins and improvements. Gymnastics is an early-specialisation but slow-gain sport. If you keep focussing on the small improvements and rewarding yourself for the work that you’ve put in, soon you’ll be achieving things that you never thought were possible.

Where next?