Lasswade Gymnastics club has many dedicated coaches, several of whom were gymansts themselves and now dedicate their time to help teach the next generation.

Having started helping out with groups since I was twelve years old, I very quickly fell in love with the sport of gymnastics. Since then I have dedicated my time and life to the gym. I have passed women’s artistic level 3, and hope to go on to pass 4 and 5 as quickly as possible. I have coached several gymnasts through national and elite grades and have had gymnasts in the Scottish national squad.

My goals are to work as part of the team to help the club develop and grow as much as possible. I also want to see every child reach their goals and maximum potential, and it is my own personal dream to coach gymnast(s) to commonwealth level or even higher.

I would say my coaching philosophy heavily emphasizes work ethic. I believe in helping every child reach their maximum potential by teaching them to work hard rather than rely on ‘talent’. I try to teach every child to be determined and strong, work hard, have good sportsmanship and be tough both physically and mentally. This way even if a child doesn’t make it all the way in the sport, they will have learned valuable life lessons and be ready for the adult world.



I am from Vancouver, Canada, where I have been coaching gymnastics for over a decade. My life as gymnast began at 5 when I joined Delta Gymnastics men’s artistic competitive team (Delta, British Columbia, Canada). I competed at a high level until I was 15 when I made my province’s provincial team. Though I continued competed in a lessened capacity for fun through the end of high school, stopping the high-level training and competitions allowed me to move into coaching.

My coaching life started at Delta Gymnastics at 15 where I coached the men’s competitive team that I had been part of for years. I worked under an amazing mentor who I credit with my development as a technically minded coach who focuses on the development of sub-movement patterns and basics as a way to achieve higher skills. After three years coaching the men’s competitive team, I moved on and started coaching at a small club at the University of British Columbia, where I was attending as a student. Because of my love of competitive coaching, I helped start a new competitive team of high school aged gymnasts designed to be accessible for any skill level. In a few short years, our team grew to one of the largest and most successful in the province winning many provincial championships at a variety of levels in both men’s and women’s artistic. While we were successful on the podium, I am most proud of the accessibility that was promoted in our team. We started the team with the overall philosophy that anyone can join gymnastics and feel success no matter what age and innate ability they start with and our team reflected this diversity.


My life has now taken me to Scotland where I have been granted UKCC Level 3 in both Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics based on my years coaching and course work completed in Canada. I am excited to use my knowledge and experiences learned in Canada to help competitive gymnasts here at Lasswade!

I have been coaching in the sport of gymnastics now for over 35 years. I am qualified as a senior club coach (level 4) and have been the head coach of several clubs, including Vitesse, Jack Kane, Hunters Tryst and now Lasswade.

I have coached from pre-school and recreational level to Scottish and British Championships and Commonwealth Games qualifications.

It was always my dream as a coach to have my own purpose built facility. Now that that dream is realised my key goal is to professionalise the club and the sport in order to see all coaches paid and rewarded for their efforts. I also wish to create and develop pathways and set-ups to allow future generations to follow in my footsteps.

Finally, I wish to make gymnastics a sport that is available to all for love of the sport and the desire to give children a better quality of life.

Michelle PurvesComing from a family that has always been involved with gymnastics, I think it was inevitable that I would somehow become involved myself. Before coaching, I trained as a gymnast, starting late at 15. I never believed that I could become a very good gymnast, however, the support and encouragement from my coach and others in the club helped me to achieve things I once thought impossible.

I now have gymnasts tell me “I want to be like you”.  Nothing gives me more determination to be a good coach than this, to know I am inspiring and creating the next generation of gymnasts.

If I can achieve what I have, starting at 15, imagine the possibilities for those starting at 5 years old.

I aim to help anyone with a love of the sport to become the best gymnast that they can be, to give everyone a chance to achieve their goals.  Not all gymnasts have the natural gift to become top athletes in the sport, but regardless they should be given the chance to become the best that they can be, as gymnastics offers a huge variety of life skills: determination, bravery, perseverance, courage and strength.  These are all qualities I wish to bring out in my gymnasts, and do everything in my ability to help them become the best.

I passed my level 2 coaching exam last year and have had gymnasts compete in elite compulsory 5, achieving high enough scores to gain a place in the Scottish preparatory squad, and in regional grade 14 all Lasswade girls finished top 11, within the top 5 range & conditioning scores and out of 63 competitors they were 4 of only 5 gymnasts to achieve a distinction pass certificate.

Biography to follow

Having been a rugby player since childhood, I got into gymnastics through helping out at a local club. From starting as a club helper in 2011, I have progressed to being qualified in four different disciplines leading to gymnastics coaching being my full time occupation.

I came onboard at Lasswade Gymnastics Club in October 2013 and have enjoyed every minute of it. My coaching philosophy is simple, be a guiding influence to children through gymnastics development and providing positive experiences in an enjoyable and safe environment, which Lasswade allows me to do.

In my opinion gymnastics is a fantastic way for children of all ages and abilities to learn something new; the self awareness and self control gained through participating in gymnastics is just one of many ways in which the sport gives back to those who apply themselves. From two piece to four piece there are opportunities for children to learn valuable life lessons like commitment, friendship, teamwork, work ethic and that failure does not mean the end of something but is actually a starting point and springboard to success.

Jillian GivanI was a gymnast as a child, participating in Women’s Artistic gymnastics for eight years.   I have now been coaching for 4 years and thoroughly enjoy working with a wide variety of ages and abilities from recreational & competitive to pre-school gymnasts.

My daughter joined Lasswade when she was age 7( and now forms part of our competitive 4 piece). This re-kindled my passion for the sport and I volunteered as a parent helper. During this time I  completed my first qualifications to become an assistant coach.  I then undertook my Level 2 Women’s Artistic qualification to progress on to a Lead Coach and I plan to progress onto Level 3 Club Coach as soon as possible.

My coaching philosophy is simple, I am there to help each and every child be the absolute best they can be.  There is no better feeling than helping a child to complete a skill they have never done before, its these moments that make it all worth while.

Coaching / Judging / Professional Qualifications:

  • UKCC Level 1 General Gymnastics
  • UKCC Level 2 Women’s Artistic
  • UKCC Level 2 Team Gym
  • UKCC Level 2 Pre School

Previously a Training Manager at a large Financial Services company, I have recently taken a leap of faith to become a full-time gymnastics coach.  I am a mum of three, two of whom are Lasswade gymnasts (and I am sure my third will also join once he is old enough!).

At present a large proportion of my time is spent with gymnasts who are competing at Regional level 4 piece competitions.  We have had a hugely successful year with many of the gymnast achieving top ten placing at their grades (phenomenal when you consider there were 150+ gymnasts in their age group).

Over the last year I been heavily involved in setting up our beginners and competitive 2 piece classes.  These have proven hugely popular and we now have in excess of 70 gymnasts in these classes and it’s still growing.

Amy is currently working towards her L2 Women's Artistic Coach.  She is also qualified to L1 in Men's Artistic.

Coach Biography to follow


Stewart is currently working towards his Level 2 Men's Artistic Qualification and also has a Level 1 in Women's Artistic.

Coaching Biography to follow

Claire is currently working towards her General Level 2  and Pre School Level 2

Coaching Biography to follow

Coaching biography to follow


Gus Williamson has sadly passed away on the 27th of April 2014.  He will be missed by coaches and gymnasts.

Gus first got involved in gymnasts as a parent helper when his youngest daughter, Karen, took up the sport at 6 years old at a local leisure centre. She joined a club in Dalkeith a few years later where Susan Purves was the Head Coach and he started to get involved in the coaching side of the sport, qualifying as a level 3 coach in 1998.

In 2000, both Susan and Gus took over as head coaches at Lasswade GC which at that time was a small club doing some 4 piece gymnastics as well as floor & vault. Within a few years they were starting to get gymnasts into Scottish Squads which led Gus  to attending training sessions in Largs as well as many other gyms around the country. By this time he was also heavily involved in plans and negotiations that led to the opening of the Midlothian School of Gymnastics in late 2003 with Lasswade GC as the resident club.

Over the next 8 years the Club produced many fine gymnasts and over that time had a continual stream of girls making British National Club Grade finals which Gus attended as our club coach.

Gus was always  inclined towards the excellence side of the sport but he also helped a lot of individual gymnasts achieve their own particular targets along the way.


Tribute to Gus by Susan Purves, head coach:

I first met Gus on his daughters 8th birthday when he brought her to my club 26 years ago. Gus was keen to help out and began as a parent helper, then coach and committee member. I only ever needed to ask and things were done.

His passion and drive ultimately lead to the donation towards the building of the gymnastic hall, not to mention all the organisation that came with it, and known to few for many years. Since then he has continued to steer and grow the club. His aim over the last 2 years was to leave the club, coaches and gymnasts in the best way he could with the means to continue, develop and grow.

Inspiring many gymnasts, coaches and volunteers over the years, and giving his time and dedication all on a voluntary basis, Gus is truly the best volunteer I have ever met – even though he expected everything done yesterday!

Gus would want us all to carry on in his footsteps, not only for ourselves but for the generations to follow, where his memory will live on.

My love and thoughts are with his wife Isobel, daughters Karen, Suzi and the rest of his family at this time and hope they can take comfort in how much so many will miss him.


Tribute from Jillian Givan, Coach Lasswade GC.

Gus and I met over 5 years ago when my daughter began training at Lasswade GC. I must admit to feeling rather in awe of his passion and dedication to perfection from the moment we met. When I decided to train as a coach both Gus and Susan encouraged and welcomed me with open arms. Gus was always willing to offer his support, time and expertise and I have learnt lots from him over these years.

I know it was a very difficult decision for Gus to step back from coaching due to his health but it certainly never stopped him from contributing immensely to the club as CEO and Treasurer. Working alongside Gus on the Club Management Committees has been a steep learning curve and I will personally miss the support and advice he gave to me. I will really miss our regular debates about club policy and practices – we didn’t always agree but we had a good time trying!

Few people will have fully understood just how much of himself Gus gave to the Club and how big a gap he will leave behind. He leaves a long lasting impact on the life’s of so many gymnasts, parents, colleagues and on the local community. Something many of us will aspire to, but never achieve.

Coaching Structure May 2018