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St Mary’s Alumna Awarded MBE

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Teacher Training Alumna of St Mary’s University, Twickenham Maria McLoughlin has been awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours for services to gymnastics.

Maria Mcloughlin, who been involved in developing women’s gymnastics for the past 50 years is the Chair of British Gymnastics' Women's Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee. She has been involved in gymnastics for most of her life, having started as a child in the early 1950’s, going on to become one of the country’s leading gymnasts, representing Great Britain at the 1966 World Championships and the European Championships in both 1967 and 1969.

At an international level, Maria has been an ambassador for British Gymnastics, and is now the longest-standing international judge in the world, having served for over 45 years and is now in her 12th Olympic cycle. She has adjudicated at World and European Championships, Commonwealth Games and World University Games as well as being Judging Secretariat at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Speaking to British Gymnastics, Maria said, "I am so delighted and honoured to have been nominated by British Gymnastics to receive an MBE. Over the very short time I have known about the nomination I have been able to reflect on my gymnastics journey.

St Mary’s Associate Dean for Student Experience, and Maria’s daughter, Claire McLoughlin added, "We are truly proud of Maria and to be recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours is something quite special. She has dedicated her life to the sport of gymnastics and education, as a teacher, coach, judge, and a competitor herself.

“She has supported so many female athletes achieve their goals in sport, encouraging participation from recreation to the elite level. Her many years of voluntary commitment to the sport have been selfless and that only comes with having a real passion to help others achieve. To be the longest standing Judge in the world over 12 Olympic cycles is something quite remarkable. We hope maria continues to do what she loves best in the world of sport for as long as she can.

Maria has been a member of the British Gymnastics National Women’s Technical Committee for the last 17 years, where she champions inclusivity and equality in the Women’s Gymnastics programme. As Chair, she has overseen the development of a parallel performance pathway for disabled gymnasts, a revised performance pathway to keep young women engaged in the sport, and increased opportunities across all areas of competition including student and adult events.

In addition, Maria has been an administrator for London Gymnastics, her local area, undertaking a wide variety of roles since 1996 in support of the sport.

Alongside Maria’s gymnastics career, she also served as Head of Physical Education at St Mark’s Catholic School and authored and translated gymnastics books and publications.

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