Children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust has rallied around one of the longest standing members of its Learning Academy following the passing of Gill Parry.
Across more than 40 years in the sector, Gill was a lead for PE and through her role in the YST’s Learning Academy, supported the implementation of the charity’s very first programme TOPs. Gill was also a Director of Sport in one of the first Specialist Sports Colleges.
Kate Thornton-Bousfield, YST Head of PE and Achievement, said:
It is with unspeakable sadness that we remember Gill Parry who passed away so suddenly yesterday. Gill lit up everyone’s lives with humour, passion, energy and fun. She loved life and gave so much to so many. Gill dedicated her years to engaging others in PE and sport, a true role model for young people; a special friend, a reliable, interested and steadfast colleague and a consummate professional. Gill was one of a kind, a heart of gold and irreplaceable.
As we come to terms with the loss of Gill within YST and the Learning Academy our immediate thoughts are with her family and close friends at this difficult time.
Shaun Marsden-Heathcote, Development Manager - Athlete Mentors at the Youth Sport Trust, said:
"I am absolutely gutted to hear the news about Gill. One of my favourite work memories ever is the two weeks I spent delivering YST International training with Gill in Biera, Mozambique. From that moment onwards she not only became a valued colleague but a friend.
"You only had to have one conversation with Gill to know she loved her work and dedicated herself to developing young people through PE, Sport and Physical Activity. She was never phased by anything and approached everything she did with the same passion, energy and sense of fun that she had for life. Once you met her you could never forget her, she was inspirational but also just a really lovely lady who would always greet you with the biggest of smiles and a huge hug.
"I feel lucky and privileged to have known her and I am so sad I won’t ever see that smile and receive that hug anymore.’‘Absolutely gutted to hear the news about Gill!"
On social media, colleagues shared messages of support and appreciation for Gill.