Cardiff Met Pays Tribute to Former Student, Lecturer and BBC Commentator Mitch Fenner

​Mitch Fenner with fellow sports presenters Matt Baker and Christine Still.​​

Cardiff Met staff and alumni have spoken with fondness of much respected gymnastics expert Mitch Fenner who was a student and lecturer at the University.

The former senior lecturer, gymnastics commentator and coach passed away last week at the age of 70 after a two-year battle with cancer.

He studied at Cardiff Met between 1963 and 1966 and progressed to become a highly regarded gymnastics coach during the 70s and 80s,-  most notably coaching two of the greatest British gymnasts of that era, Olympians Jeff Davies, British Olympian 1976 and British Champion 1979-1980 and Barry Winch, British Olympian 1980, 1984 and British Champion 1982.

Mitch was based at the Bush Harlow Gym Club in Essex at this time and returned to Cardiff Met to lecture in 1994, before retiring at 2011 to take up a new career in Holland.

He was best known to gymnastic fans for his work as a commentator for the BBC and the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and had been providing gymnastic commentary for the BBC since 1979 and during every Olympic Games since 1984.

He played a big part in Dutch Gymnastics as contributed to the success of the Dutch Men's Artistic Gymnastics Programme and consulted the Dutch men's squad in 2010 before becoming their head coach in 2012.

The squad rose from 17th at the 2010 World Championships to 11th in Glasgow last year. 

Mitch has been credited with being instrumental in their qualification for the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympics. This will be the first time the Dutch team has progressed to this stage

Fellow Cornishman Dave Cobner, Director of Sport at Cardiff Met, is also a former Falmouth Grammar School pupil, like Mitch, and said: "Colleagues are saddened to hear that Mitch Fenner, has passed away.

"He was a true professional as a teacher, coach, lecturer and, of course, as the voice of gymnastics on the BBC.

"We have lost a great colleague and friend and our thoughts love and prayers are with Mitch's wife Sandra and all his family at this sad time. God bless."