Gymnastics coach Scott Hann has been awarded an MBE for his role in the stunning recent rise of the sport in Britain.

As director of coaching of the South Essex club, Hann was the mastermind behind the rise of Max Whitlock to his historic double Olympic gold medal triumph at Rio 2016. And with Olympic bronze medallist Amy Tinkler also now on Hann’s books, the 36-year-old has emerged as one of the most influential coaches in the country.

Hann told Press Association Sport: “It meant the world to me as a coach to see Max get his own honour and when I got my own letter through the post it was a great feeling.”

He added: “Obviously it is recognition for all the hard work and commitment and dedication but it is never something as a coach you expect to receive.

“At the end of the day I stand on the shoulders of so many giants, and I am privileged to get the chance to work with Max and so many other great athletes.”

Hann is an integral part of a gymnastics success story which has seen the sport rise from sports halls to frequent sell-outs at venues like Liverpool’s Echo Arena.

And the consequence is an unprecedented surge in interest at junior level to the extent that new premises and programmes are constantly being sought to cope with demand.

Hann added: “I’ve been coaching now for 20 years and to be a part of the group of people who have brought it to this level is insane.

“After Max won his first medal in London we had to create 1,000 new spaces at our club and since Rio we’ve been trying to open several more. It is all about trying to give these kids the opportunity.”