MEMBERS of Sleaford Gymnastics Club are well on the way to perfecting their tumbles thanks to a grant for new equipment.
Lincolnshire Co-op have given the club £1,000 to buy a vaulting support block, a spotting block and a new safety mat.
Head coach Sammi Emsley said the grant has made practising a lot safer because they can do more preparation and more reps.
The vaulting support block in particular is a valuable piece of equipment. As well as acting as a stepping stone to safely learn different types of vaults, the gymnasts can also use it to learn the motions of a back flip.
“If I said to the girls before ‘we’re doing flick preps’ they were reluctant,” said Sammi, “but with this apparatus they have gained confidence and are keen to do it.
“It teaches them to get the spring and push into the shapes for a back flip as the block won’t roll over unless they are in the right position.
“It also helps us coaches as before we used to manually have to help each girl over which was hard work but now they can learn it on the block themselves.”
Around 100 youngsters take part in gymnastics at the club in Westgate, Sleaford, from pre school sessions to national level competition standard.
They learn skills on the mat, vault, beam and parallel bars, so the new safety mat bought with the grant is proving useful.
Sammi said: “Having the new mat is a great help. We’ve only got two mats that are the correct density, so we have to double up the others, which is OK for lower level skills but we need the extra density for the girls that are tumbling.”