Growing gym club’s bid for extra space

Sleaford Gymnastics Club appealing for bigger premises. Coach Sammi Emsley with Rebecca Fletcher 12 EMN-190325-102951001
Sleaford Gymnastics Club appealing for bigger premises. Coach Sammi Emsley with Rebecca Fletcher 12 EMN-190325-102951001

A Sleaford-based gymnastics club is making an appeal for bigger premises after missing out on a bid to relocate.

Sammi Emsley, Head Coach of Sleaford Gymnastics Club recently applied to Lincolnshire County Council to move into a large unit it owns on one of the business parks in Sleaford, but the bid has failed as the unit must return to commercial use for greater employment and training.

Without relocating, Mrs Emsley says the club is unable to grow. She said: “That was the only unit we know of available that is big enough in the town to accommodate a gymnastics set-up, due to its size, layout and location.”

The club, which formed in 1996 and moved to its Westgate premises in 2000, caters for recreational level and has a successful squad of girls competing at county, regional and national level. Sammi, who has 30 years of experience in gymnastics, added their continued success is what has led to this situation: “The biggest problem we have is the floor area. Our gymnasts do not have room to do exercises after coming off the apparatus, without unpacking and packing away the equipment.”

She said lack of space hampers coaching boys: “We have no space for the rings or pommel horse.

“We appealed to the county council to reconsider our bid to move into their unit but that has been turned down.”

She is frustrated that other buildings on the business parks are permitted for leisure use and her club provides employment and training of coaches, while promoting physical activity in children.

A council official has told parents: “Our funding historically, and going forward is based on our activities stimulating economic development throughout the county. In real terms this means jobs, training and business support and our decisions are based solely on this criteria.”

They have offered to help find more space for the club, working closely with property agents for anything that may come on the market.

“We have also alerted colleagues at Active Lincolnshire too, as it may be that they can offer some solutions,” they said.