Gym club leaps into new venue

The new, larger facility for Sleaford Elite Gymnastics Club celebrates its official opening this weekend. EMN-190104-171549001
The new, larger facility for Sleaford Elite Gymnastics Club celebrates its official opening this weekend. EMN-190104-171549001

A Sleaford gymnastics club and community interest company is planning a grand official opening of its new premises as it continues its growing success story.

Sleaford Elite Gymnastics Club has relocated from its unit on Sellwood Court in Sleaford Enterprise Park, to Unit 20 on East Road, formerly the Sleaford Furniture Recycling centre, having surpassed its five year development plan.

Coach Patsy Shields said: “Our old unit was 5,000sq ft which was good, but the club is growing and growing and the children are getting better, so we need more space and decided to expand to now have 8,500sq ft. We can have double the trampoline area with a run up and landing pit. We have our own tumble track and two trampolines, bars and rings - all the apparatus for boys and girls.”

Everything is accessible for disabilities and there is a training room for staff and volunteers too.

The new facility has the added benefit of a cafe and kitchen area for parents to stay for a drink while their children train, helping to cover the cost of the facility with proceeds reinvested into the club.

They aim to run a before and after school programme, work with local schools and provide holiday activities.

Patsy said it has taken a month to prepare the facility with lots of support from parent volunteers, which is why they have organised a gala evening and awards ceremony for volunteers on Friday, from 7pm, featuring Olympic team bronze medallist Kristian Thomas and the Mayor and Mayoress of Sleaford.

Then on Saturday at 9.30am the competition squad will assemble in the Market Place before running a Lincolnshire flag to the new gym, where they will be joined by Kristian Thomas and Spanish Olympic trampolinist Humberto Hernandez to open the doors and train with the children.

Finally on Sunday from 11am there will be a disability gymnastics open day featuring Special Olympics Ambassador Angela Morley.

At the moment the club has about 400 members, plus around 100 trampolinists and a competitive gymnastics team of 20 members attending regional and national events. They also plan to make a return trip to Portugal to compete later.

She said it is up to families whether children want to just have fun or take it more seriously.

Patsy said the future looks exciting, but she thanked the community and parents for making it possible: “We have 12 part and full time coaches and we hope to have Humberto coming in to coach as well.

“It is all great, as long as the children enjoy it,” she said.