A gymnastic club in South Tyneside is making a big leap after being handed a major funding boost.
Monkton Gymnastic Club, based at Hedworth Gymnastics Centre, in Cornhill, Jarrow, secured £18,765 of funding from insurance company Aviva to buy a sprung floor.
The club, which has 84 members, had been without one since moving into its new premises in December 2016, and viewed it is essential in ensuring training was at the appropriate standard.
Monkton received the backing from Aviva’s Community Fund thanks to votes it received in an online poll.
The club feels that its gymnasts now have a much improved chance of improving and demonstrating their full ability.
Candice Telford, the club’s head coach and owner, said: “Our aim at Monkton Gymnastics Club is to help each child reach their full potential.
Without the funding, it would have taken us years and years to save up enough money to buy itCandice Telford
“Having our own premises helped the coaches and committee members to work towards that aim, but we had one large disadvantage, that we did not have a sprung floor.
“Having a sprung floor is essential for training more complex and difficult moves, and also protects the gymnasts’ joints.”
The club was first established and became affiliated with British Gymnastics in September 2011.
Its members train four times a week and are split into three groups – baby, group one and group two – with seven committee members running proceedings.
Hedworth Gymnastics Centre opened its doors in 2016 after working in partnership with Hedworthfield Community Association, with the club having previously been based at Monkton Stadium.
Thanks to the new sprung floor, which arrived in March, the club was recently able to host its first acrobatics competition.
Candice added: “Without the funding, it would have taken us years and years to save up enough money to buy it.
“We can’t thank Aviva enough, but we also need to thank all of our friends, families, colleagues and acquaintances who voted for our club.
“It really was down to our fantastic community that we were successful, so thank you to each and everyone who voted for us.
“Having the sprung floor has also enabled us to open up our gymnastics offer to the wider community.
“It’s lovely to see children discovering their love of the sport.”