Gymnasts’ Olympic legacy venue plan

Photo Neil Cross'Garstang School of Gymnastics has just received �50,000 from the Olympic Legacy Fund to help with their expansion project.
Photo Neil Cross'Garstang School of Gymnastics has just received �50,000 from the Olympic Legacy Fund to help with their expansion project.

COACHES from Garstang’s top gymnastics club are calling on the support of the community to help them fulfil their ambitious expansion plans and create a lasting Olympic legacy for the town.

Garstang School of Gymnastics is celebrating after being awarded £50,000 from the Olympic Legacy Fund to help develop and expand their premises in Longmoor Lane, Nateby into a competition venue.

But club coach Mandy Thompson said while the club was ‘thrilled’ with the investment from Sport England,as part of their Inspired Facilities Fund, the club still needs to raise around another £10 -15,000 to help its expansion dreams become a reality.

The club attracts hundreds of members from across the area.

Several of its gymnasts have gone on to perform at international level but the current gym space is unable to cater inter-club competitions, meaning members have to travel further afield to compete for their grades.

The additional improvements would also allow more children to benefit from the club’s facilities.

Mandy said: “We are thrilled with the investment, we have been trying very hard for so long and the funding means we’re one step closer to building a competition venue in Lancashire.

“We’ve done a lot over the years to improve facilities but there is still quite a lot of extra costs for our gymnasts, who have to travel to Manchester and beyond to earn grades and take part in competitions,. An expanded gym gives members chance to compete at their own club.

“Hopefully the result is going to bring a great legacy of the 2012 Olympics to Garstang.”

Mandy added the new space would allow the club to host displays more regularly and generate funds on a continual basis.

So far, the school has set aside more than £10,000 of savings for the project, with additional money collected through the fundraising of members and donations. Garstang Town Council have also pledged £500 to the scheme.

The overall development is set to include an extension to the gym building and car park and investment in retractable spectator seating for future displays.

It is hoped, with the backing of the Olympic Legacy funding, the first phase of the project will begin by January 2013.

The Inspired Facilities fund is part of the £135m Places People Play legacy programme to bring the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities across the country.