The club began in 2007, in a sports hall, with no gymnast members and instantly established itself in the community, providing much demanded classes for children.
As the club now enters its 13th year of successful operation, building year on year on membership and range of opportunities available to children and young people, we have an ambitious project plan to expand into urgently needed larger premises. Suitable premises have now been sourced and we plan to open the converted 16,200 square feet gymnastics centre by mid 2020.
The club currently can accommodate a maximum of around 400 members, but also has continuously growing waiting lists for class places, such is the demand, popularity and respect for the achievements of the club.
The club is run by a core group of passionate, fully qualified gymnastics coaches who bring their essential professional skills of business management, finance, and a multitude of other task solving abilities required daily to sustain a large club. A great deal of volunteer time is provided in the club by the management, coaches and others who regularly give up their time to willingly work with children and young people, helping them to achieve their aspirations.
The club has an ethos of being inclusive, where every child matters, regardless of ability, and provides gymnastics from pre-school to competitive levels in a safe, friendly and professionally operated club. Children coping with disability are integrated into the club wherever possible and the club has received awards for its work with children with disabilities. The club has a strict child safeguarding policy and has adopted in full the policy of UK Gymnastics and the relevant policies of national child protection agencies.
Our vision is to be able to provide every child and young person in the town of Cramlington and the surrounding catchment area of South East Northumberland the opportunity to become a member of the club without undue delay and thereby experience the benefits of better physical and mental well-being. The region is largely rural and we have many members who live in parts of the county which have few, or no facilities for them to attend easily.
The club has well established links with the County Primary schools and assists with in-school sessions and the annual Schools Games Partnerships competitions.
Gymnastics is an extremely popular option for children and provides both fun and varied activities as well as active sport. It is regarded as the fundamental movement basis for many other sports and also plays many useful roles in the education of children by encouraging desirable qualities of patience, teamwork, co-operation, hard work and character building.
The children and young people of today are the citizens of tomorrow and we wish to encourage them to become 'good and reasonable' citizens of the future community.
Over the years, many of our child members have gone on to train as coaches within the club. We have watched them grow up from young children and develop into courteous and caring young people, so we know that our formula works. We also try to retain members in the club once they reach teen age, this being the age when the highest dropout in all activities occurs. We operate a Coaching Academy, in which teenagers can remain in the club and volunteer - many go on to become coaches. We believe that, in the modern stressful world, our teenage members can find some escape from the pressures of schoolwork, exams, unreasonable expectations and peer pressure, by remaining in a useful role within the club.
Gymnastics, as well as being a popular, fun and healthy activity for young people, is also a competitive sport from grass roots to world level. The club accommodates the wishes of those wishing to progress further through its Academy. Our Academy gymnasts have achieved many successes in regional competitions, national finals and eight qualified for the 2019 IAIGC Gymnastics World Championships, held in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. All children within the club are given equal opportunity to progress through the competitive levels if they have the desire to do so.
The club is wholly owned and operated by a registered charity and is therefore 'asset locked', with no private shareholders or beneficial owners. The charity has been able to raise a significant proportion of the funding required to expand the club as in our vision, however we still need some external help to achieve the ultimate result for our existing and future members.
We are not requesting help with ongoing funding of running costs and expenses, only assistance with the provision of the additional equipment needed within the new centre and to ensure the premises are finished and equipped to a high standard. Setting a high standard, we believe, will encourage more children to join and participate, our first primary aim, and also for those children to have a great and worthwhile experience in the club and want to keep attending long term, our second primary aim.