The success of Britain’s gymnasts in the Rio Olympics has led to more youngsters wanting to take up the sport – according to one Fylde coast sports club.
But there’s just one problem – the club now needs more volunteers to act as gymnastics coaches.
Gym Mania Gymnastics, based on Henderson Road, Fleetwood, is soon approaching its 13th birthday – having started in January 2005, with just a handful of children.
Now it has children coming to gymnastics sessions four days a week, from across the whole of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.
Head coach Sarah Oxley, who is also a primary school teacher, said more volunteers were needed to cope with the increasing demand, down in part to youngsters recently being inspired by Team GB gymnasts in Rio.
She said: “No experience is needed and coaching roles are open to anyone aged 13.5 years plus.
“The opportunity to volunteer at Gym Mania is ideal for anyone wanted to pursue a career in teaching, sports, or childcare – as the skills and experiences gained are so much more than just gymnastics.
“Gym Mania is like no other gymnastics club – our ethos, atmosphere and passion are like no other.”
Being voluntary managed and run and a community interest group, Gym Mania reinvests all profits back into the club and the purchase of new equipment.
It covers all aspects of gymnastics – including floor work, apparatus, cheer-leading, team-gym and adult gymnastics.
Club volunteer Abby Conroy, 14, said: “I love coaching at Gym Mania. It is great to see the gymnasts having fun through gymnastics.
“It is great to see the children so happy, it doesn’t matter if they are only going to do gymnastics for a month, a year, 10 years – it’s the basic skills and happiness of sport which is important and the children definitely get that at Gym Mania. I hope to be coaching here for a long time.”
For 11 to 24-year-old volunteers, the club works in conjunction with British Gymnastics and its leadership programme. The MY Leadership Academy Programme works in a similar way to Duke of Edinburgh Award in that there are bronze, silver and gold levels, but it doubles up as a gymnastics social group with the opportunity to help within the club, social events, attend and volunteer at regional and national events.
Grace Creighton, 19, who has been volunteering at the club since 2009 and is a Level 2 coach, now studying PE and School Sport at Edge Hill University, comes back to the club each weekend to volunteer.
She added: “It was an amazing and fun experience showing how gymnastics is more than just a sport. Other people should take part in such experiences and volunteer at Gym Mania as it’s a great opportunity.
“Volunteering at Gym Mania is a great way of getting involved in gymnastics, whether you are a teen or adult.”
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