Developing the skills of young gymnasts in Lincoln

Posted in: Foundation

Mark Thornton and his wife Lisa have helped to improve the facilities at their local gymnastics club.

We have been involved in Witham Hill Gymnastics Club ever since our daughters took an interest in gymnastics at a very early age. Lisa is also a coach at the club, so it has always been a big part of our lives.

The club is run largely on a voluntary basis by a dedicated committee, and 400 children come to train here every week. The level of gymnastics ranges from pre-school age, right up to 17 and 18 year olds competing in regional, county and even national competitions.

"The talent of our members is incredible and with the help of our funding from the Foundation we’ll be able to fuel their passion to improve"

To keep up with the growing demand for young people wanting to join, the club has recently moved to larger premises, but still needs to raise funds to improve the facilities. So when Lisa and I first heard about the Foundation, we thought that this was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

After speaking to the head coach, I decided to apply for funding to build two foam gymnastics pits at the club. There was an accident at the club 18 months ago when a gymnast came off the bars and injured herself, so installing the pits could provide a safer environment for gymnasts to learn new skills and train harder.

"I would just say have a go, put your heart and soul into it, and see where it turns out. Because for us, it’s resulted in a fantastic success."

It never even occurred to me that we could actually win the award, but with hard work from the parents of the club, family, friends, and work colleagues, it actually happened! We were overwhelmed by the response we received, and getting people together to build support has been great for team morale. The whole community in the region really got behind our cause.

The benefits the children get from the club, both physically and emotionally, are now being enhanced by what the Foundation has given us, so the award means a lot. The pits will make activities on the trampoline, vault, bars and tumble much more accessible to everyone, regardless of their age or ability.