Gymnasts face a hurdle

Cambridge’s gymnastics club is not struggling for members but without some more community support it might be forced to close its doors at the end of the term.

The rental at its Shakespeare Street facility which the club moved into four years ago for the extra floor area, upkeep of the equipment and training for the coaches are just some of the costs volunteers need to raise funds for.

Jessica Jones, 11 of St Peter’s School prepares to do a hand stand and roll watched by club members. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

Treasurer Larissa Bubb said she and other volunteers were passionate about the club and the positive impact it has on the lives of local youth.

“We provide the community with a safe, inclusive and supportive environment where individuals can develop their physical, mental and social skills through gymnastics.”

The club began in 1979 although gymnastics as an activity has been around since ancient Greek times and has always been an Olympic sport. The physical exercises develop strength and coordination through acrobatic feats both on mats and on special apparatus designed to demonstrate strength, balance and body control.

Lola Helu, 8, is in Year Five at St Peter’s Catholic School and has just joined Cambridge Gymnastics Club because she loves to tumble on the mats. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

Nienke Holtzhausen

But the rent arrears – due by March 20 – are a looming worry for the not-for-profit club.

“We need to get over this hurdle as soon as possible to be able to move forward and put our efforts into bringing the club forward and making it the club everyone is talking about because it is so good and you can learn so much,” said Bubb.

“We are throwing everything at this to try and do it but need the community to get behind us and help as well if possible. I know it is a tough time for many and we are all feeling it but it would be heartbreaking if we have to close.”

Last season the club had 250 members, a seven-strong committee, three “friends of the committee”, qualified coaches and student coaches in training which the club pays for.

One of the most popular classes is the tumbling one where children can flip, do cartwheels and just jump around.

Stunts like backflips, handsprings, somersaults, and tucks are shown on the floor using tumbling mats for added cushion.

The club held a fundraising barbecue at Mitre 10 in Cambridge on Saturday.

Cambridge Gymnastics Club with head coach Amanda Jarden in the middle, warming up.

Cambridge Gymnastics Club: Back row, from left: Lucia Pickering, Jessica Jones, Macarena Reidel, Harper Miller, Charlie Waddell, Brody Tregoweth, Krystle Satherley, Sophie Bell, Grace Hodgson; front row, from left: Gabby Ridgway, Charlotte Ball, Zoe Hay, Nienke Holtzhausen, Emily McCann, Mione Holtzhausen.

Hanging around at Cambridge Gymnastics Club: Top, from left: Zoe Hay, Jessica Jones, Charlie Waddell, Grace Hodgson, Mione Holtzhausen; middle row, from left: Krystle Satherley, Sophie Bell, Lucia Pickering, Gabby Ridgway (obscured), Macarena Reidel, front row, from left: Brody Tregoweth, Harper Miller, Nienke Holtzhausen, Emily McCann, Charlotte Ball.

Cambridge Gymnastics Club, from left: Brody Tregoweth, Amanda Jarden, Harper Miller, Emily McCann, Macarena Reidel, Charlotte Ball, Adel Holtzhausen.

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