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By Jamie Arrowsmith Monday 04 February 2013 Updated: 04/02 13:02
MEMBERS of Worcester Gymnastics Club have enjoyed an excellent start to the new year with the news the Stock Wood-based club is to benefit from Olympic legacy funding from Sport England's Inspired Facilities Fund.
The club, near Inkberrow, will receive £50,000 of National Lottery funding to upgrade facilities at the gym, which has helped more than 1,000 local youngsters get into sport since it opened its doors in 1998.
The Inspired Facilities fund is part of the £135m Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities across the country. Every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark, which celebrates the link to the Games.
Worcester Gymnastics Club has gone from strength to strength after starting as a small club for boys before expanding over the last ten years to take all ages and both male and female members today.
The improvements will include repairs to the roof, a pit filled with foam to allow safe practice of difficult manoeuvres, a storage area and a viewing area.
Club chairman Sally Everest said: "We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can upgrade the quality of our premises to match the quality of coaches.
"It is the cornerstone of our strategy to have an outstanding club for the 2012 Olympics legacy."
Sport England chairman Richard Lewis said: "This National Lottery investment will create a lasting sporting legacy for the Worcestershire area.
"This fund has really hit the mark with sports clubs in the Midlands. It shows we're offering the legacy that people want for their local community.
"For hundreds of clubs and tens of thousands of people, 2012/13 will be the years their local sports facilities got better."
Local MP Karen Lumley said: "This investment by Sport England into Worcester Gymnastics Club is fantastic news.
"This money is an investment that will enable everyone in the community to become involved in gymnastics if they wish.
"In particular, it offers the young people of today and in the future access to top class training in top class facilities."
Worcester Gymnastics Club is one of hundreds of projects across England benefiting from lottery investment through the Inspired Facilities fund.
Places People Play is being delivered by Sport England, working partnership with the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) with the backing of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the London 2012 Inspire mark.
LOCOG chairman Seb Coe said: "This is a fantastic funding project that will deliver a real legacy from the London 2012 Games.
"It will provide a whole range of sporting opportunities for young people through improved facilities and will I hope inspire them to take up sport."
Although classes at Worcester Gymnastics Club are virtually all full at present, officials are planning to start new sessions - particularly pre-school and Fun4Baby classes - whilst also bidding to attract more adults with an emphasis on freestyle classes as they bid to capitalise on the funding boost.
Any new members would be most welcome and more details are available from Jill Coathup on 01386 793205 or for pre-school queries contact Sally Price on 07505 003534.
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