A gymnastics club in Midlothian is attracting a following from top clubs across England after gaining major success at the UK championships.
For coaching staff and gymnasts at Lasswade Gymnastics Club have been invited down to Birmingham over the summer to train with some of the UK’s top coaches.
The Lasswade club is not like many other gymnastics clubs which are dotted across the Lothians area.
For in recent months, five club members, representing Scotland girls, brought back two British Championship titles, while two male gymnasts, Rory Smith, won the Scottish under 14 all round champion title and Peter Ritch was the Scottish under 12 bronze medallist. Girl gymnasts at the club also won the Scottish Level 4 team title.
The club prides itself on being high performance with a membership of 250 children, ranging from five to 17 years old, and it currently has a waiting list of over 100 children.
Its mission statement reads ‘‘A high-performing club committed to excellence and providing a positive environment for all gymnasts to fulfill their potential.’’
Jillian Givan, the club’s business manager and Midlothian Pathways officer said: ‘‘Our women’s and men’s artistic classes all aim to develop individual gymnast’s potential to compete at a regional/club, national and elite level and achieve their full competitive potential. Our general section is split into competitive floor and vault classes where gymnasts may compete in Scottish level competitions and recreational classes which are for fun and fitness.
‘‘Our club has grown substantially over the last three years from around 85 gymnasts to currently 250 and throughout the week our coaches provide 38 hours of classes, six days a week at two locations, Lasswade High School Centre and Danderhall Leisure Centre.
‘‘Our gymnasts are organised into training groups according to their age, experience and individual needs and we are committed to helping gymnasts at all levels achieve their potential - whether that’s taking part in fun classes or training up to 26 hours a week to represent Scotland nationally.’’
Jillian added that the club is at full capacity at the moment with a large waiting list and while their desire is to continue to grow, this is hampered somewhat by the low availability of suitably qualified coaches.
She said: ‘‘While we understand there is not a wealth of gymnastic coaches around, we would like those who are suitably qualified to get in touch, or if anyone is interested in coaching, the club can offer the necessary training.
Another key area the club is aiming to expand upon is sponsorship.
Already the club, which is a registered charity, has secured sponsorship deals with The Papermill restaurant and bar and the Fairmilehead Dental Practice.
But with increased achievement at the club, it comes at a high cost as gymnasts travel regularly to competitions to England and international events. This creates a high financial impact on both parents and the club.
Jillian said: ‘‘We are now seeking sponsorship and grant opportunities to to help us continue to develop and support these highly talented coaches and gymnasts to be the best they can be.
‘‘If there are any businesses who are interested in helping us we would love to hear from you.
Individuals or local businesses wishing to enquire regards sponsorships should email: lasswadegymnastics firstname.lastname@example.org