Home Community Gymnastics Club Hope for new home

Gymnastics Club Hope for new home

by Gemma Melling

A hugely successful fledgling local gymnastics club partly based in Newton-le-Willows is appealing for help to find a home.

Hope Acrobatic Gymnastics Club was formed by vastly experienced coaches Alison Ellison and Michelle Spratt after the closure of Wigan Seagulls, Ashton-in-Makerfield, in the summer of 2021.

The club has already earned itself a burgeoning reputation in the gymnastic community, collecting a host of medals and club awards at prestigious competitions around the UK.

Their astronomical rise was confirmed at November’s British Championship in Stoke-on-Trent where two Hope Acro partnerships were crowned British champions, with a third partnership winning silver.

The success of the club is all the more remarkable given that it is currently without a permanent home. The club has almost two hundred gymnasts, aged from 3-19 who are currently forced to travel between The Wire Gymnastics facility in Birchwood and SKK Judo Club in Newton-le-Willows to train.

Head Coach Alison Ellison said: “We couldn’t be more grateful to The Wire and SKK Judo for allowing us to use their facilities. They have both been fantastic to us, and we honestly don’t know what we’d have done without them.

“But our fabulously talented gymnasts need a place to call their own. It’s tough for parents travelling back and forth to Birchwood four nights per week, and at the judo club, Saturday morning training for our budding beginners often has to be cancelled due to events of their own.

“With our own premises, the sky is the limit for these hard-working, dedicated young people.”

So far, Hope Acro have struggled to find premises of their own to convert into a training centre. Suitable sites such as industrial units have been found, but landlords have been unwilling to hold their properties for the club until a change of use planning application has been completed.

The club do have an option to purchase suitable premises, with British Gymnastics keen to provide a financial package to a club which is having such a positive effect on young people in the community.

The club needs space of around 4,000 sq ft to kit out to create a top class training space.

Hannah Guerin, 14, a recent British silver medallist, said: “This is a wonderful club with a real community spirit. We have gymnasts of all ages and abilities: from British champions to beginners just starting out in their gymnastics journey, but we are all like one big family. Myself and some others from our Elite Squad spend our Saturday mornings helping out with the little ones in the Beginners Squad. We’d all love to have a place to call our own.”

Hope Acro is appealing to the local community for information about possible available premises to let or purchase in the local area to make their home.

Anyone able to provide information is encouraged to contact the club at hopeacro@gmail.com or to message via the club’s Facebook page – Hope Acrobatic Gymnastics Club.

Photos courtesy of Sean Kilmurray.

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