New era starts…

New gymTaking over a second gymmastics facility in Flintshire is part of Buckley Girls’ Gymnastic Club’s plans to help aspiring gymnasts to reach their potential, according to coaching director Stan Buckley.

The club has over 180 active members but it has been pushing for new facilities for the last three years due to a further 220 children on its waiting list.

The club opened its new gym at Gwernaffield on Monday, in addition to classes which continue to run at Buckley Leisure Centre.

Coaching director Stan Buckley said he believes the new facilities will help some aspiring gymnasts to one day compete on an international stage.

He said: “With planning and a feasible strategy we will return to the international forum and, along the way, not only provide a facility for recreational gymnastics and adult gymnastics, but also help those who wish to realise their full potential.”

The club was started in 1974 by the late Llewellyn Evans, a former teacher at Elfed High School.

Mr Buckley took it over in 1979 and, over a 35-year period it has produced Welsh, British, international and Commonwealth Games gymnasts.

He said the additional facilities in Gwernaffield come at an “exciting time in Welsh gymnastics” with funding opportunities provided by Sport Wales and the National Lottery.

However, parents, club supporters and local companies also raised over £25,000 to help the club realise its plans.

“We must say a huge thanks to our fundraising group without whose enthusiasm and determination the project would not have left the ground,” he said.

Mr Buckley also paid tribute to the “hands-on volunteers who have spent weeks at the new facility painting, cleaning, fixing, plumbing” as the club took over the lease of a former warehouse in January.

Special thanks must all go to:

– Gwneraffield landlord Alistair Baker who “helped make the transition from warehouse to gym a successful one”

– Financial supporters Sports Wales, MoneySuperMarket, MBNA, Nice-Pak International, Smurfit Kappa, Aviva

– Suppliers Thorncliffe Building Supplies, Jackson Fire and Security, Peter Lee Carpets, Initial Washrooms, Dutton and Peters and TG Group Builders Merchants

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