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Southwark Gymnastics Club is fundraising for a new track after Rio Olympic success inspires youngsters

Southwark Gymnastics Club is fundraising to buy a new track for the borough’s talented youngsters feeling inspired by Britain’s success in Rio.

Over 400 young gymnasts from Southwark attend the club’s various sessions at Camberwell Leisure Centre and Brunswick Primary School.

But after nearly twenty years, the club’s directors are eyeing up a replacement 25-metre ‘tumbling track’ that could cost up to £17,000.

One of the club’s directors, Andrew Payne, has said that three gymnasts who are currently competing at international level, with one in Team GB, have all had to move to other clubs that are better-equipped.

“It means Southwark Gymnastics is not getting the recognition it very much deserves,” he said.

“Local young gymnasts have to travel to Hastings, Gillingham and Andover for their crucial training before competitions, putting them at a great disadvantage.”

Although tumbling is not a discipline included in the Olympic Games, it requires a mixture of talents seen in artistic gymnastics and the skills witnessed in floor events and trampolining.

Another of the club’s directors, Shona Delvaille from Peckham, told the News: “We currently have one that is twelve metres, but is not up to the standard we need. Having another one would really help the kids improve.

“The kids need one that is closer to the standard that they would be on in a competition, otherwise it will be difficult to get used to tracks at other clubs.

“I have been coming to this club since I was twelve, and now I help out with kids’ and adults’ classes. We have a lot of talent in Southwark that we need to retain.”

The club has already raised £2,000, and another £450 has come from donations online.

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