A gym of our own would fix it, says club

A gym club that's bursting at the seams and has a three-year waiting list has launched a fundraising drive to find its own, bigger home.

North Walsham Gymnastics Club is seeking suitable premises so that it can run sessions throughout the week and offer places to more than 150 boys and girls on the waiting list. The campaign got off to a grand start with a festive season gymnastics display involving more than 100 children at its base at the town sports centre; it raised more than �1,000.

And the club has begun applying for grants to help with a move.

All hopes are pinned on a January 13 meeting, when dozens of interested parties will learn more about possible surplus county council properties at North Walsham.

The club, formed nine years ago by Alexis Thurston and Pat Johnson, meets three times a week. Mrs Thurston, the head coach, said they had to get out and then pack away their equipment for each session and would be able to keep it in place permanently and offer daily sessions if the club had its own home.

'There is no other gym club in the area, and there is a big need for it,' she said. 'It's important that children have opportunities to keep fit and healthy both at school and in activities after school.'

Several of Mrs Thurston's 10-member coaching team began as club members, and some children have achieved notable competition successes. They include 11-year-old Paige Yarham, who is level five county champion in her age group.

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