A Centre of Excellence
The new gym made Exeter Gymnastics Club a centre
of excellence where our children could train. In turn the children
rewarded the endeavours of parents and coaches alike by gaining
Club, County, and National awards. It was unfortunate that this
excellence was limited for so few to witness, and this was the challenge
for the next committee - to build a viewing area.
In 1992, with the same enthusiasm as in the past,
this was accomplished. The new gym building had been extended to
incorporate a viewing area for spectators, as well improving the
vault run up and the building of a second pit.
New Building, New Equipment, BUT!!!
1993 -1996, these years saw a great many different
fund raising activities, allowing the Club to purchase new equipment,
for the new gym, as well as to up grade existing equipment.
The Committee, also during these years became concerned
with the inadequacy of many of the Club’s supporting facilities,
changing, showering, catering, reception and waiting areas.
Pressure on facilities has also come from growing membership of
young gymnasts and continuing use by disabled groups from local
The introduction of the National Lottery in 1993
with its five boards providing grants, in various sectors, was recognised
as a new and significant source of funds. The Committee at that
time acknowledged the important advantage of utilising the Club’s
charitable status to apply to the Charities Board, which was able
to provide 100% grants to successful applicants. This would enable
the Club to extend the building to accommodate these facilities.
In 1995 and again in 1996 applications for funding,
under the categories of health and youth respectively, were made
to the Charities Board both of which were unsuccessful. During the
assessment process members of the Charities Board who visited the
Club expressed how impressed they were with both the proposals and
the running of the Club but, that not withstanding the Club’s
charitable status, the project was of a ‘sporting’ nature
rather than ‘charitable’.
With the notification of the unsuccessful bid in
1996, the Committee accepted the need to reappraise the proposed
extension and explore sources of partnership funding so that an
application could be made to the Sports Lottery Board.
The committee with the same enthusiasm as those
before them, spent two years of hard work in putting together all
the documentation required for an application to the Sports Lottery
board. In 1998 the bid was submitted in the hope of successfully
completing a project, which would fulfil the aims of the Club over
the last 30 years and provide accommodation for the missing or inadequate
facilities, which are so essential.
This final part of the jigsaw would allow more
youngsters to experience the rewarding world of gymnastics. It would
also allow their parents and other adults to ‘join in’
the Club, and to improve their own fitness. All the facilities for
a Regional Centre for competitors, training weekends, regional squads
and proper lecture facilities to train the much needed coaches and
judges for the future of the sport, would also be in place.
Over the next eighteen months the Lottery Board
asked for further information on a regular basis and although time
consuming the committee were able to provide all that was requested.
But unfortunately towards the end of 1999 the final decision was
made and the Club’s application was refused.
Urgent - New Roof Needed!
The committee now felt that the only way forward
was to “go it alone”, as had our predecessors, and make
a limited number of improvements through our own hard work and resources.
The areas of improvement were identified, a new
roof and an area where parents can wait for their children without
being a distraction to the actual coaching sessions, were essential
and needed immediate consideration. If funds permitted the other
areas of improvement the committee would like to consider were the
changing facilities and an improved refreshment area.
In 2000 an appeal went out to all the families
to support fund raising activities to raise the money for these
improvements. It was acknowledged that the project would be too
costly to be covered purely by funds raised, so an application that
the Club be considered for a further loan was made to the Bank.
Enough funds were raised to pay for the flat roofed
area to be renewed and this was completed by the end of 2000, enabling
the strategically placed buckets to be removed and the premises
to be watertight once more.