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Sleaford gymnasts will come on leaps and bounds after Lincolnshire Co-op's cash boost

By Sleaford Target  |  Posted: September 29, 2012

FUNDING BOOST: Members of Sleaford Gymnastics Club are pictured with Karen Howseman from Lincolnshire Co-operative's Sleaford Foodstore after it awarded the group £1,000 for new equipment.

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FUTURE stars of Team GB's gymnastics team could soon be coming from Sleaford after a funding boost helped provide new equipment.

Students at Sleaford Gymnastics Club are celebrating after being awarded £1,000 by Lincolnshire Co-operative to buy new equipment.

The money has been used to purchase a vaulting support block, a spotting block and a new safety mat.

Head Coach Sammi Emsley said the grant has made practising a lot safer because the gymnasts can do more preparation and more repetition.

The vaulting support block in particular is a valuable piece of equipment.

As well as acting as a stepping stone to safely learn different types of vaults, the group also uses it to learn the motions of a back flip.

Sammi said: "If I said to the girls before 'we're doing flick preps' they were reluctant, but with this apparatus they have gained confidence and are keen to do it.

"It teaches them to get the spring and push into the shapes for a back flip as the block won't roll over unless they are in the right position.

"It also helps us coaches as before we used to manually have to help each girl over which was hard work and slower but now they can learn it on the block themselves so we get more done."

Around 100 youngsters take part in gymnastics at the club in Westgate, Sleaford, from pre-school sessions to national level competition standard.

They learn skills on the mat, vault, beam and parallel bars so a new safety mat bought with the grant is already proving useful.

Sammi said: "Having the new mat is a great help."

"We've only got two mats that are the correct density so we have to double up the others which is ok for lower level skills but we need the extra density for the girls that are tumbling."

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