KING Edmund Gym Club are bracing themselves for a busy and exciting spell of acro’ action on the domestic and international front, writes Simon Parkinson.
Their proposed new headquarters at Yate Leisure Centre plays host to the club’s annual invitational event on Sunday, February 17, when selected teams from all over the country will compete for medals.
And the former bowls hall at the leisure centre, which is currently undergoing an expansive refit as King Edmund take to the task of transforming it into an acrogymnastics venue of international repute before relocating there from the Sports Shed at Armstrong Way on a permanent basis, also provides the stage for an international competition over the weekend of March 23 and 24, which has attracted teams from as far afield as Canada, Switzerland and Turkmenistan.
Add to that the South West Preliminaries over the weekend of February 23, 24 and – for the younger competitors – Sunday March 3, plus the British Championships at Fenton Manor in Stoke during mid-April, there’s little doubting it all represents a challenging and stimulating period in the club’s distinguished history.
And that’s not to mention King Edmund’s inaugural spring gymnastics display, which kicks-off on Thursday, March 7 (7pm) and will also take place on Friday (7pm) and Saturday (3pm and 7pm) of that week.
The club say they aim to mark their impending move into the hall on a permanent basis by putting on a big and spectacular public show.
Coach Jack Pothecary said: “We are looking to get as many members as possible of our satellite clubs, based at Thornbury, Bradley Stoke and Pomphrey Hill, involved.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our talent and see our new HQ at the leisure centre taking shape.
“For those gymnasts of ours based outside Yate it will be nice to get them together and show that while we have members from right across South Gloucestershire, they are all part of one club.”
A temporary 200-seat spectator stand will be erected in the new gym hall for the display and two competitions, while the floor mat on show, which King Eddies recently purchased for regular long-term use, is one of six that graced the gymnastics tournaments at the London 2012 Olympics.
A new lighting system and apparatus are already in place in the hall together with a banner on a wall proudly proclaiming the words, ‘Yate International Gymnastics Centre’.