Photo gallery: Norwich North MP joins in the celebrations at grand opening of Chermond Gym Club

Gymnasts new and old took part in a day of fun as a gymnastics club officially opened its new permanent home.

Family-run Chermond Gymnastics Club faced a future without a home after their former base at City Academy Norwich became unavailable for their use.

Months of searching and campaigning came to an end when they moved into the new site at Delta Close in St Faith's Industrial Estate last month.

And today (Saturday), former and current gymnasts, new and old coaches, prospective members and Norwich North MP Chloe Smith joined in the celebrations as the new gym and activity centre was officially opened.

Mrs Alcock, who founded the club with her husband Raymond in 1980, said the club can look to the future now it has secured its new home.

She said: 'I've been overwhelmed by the support and response from people. The number of former gymnasts, current members, coaches who have come to support the centre is beyond belief and I feel really honoured that Chloe Smith came down.

'She has been so supportive of our needs and has gone above and beyond her realms of duty. I feel very privileged and grateful.'

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The club originally offered training in girls artistic gymnastics when it first opened at the Norman Centre in Mile Cross in 1980. A sports acrobatics section was opened at the Meadowview Community Centre, Hellesdon Low Road, the following year before both sides of the club moved to the Gurney Middle School, Ranworth Road, and united under one roof in 1984.

The club enjoyed a long period at the Gurney premises until they were uprooted in 2003. They had been based at City Academy in Earlham Road until earlier this year.

To celebrate today's grand opening, there were gymnastics taster sessions throughout the day, face painting, a tombola and home-made cakes.

Miss Smith, who recently welcomed the club to visit parliament, said: 'I'm delighted to be able to join Cherie, Raymond and the girls at the Chermond Gym to open their new permanent home.

'Cherie and Raymond's tireless work has secured their future. With the Olympics less than a week away, what better way to inspire more young people to follow Chermond's example and get stuck in to sport.'

Are you fighting to safeguard your club's future? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email