Gymnastics club plays host to nation's finest talents
PUBLISHED: 06:30 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:42 20 February 2019
A gymnastics club has been hosting some of the nation's brightest young talents for two days of intensive training.
Male gymnasts from the newly-formed England youth squad were based at Waveney Gymnastics Club on Monday and Tuesday, allowing them to hone their skills and work on their routines ready for competition.
The training camp is the squad’s very first, with several more set to follow throughout the year as the boys - aged between nine and 16 - train towards representing Great Britain on the elite stage.
England coach Peter Etherington said he hoped this week’s gathering in Lowestoft would be the start of things to come.
“An England squad has been on the agenda for a while but it was a matter of getting the funding from Great Britain and UK Sport,” said Mr Etherington, who once coached at Waveney Gymnastics Club himself.
“The squad members will compete in three international competitions this year, the idea being they will act as a platform for them to step up to the elite GB programme - where some will be chosen to compete in the European, Commonwealth and World Championships.
“We’ve had about 30 gymnasts and 21 coaches here this week so it’s been amazing.”
The centre has, in its own right, produced an abundance of renowned talent over the years, with several members winning medals on the world stage.
Among them is Giarnni Regini-Moran, who represents Team GB and was back at his old club this week to inspire the next generation including Rory Spurgeon, Oakley-Jae Eaton and Carlton Townson - picked for England directly from Waveney Gymnastics Club.
Club chairman John Pawsey, who was instrumental ahead of the purpose-built facility’s opening in 2003, said the England squad’s arrival in Lowestoft could only be positive for the town.
“It’s great to have something like this in Lowestoft, and it’s not the first time what with the national teams that have trained here before and Team GB prior to the 2012 Olympics,” said Mr Pawsey.
“These lads are the future of gymnastics and we’re keen to encourage more youngsters - not just boys - to come and train here. Lowestoft needs a boost and we believe what we’ve got in the area can cater for these training camps - which in turn help raise the profile of the town.”