Success in bid for £28k gymnastic centre

Pupils celebrate with Jasmine Davies (Hollington Gymnastic Club) headteacher John Court and deputy head David Evans
Pupils celebrate with Jasmine Davies (Hollington Gymnastic Club) headteacher John Court and deputy head David Evans

GYMNASTS and freerunners are celebrating after the town was given £28,556 to build a new state-of-the-art training centre.

Plans for the new facility, which will be at William Parker Sports College, went head-to-head with a host of other schemes from across the country but won the phone vote after a town-wide effort to rally supporters.

A team from the Lottery visited the Parkstone Road school earlier this week to hand over a cheque and work will soon get underway on the new gymnastics centre - which will boast a stack of specialist equipment, foam flooring and a foam-filled dismount pit for freestyle tumbling.

And, although it will be based at William Parker, the college’s head stressed it was a facility the whole town would benefit from.

John Court told the Observer: “Everyone is thrilled by the news. Getting people to vote was a military style operation and it was a real community effort.

“The whole town embraced the bid and the spirit across the community was great.

“The new facility will be available to the entire town and our thanks have to go to the Hollington Gymnastic Club which was our community partner, David Evans who organised everything and the whole town for getting behind us.

“This will be something Hastings can be proud of and will give future gymnasts somewhere to train and anyone interested in freerunning or parkour somewhere safe to practice and develop their skills.”

More than 200 pupils celebrated the announcement from the The Jubilee People’s Millions team - which is offering grants to schemes nationwide as part of the build-up to the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

And Mr Court said the students deserved praise for getting out and about to encourage locals to back the school’s plans.

Fiona Dempsie, spokesman for the Big Lottery Fund, said: “The Jubilee People’s Millions is a great way of showing what local groups can achieve when they have the support of their community and we’d like to congratulate William Parker Sports College on their success.”