Gymnasts hoping readers leap to their aid for new training centre

Local gymnasts keep fingers crossed for Hastings Rebound Zone
Local gymnasts keep fingers crossed for Hastings Rebound Zone

FREERUNNERS and gymnasts in Hastings could soon have their very own modern training centre - but they need Observer readers to help them get it.

William Parker Sports College has made it through to the finals of the Big Lottery Jubilee People’s Millions and is hopeful of securing a cheque for £28,000.

If successful, that cash will fund ambitious plans for a new facility, dubbed Hastings Rebound Zone - and offer specialist gymnastics training and space for local youngsters to try their hand at Parkour.

The increasingly-popular pursuit involves training to jump and vault over every-day obstacles like benches and walls.

Pupils at William Parker have started their own club, based on the slightly different technique of freeruning.

And any new centre would be open to the entire town - not just students at the Parkstone Road school.

The hope is that the improved gymnastic facilities will also help traditional gymnasts fine-tune their talent.

Having made the final short-list, the Hastings Rebound Zone now needs to see off competition from half a dozen other projects, including a heritage scheme in Ramsgate and a new community park in North Deal.

That is where Observer readers come in.

Anyone who wants to back the bid needs to register their phone vote between 9am and midnight on June 28.

David Evans, assistant headteacher at William Parker, hoped as many people as possible would back the plans. He said: “I am delighted we have reached the finals. We want to make a real difference to the young people of Hastings by providing activities that they want to do and allowing them to reach their dreams.

“We need you to vote on the day. Please support the only Hastings project in the finals, we need votes to get the funding and need everyone to pick up the phone and vote.”

And Jasmine Davies – head coach at Hollington Gymnastics club - stressed just how big an impact the new facility would make to young people.

She told the Observer: “This will make a real difference for gymnasts.

“Currently there are no tumblers from the south east in the national tumbling squad, partly due to a lack of specialist facilities to train on.

“The rebound zone will allow higher level training and successes.”

The vote line number will not be released until the day of voting, with readers able to find it at

Anynone interested in finding out more about the scheme should visit