Featherstone Gymnastics Club needs new home

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Featherstone Gymnastics Club is on the hunt for a new facility after Airedale Academy pulled the plug on its current home for financial reasons.

The club has trained at Airedale Community Sports Centre, based at the academy, since 1998 and has more than 130 members ranging from four-years-old to late teens.

But earlier this year, the academy’s governing body was forced to give all clubs three months’ notice as the facility was being run at a loss.

The sports centre is also used by two senior and three junior football teams, three junior rugby teams, a Zumba class, girls’ netball, two cricket clubs, two kickboxing classes and a boot camp club.

The gymnastics club, which first opened its doors at Featherstone Sports Centre in 1986, is now looking for a new facility with storage space that they can use six days a week.

Tracy Hillary, committee member, said: “Three months notice is not a lot of time to relocate our club - we have 130 members and a waiting list. We are appealing for any support that anyone can give in order to secure a new home for the club. Our long term goal is to secure something like a small to medium warehouse or industrial unit where we can grow and develop the club as we are now at capacity. We are looking for anyone who can help us achieve this. We previously had plans to do so but it fell through at the last minute.

“If we can’t find anywhere we could be forced to close. The girls who train here wouldn’t have anywhere to go as many of the other gymnastics groups in the area already have waiting lists.

“The club is run entirely by volunteers, both coaches and the committee, and has now been running for almost 29 years so nobody wants to see it close. It is vital we find somewhere else as soon as possible.”

Mike Dixon, chairman of the academy’s governing body, said: “Due to government cuts we have to focus on running primarily as a school and the main objective of any school is to educate their pupils.

“We are working with the club to find them other options.”

Anyone who might be able to help should email clivebeanland@talktalk.net or call Clive Beanland on 07786 278943.