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Gym's appeal to find a bigger home
With a growing waiting list that includes a six-week-old baby, Oxford’s only gymnastics club has launched a search for a bigger home.
Currently based at The Cherwell School, in Marston Ferry Road, Cherwell Gymnastics Club has space for around 120 children.
But it has nearly three times that number on its waiting list.
Head coach Hazel Walsh said: “Our waiting list is made up of 308 children so we really need to increase our capacity.
“Most people see gymnastics as a fantastic starting point for other sports and we have just had a six-week-old baby put on our waiting list.
“Doing gymnastics really breeds confidence and creativity and children really enjoy doing it.
“A lot of people come to us because we are the only club in Oxford city.”
Ms Walsh, 33, who joined the club when she was six years old, added: “One of the problems we have got being based at The Cherwell School is when they have their exams we have to move 100 desks and chairs and then put our equipment out which takes an extra hour.
“During the summer holidays we have limited access to the hall, which is small and limits how many people we can have.
“One of the things we are keen to do is remain as close to the city as possible, but that limits what is available.”
Coach Lian Verburg said: “We have got both boys and girls from the age of six to teenagers on our waiting list.
“It is all done by volunteers and I guess that is an important part of our ethos. We all do it because we enjoy so much.”
Cherwell Gymnastics Club, which has been running for 30 years, is looking to raise up to £100,000 which would allow it to rent larger accommodation.
It began life at the Cherwell School but moved to the former Bishop Kirk School and then to Berinsfield before returning to the Cherwell School in 2003.
The club is on the look out for sponsorships or for anyone with suitable property which they can let out.
A promotion evening is being held on Monday, May 28 featuring a gymnastics demonstration at The Cherwell School at 6.30pm.
Anyone interested in going should contact Hazel Walsh on 07958 200452 or email@example.com