A PLUSH new gymnastics facility has hosted its first county level competition.

After 30 years running from a school hall, Carterton Gymnastic Club moved into The Vault earlier this year.

On Sunday, seven clubs from across Oxfordshire competed in an individual apparatus competition.

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Debra Courtenay-Crane, who at the beginning of the year was awarded a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for her services to gymnastics and young people in Carterton, was ecstatic competitions are now taking place at The Vault.

The gymnastics club’s director said: “It has been an amazing journey, not only building a superb facility for everyone to enjoy but working with our squad gymnasts preparing for this competition.

“They could not train for over a year, so they have only been back in a gym for eight months.

“I have enjoyed coaching them, helping them progress and helping them with their mental health being back at gymnastics and competing for the first time in two years.”

Parents were also delighted to see their children competing at the purpose-built facility.

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Jo John said: “Our daughter was so excited, not only to be finally competing – with the last competition being cancelled due to Covid-19 – but to be competing at The Vault.

“It was such a fantastic afternoon. To see the gymnasts from the various clubs marching into the gym, ready to start their competition was incredibly emotional.

“They were all amazing and should be incredibly proud of themselves.

“The Vault is an absolutely fantastic venue, just perfect for hosting such events.”

Vanessa McCready added: “It was a lovely day, such a well-organised competition and the perfect space for spectators.

“The gymnasts all seemed to have a fantastic time and learnt so much from the experience.

“Lydia left very excited for her next competition.”

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Paul Mills said: “We are so lucky to have this wonderful facility for our daughter to train in.

“It was special to see her compete on home ground and as a spectator, the venue was very comfortable and worked extremely well.”

The club itself praised the girls who competed and thanked all the volunteers and staff who ensured the day ran smoothly.

A club statement read: “It was a tremendous day and the girls really did the club proud.

“The brand new venue worked really well as a competition space and the club would like to say a big thank you to the volunteers and staff who ensured the day ran smoothly and was a big success.”