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Sport / Gymnastics club hits ‘roadblock’ in efforts to find premises

THE SHETLAND Gymnastics Club says it has hit “yet another roadblock” in its long-running search for new premises.

The club, which holds training sessions at the Clickimin Leisure Complex in Lerwick, now feels it has no option left but to pursue a new build, despite it being the most expensive option.

It comes as a 15-year search for a building has failed to bear fruit.

It began looking of for a building when waiting list numbers were growing “exponentially” and gymnasts were needing better equipment and more regular training hours.

The feeling is that it outgrew the Clickimin some time ago.

Photo: Shetland Gymnastics Club

The club said it has looked at numerous options over the years from the old gym at King Harald Street, to the gym and science block at the old Anderson High School as well as various options in conjunction with Shetland Recreational Trust.

The Gilbertson Park Games Hall has also been discussed, and most recently there were talks with a private business owner regarding a building was said to have been “perfect” – but access issues put paid to that idea.

Head coach Julie Grant said the group is still looking for a temporary home until this “dream can be realised”.

Anyone with a suitable large shed or warehouse within a five to ten mile radius of Lerwick that is at least 20m long and 15-20m wide with a parking area that the club could rent is asked to get touch via email shetlandgc@yahoo.co.uk or through Shetland GC on Facebook.

Grant said: “There are currently about 400 young people on the waiting list who deserve the chance to participate.

“Having our own facility would give people of all ages and abilities the chance to keep active in a safe, fun environment.

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“The club are very keen to work alongside Active Schools and Ability Shetland but this cannot happen until we have our own facility.

“Giving over 500 children a week – there are currently 150 club members – the space to run, jump, climb and swing as well as learn specific skills would really help increase activity levels and help reduce childhood obesity and improve mental health and wellbeing.”

The club, which is a registered charity, said it would also like to work alongside other sports to help improve every sport in Shetland.

The gymnasts recently attend an Inter Island Games event in Aland, where they have just finished building a new facility. They are said to have more than 1,000 members attending at least once a week.

Grant said: “Our Island Games gymnasts had to travel to Inverurie in Aberdeenshire to train on competition apparatus compared to all the other islands who have their own gyms.

“This would compare to our Island Games football team only having a multicourt to train in which they had to share with other users.”

The club is also looking for any sponsors who wish to help the club, with equipment also said to be old and needing replaced.

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