Axminster Gymnastics Club hopes to expand with new headquarters

  Posted: 20.11.20 at 14:13 by Francesca Evans

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The popular Axminster Gymnastics Club is hoping to expand if it receives permission to move to a new headquarters.

The club hopes to move to an industrial building on the Axminster Carpets site in Woodmead Road, which will provide much more space for its growing membership. A planning application is expected to be submitted to East Devon District Council shortly.

Axminster Gymnastics Club was launched by Emma Rowe in March 2017 with classes first being held at local village halls. The club later took up regular slots at Axminster Leisure Centre before eventually moving to its own premises above the Axminster Carpets shop on Musbury Road in November 2018.

Having its own premises has allowed the club to increase the number of classes it holds, now operating six days a week from Monday to Saturday, both during the day and in evenings.

But the club’s 300-strong membership has now outgrown its current home, which is also not fully accessible and has limited height restrictions.

The club caters for a range of abilities, with members aged from just two years old to adults. Members are trained in floor gymnastics, vault, bars, beam and trampette, as well as getting the chance to perform in the club’s annual summer show and annual club competition, and the opportunity to compete in women’s artistic, floor and vault, tumbling and display team gymnastics.

The club, which is run as a not-for-profit company, also provides employment for three full-time staff as well as several part-timers and has some members enrolled in a Young Leaders programme.

Plans to move to an industrial building on the Axminster Carpets site will allow the club to expand further

The club’s current premises is limited compared to its competitors, but if planning permission is received the new site will provide a gymnasium double the size, plus toilet/changing facilities and office space to meet the growing demand for the sport, as well as more security with a long-term lease.

Emma says there is still a great demand for more children to join the club and she hopes the new premises will help accommodate them, especially as more space is now needed to meet social distancing guidelines.

The club has managed to continue running practice sessions this year, although not in person during the lockdown periods. Instead, Emma has been running online classes and has continued her work with local schools.

She commented: “It has been difficult running classes online rather than in person but we will get through it and I hope moving to a new space will be something exciting that members can look forward to.”

For more information on Axminster Gymnastics Club, visit the website or find them on Facebook.

Interesting historical documents have been unearthed referring to the establishment of a market in Axminster in 1824 and the opening of a town hall. ...