Independent sports charity Aberdeen Gymnastics have celebrated the launch of their new, high-performance gymnastics centre.
A drinks reception saw not one, not two but three world-class gymnasts in attendance, donating their time to thrill the charity’s guests with a top-class display.
The three were Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth Games medallist Dan Purvis, Youth Olympic Champion and double European medallist Giarnni Regini-Moran and Junior European All Around Champion and Commonwealth Games medallist Frank Baines.
They were on hand along with Commonwealth Games gymnast Sofia Ramzan, who now coaches at the Aberdeen Gymnastics Centre, to give the guests and the centre’s members an insight into what it’s like to compete at major events.
Aberdeen Gymnastics, a registered charity, have invested more than £250k into the facility to provide members with access to Olympic-standard equipment and high-level training, delivered by experienced and qualified full-time professional coaches.
The new centre, on Aberdeen’s Lang Stracht, boasts a full-sized Olympic sprung floor, multiple apparatus stations and a next-generation raised pitted area, providing a reduced risk environment for gymnasts to learn high-level acrobatics in safety.
Tommy McGill, director of coaching, said: “We were delighted that Dan, Frank and Giarnni could attend our launch.
“The gymnasts spent three days in Aberdeen training on our state-of-the-art equipment alongside our squad gymnasts, attended our VIP reception and were also on hand at our family fun day on the Saturday to meet, spend time with and inspire our members. Duncan Runcie (another of the centre’s coaches) and I have judged the gymnasts at home and abroad over many years and know the three gymnasts well, so they were only too pleased when asked to provide their time for free and come to Aberdeen to help us celebrate the opening of our new high-performance centre.”
The centre can cater for up to 800 gymnasts a week and is manned by a team of gymnastics professionals whose members have represented Great Britain at Commonwealth Games, European, World Championships and Olympic Games as technical officials.
Several of the centre’s staff also played a role at this year’s European Championships in Glasgow and have attended events over the last year from as far afield as Australia’s Gold Coast, Baku, Croatia, Germany, South Africa and Taiwan.
Later this year, two of the centre’s gymnasts will represent their club at their first international in Austria and another staff member will attend a competition in Japan representing British Gymnastics as judge. Plans are also under way for a second international training camp in Barcelona for some of the centre’s competitive gymnasts.