High-flying young Dorchester YMCA gymnasts get new equipment

Dorset Echo: OLYMPIC STANDARDS: Womens artistic coach Julie O’Brien with young gymnasts on the new landing pit OLYMPIC STANDARDS: Womens artistic coach Julie O’Brien with young gymnasts on the new landing pit

YOUNG gymnasts in Dorchester are flying high after securing a new piece of Olympic-standard equipment.

The Dorchester YMCA has installed a new £12,500 landing pit after receiving a number of grants and carrying out fundraising.

The pit will offer a safe landing for gymnasts using trampolines, rings and the tumble strip and will also be used by free runners who use the centre.

It will be used by gymnasts of all ages and abilities and is expected to prove a long-term investment.

The landing pit at the Sawmills Lane centre was installed by a company called GymNova, which recently supplied gymnastics equipment for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

YMCA centre manager Hayley Gould said: “It had to be made especially to fit that particular part of the gym and it’s a really nice piece of equipment.

“It’s much more user friendly than the last one we had.

“It should last a long time and be an investment.”

Mrs Gould said the new landing pit had been well received by those who had already got to test it at the centre and the wide range of users meant it was a real asset to the community.

Women’s artistic gymnastics coach Julie O’Brien said that the gymnasts were very grateful for the new landing pit.

She said: “It’s a fantastic piece of equipment to aid all our gymnastics classes.”

The YMCA received a grant of £7,000 from section 106 developer agreements through West Dorset District Council as well as £1,770 from the council’s leisure development fund.

It also received £2,000 from the Dorchester car boot sale fund administered by Dorchester Town Council and West Dorset District Council.

The rest of the money was achieved through fundraising, which included sponsorship from the Dorchester Lions Club annual fun run and Swimarathon.

Mrs Gould said she wanted to thank the organisations that had provided the grants as well as all those who had contributed to the fundraising efforts.

She said: “We managed to pay for it mostly with grants and did fundraising to get the rest, so that’s really good.”

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