The Gymnastics Club Kent appeals to grass roots

Inside the civic complex

THE NDGA in Tunbridge Wells has changed its name to The Gymnastics Club Kent.

The rebranding aims to provide gymnastics to a wider range of children and adults than before, as well as introducing more people into the sport from a grass-roots level.

The Gymnastics Club Kent (GCK) held an open evening on January 6. Guided tours by the coaching team allowed potential new members to test out the range of equipment.

Around 30 freestylers demonstrated their skills, and GCK’s British Veterans Championship gold medallist Julia Kirk showed how gymnastics is a sport for all age groups.

The club also staged a Q&A session with Operations Manager Grace Spencer, Head Coach Amy Battell and Louise Orchard of British Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body.

They were on hand to talk about how the changes are intending to benefit the local community as well as current and new members.

What made you decide to rebrand?

Grace Spencer: “We wanted to rebrand the club to look at offering more people the opportunity to enter the sport of gymnastics from a grass-roots level.

“British Gymnastics have done a lot of research which looks into the demand for gymnastics within the UK.

“Their findings have shown there are currently 1.1 million people who would like to take part in Gymnastics but are not currently involved.

“We would like to offer as many people as possible the chance to become involved.” 

How can gymnasts make progress?

Amy Battell: “We have various options for making progress. Classes have been split into optional gender classes, giving boys and girls full access to equipment.

“We also offer intermediate and advanced classes in both which are of longer duration.

“This gives the gymnasts the chance to refine skills they have learnt in their beginner class, and the chance to learn more advanced skills.”

What opportunities are there to become a coach?

Grace Spencer: “British Gymnastics have a leadership scheme which allows gymnasts to start coaching from the age of 11.

“We offer the leadership programme at GCK, as a way of helping children who may no longer wish to participate themselves in gymnastics to stay within the gym to do coaching and start working in an environment they are familiar in.”

What award schemes do you have at the club?

Amy Battell: “The Gymnastics Club Kent follows the British Gymnastics badge award scheme.

“This gives children something to work towards during the terms to achieve the next badge.

“We have a badge week at the end of every term, which incentivises the children to perform well and achieve awards which they can keep as they move up through the scheme.’

Prices at The Gymnastics Club Kent start from £8.50 a session. Class trials are available in all classes at GCK. To book a trial, call 01892 550530 or email

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