Ipswich: Future gymnastic Olympians from Brazil heading to the town this summer for training and competitions

Andy Wood with Gustavo Harada who inspected the gym in 2011.

Andy Wood with Gustavo Harada who inspected the gym in 2011.

JUNIOR Brazilian gymnasts aiming to perform at the 2016 Olympics will be heading to Ipswich this summer to train and compete with their British counterparts, the Star can reveal today.

The junior team will be at the Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club in June as they prepare for their rigorous training programme ahead of the Games in Rio.

About 16 teams from across Britain will also be involved in the competitions and training schedules at the centre in Brazier’s Wood Road.

Head coach and manager at the gym, Andy Wood MBE, said: “It is going to be incredible and I can’t wait.

“What I am hoping to do is link it in with some school visits so they can come and watch the Brazilians and meet them.

“For me, last year was mega exciting but this year is going to be, in a way, more exciting because it is helping the British and Brazilian gymnasts get ready and we are playing a massive part to help them train for Rio.”

It will be the second time in nearly a year that the club has hosted a team from the country after the full Brazil gymnastic team, which gained a gold in artistic gymnastics in 2012, trained there in July.

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Mr Wood said hosting the group last year provided a fantastic link which has encouraged gymnastic bosses in the South American country to come to Ipswich again.

It is hoped events will take place each year now in Britain and Brazil and while training will be the main focus for the youngsters, it is also hoped their visit will provide a major boost for traders in Ipswich.

Mr Wood added: “You are looking at about 40 kids from Britain, so that will be about 20 hotel rooms and the Brazilians will need six rooms and then you have got parents and grandparents.

“It should end up with hotels in the area being fully booked which will be amazing – we are doing our bit for the economy.”