Ipswich Town footballers open new £70K facilities for Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club
- Credit: Gregg Brown.
Thousands of gymnasts will benefit from a £70,000 revamp at an Ipswich sports centre thanks to a string of donations.
Ipswich Town footballers David McGoldrick, Teddy Bishop and Cole Skuse helped officially open the upgraded facilities at Ipswich Gymnastics Centre, home of Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club, yesterday.
The players have all received special rehabilitation support at the centre after injuries.
The money has provided new matting and a fresh floor area at the Braziers Wood Road venue.
Head coach and manager,
Andy Wood, began the ambitious fundraising drive in October last year.
Mr Wood said the old matting had began to deteriorate in places after 10 years of use and would have become unsafe to train on within the next six to eight months.
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“We have around 3,000 people through our doors every week using our facilities, it’s one of the biggest centres in the country,” Mr Wood said.
“We have got projects for every level and every age group, which is very unusual in most sports.
“We also host around 26 competitions a year, so people from outside our community will also benefit from the new matting.”
The money came from a number of different sources including Biffa, the waste disposal company, which gave £31,500, and British Gymnastics, which donated £5,000.
Ipswich Borough Council’s south-east and north-east area committees collectively handed over £8,000; Suffolk county councillors Sandra Gage, Sarah Adams, Sandy Martin, Bryony Rudkin, Mandy Gaylard, Helen Armitage, Peter Gardiner, Bill Quinton and Alan Murray gave £8,200 from their locality budgets; East Region Gymnastics donated £3,500 and Suffolk Gymnastics also gave £3,500.
The remaining £10,300 was put in by the club, which is a not-for-profit organisation.
The club’s elite gymnasts were the first to try out the new facilities last night.
Since starting his role in January 2001, Mr Wood has raised £1.5million for the club through different funding opportunities and activities.
His next venture is to find £30,000 to upgrade the floor area so the club can continue to host international competitions.