Gym-Tastic - 300 children on waiting list to join Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club

Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club.
Cameron Lister.

Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club. Cameron Lister. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A popular gymnastics club is taking further leaps and bounds towards its future success.

Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club.
Luca Hammond.

Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club. Luca Hammond. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

With 300 children on its waiting list, Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club is planning to open a second centre in the west of Ipswich to cater for its rising popularity.

Club coach Andy Wood said his team has seen a 30% rise in participation compared to this time last year and they now need to take action to accommodate the high demand for the internationally-recognised club’s facilities and coaching.

The rise in membership has left many children waiting in the wings to get their chance of joining, with 300 children currently on a waiting list.

But to address this current issue, Wood said the club are looking at opening a second site in the west-Ipswich area, to allow people in this region to get their chance.

Speaking on Monday, Wood said: “The problem we have is that the popularity of the club has meant we are working at 95% capacity, which is enormous, and we have 300 kids on a waiting list with nowhere to put them.

“So because of this we are looking at taking the business to other areas by turning a warehouse unit into a gymnastics facility in the Claydon area.”

Most Read

The club has around 3,000 people going through the doors per week, and there is currently a 30% rise in participation on this time last year, and Wood says there are two main reasons for this spike in numbers.

“I’d say the Commonwealth Games in 2014 played a part, and also our own ‘In Reach’ project that allows schools to come and use our facilities and be taught by our coaches,” said Wood.

“In 2013, 45 schools took part in the project, but last year 200 schools did, which is over quadruple the amount.”

The clubs pedigree is fantastic, with Wood saying in the 15 years he has been at the club, there has never been a year where they haven’t had a gymnast chosen for the national squad.

In total, the club has had 30 British champions, and eight international gymnasts.

In 2015, Pipers Vale gymnast Polina Polyakova competed at the Leverkusen Cup in Germany, and Cameron Lister represented Scotland at the Coup de Arques tournament in France - see video above.

Another athlete from Pipers Vale who has national success is Gabriel Hannah, who last year competed at the World University Games, and got a first place on the vault at the England Senior Championships.

Speaking about the clubs success, Wood said: “I’m just proud to be a part of it.

“We’re also very thankful to Biffa and the council, for contributing £35,000 and £8,500 respectively towards our new matting last year, but I can’t wait to see how big the club can become.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter