HOLBEACH and Fenland Gymnastics Club is racing against time to raise £45,000 so it can turn a derelict warehouse into a gym.
The club has been asked to quit its current headquarters – an old gym at Long Sutton’s Peele Community College – and must move by March next year.
Piles of rubble are strewn across the floor of the club’s new headquarter in Lime Walk, Long Sutton, and members are faced with a mountain of work as well as raising a mountain of money.
Club welfare officer Penny Cowling said: “We now have to raise approximately £30,000 to complete the redevelopment needed from insulation to heating systems, concrete floors, toilets, kitchen and cloakroom area.
“On top of this we have to find £10,000 to £15,000 for removal of equipment from the Peele gym and re-fitting in our new premises.”
More than 100 children – from Sutton Bridge to Spalding – enjoy gymnastics at the club and the club has produced a string of regional tumble champions, county floor and vault champions and had youngsters in national finals.
The club’s coaches also work in schools and local sports clubs.
Mrs Cowling said: “We have lots of events organised to raise funds and everybody is working very hard applying for grants, but this process takes time – and time is something we don’t have.
“Local councillors have been very supportive and have offered some financial support, but we are still a long way off our target.
“Once the new premises are completed it will provide an excellent training facility. It is intended that the club will open during the day to provide fun pre-school and adult gymnastic sessions too – opening it up to a wider community.
“The committee would like to reassure parents that the club is running as normal and will continue to do so as it has for the last 31 years.”
Mrs Cowling said the club has been asked to leave the community college because Peele needs space to redevelop for its own needs.
On September 10, the mum of club gymnast Caitlyn Beattie – Amanda Beattie – will do a sponsored parachute jump for the club.
The club is also holding a fundraising car boot sale at Baytree Nurseries Garden Centre, Weston, from 12pm-3pm on September 9.
n Anyone who can help the club – with donations of building materials, cash or fundraising ideas – can contact Lauren Day by emailing LDay1987@aol.com or call Annette on 01406 425009.