Training venue:   Victoria Park, Mill Road, DEAL, Kent,  CT14 9AB

Correspondence address:   10 Foster Way, DEAL, Kent, CT14 9QP

 

Telephone:  01304 363817

Deal Gymnastics Club was established in July 1986 by five volunteer parents.

The club initially trained once a week using the facilities of a Dover based club. With numbers increasing weekly, as the clubs existence became known, a local venue was found. Linwood Youth Centre was hired twice a week and because funds were very limited mats were made together with a vaulting box. At this stage the club only had one qualified BG coach, so further parents took it upon themselves to train as Club Coaches under BG regulations, funding all training and examination fees themselves.

Popularity of the club soon started to exceed the current training times and the club began to outgrow its venue. In 1988 part of the club moved to Northbourne Village Hall. More equipment was needed; so new mats, beams and asymmetric bars were purchased. This was possible though the persistent fund raising efforts of the committee who arranged fairs, raffles, sponsored events, displays and several highly successful boot fairs at Deal Castle Paddock.

When Sandwich Sports Centre opened in 1991 it was felt that here was an ideal opportunity to gain more training space for the continuing increase in participation. The club moved from Northbourne but kept Linwood Youth Centre in Deal for youngsters unable to travel to Sandwich.

At this time the club had 180 registered BG members and £15000 worth of equipment. Due to the ever-increasing popularity of the club, it soon became a question of expansion. The committee began in earnest to find a suitable solution and the only course was for a permanent purpose built facility. For the volunteers this was a huge commitment, but their years of dedication made this the only option. Approaches were made to hundreds of agencies for support, funding and expertise to raise the £120,000 estimated to build a purpose built facility. After many knock backs the Foundation of Sport & The Arts granted £50,000 with Dover District Council providing the land on which to build. The club, through fund raising and loans, provided the balance. The cost of the building was kept as low as £129,000 due to self-help in completing the internal areas from the volunteers at that time.

The club moved into the new facility in October 1994 and Paul Garber, who was the Vice President of British Gymnastics, officially opened it. In December 2003 the club completed a £126,000 extension to the facility with grants from Deal Town Council, Deal & District Sports Fund and Walmer Parish Council. Dover District Council granted a £50,000 loan together with an £18,000 grant. The club financed the balance of the project injecting £36,500. The project took the form of a new Reception area, cloakroom and viewing area. The club is owned by Deal Gymnastics Club and is overseen by four Trustees.

 

 

All members of the club are BG registered gymnasts, coaches and helpers.