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Power company puts spring in gymnasts’ steps

Members of Huntingdon Gymnastics Club, where Olympic medallist Louis Smith trained, are jumping for joy after being given a cash award from UK Power Networks.

From Press releases - 8 May 2014 12:00 AM

Members of Huntingdon Gymnastics Club, where Olympic medallist Louis Smith trained, are jumping for joy after being given a cash award from UK Power Networks.

The power company donated £250 after employee Stephen Davison applied for a grant under its Team Sport Award scheme.

The cash will go towards new trampettes – a cross between a springboard and a mini trampoline – which can be used by all 1,500 members of the club.

It’s the third time UK Power Networks has helped the gym and Louis showed the members’ gratitude by signing a 2012 Olympics memory book with the message “Thanks for keeping the lights on” and sending it to company chief executive Basil Scarsella.

Olympic fever sparked an explosion in the number of people applying to join the gym and it recently completed an extension which allows it to offer more disciplines. It caters for all ages from babies to people in their sixties and it still has a growing waiting list.

Stephen, an assistant quantity surveyor based at Bury St Edmunds, is an elite development coach at the gym and is there six days a week.

He said: “It’s one of the most successful clubs in the country and we are doing all we can to keep kids in the sport – whether or not they go on to become elite gymnasts.

“We’re very grateful to UK Power Networks for this latest grant which will help us as we increase the disciplines we offer, for instance we are now doing display work and are looking into cheerleading. Such diversity is good for the club and of course it’s great to keep youngsters involved in sport.”

Stephen, who lives in St Neots, started volunteer coaching four years ago and now goes straight to the club after work every day.

He said: “The club has been going for 25 years and is open seven days a week. We have six-month-old babies in our baby classes and our oldest member is 66. We have elite adult gymnasts and recreational users – and we had cleared our waiting list but it has grown again.

“We rely on grants such as this and I think it’s great that my company supports us in this way.”

UK Power Networks’ Team Sport Award scheme is designed to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year more than £13,000 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks staff.