Gym stars move to Hitchin

A squad of top national and international gymnasts have now moved their training base to Hitchin. Brothers Philip and Michael Dodson are included in the GB Olympic potential squads for trampolining. They are also in the top Double Mini Tramp squad which h

A squad of top national and international gymnasts have now moved their training base to Hitchin.

Brothers Philip and Michael Dodson are included in the GB Olympic potential squads for trampolining.

They are also in the top Double Mini Tramp squad which has 15 competitors aged nine to 29.

This includes five British champions and seven members expected to represent Great Britain at the 2007 World and international age championships in Canada.

Until recently, these gymnasts trained in Luton at the Salto Gym Club.

But the club's trustees decided to reduce the training time available to them to one session per week instead of the three or four they need to maintain their high level of performance.

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So they had no choice but to seek an alternative venue - the Hitchin Boys' School Sports Centre.

Senior coach Lorraine George said: "We were not given any real reasons for this decision but we are all absolutely delighted with our new facility.

"We do have a few problems to overcome, including having to leave our proper competition, landing mat behind.

"But a club in Kent is lending us one while we raise the £3,000 needed to purchase another one, so we can continue training for the DWH international and our national championships, which will both be in November.

"Several of our members actually live in Hitchin, Arlesey, and Potton anyway, so they are very happy too!"

Coaches Lorraine and Toby Eager also used to run another group known as Jump 57, which was for Parkour free running enthusiasts to practise gymnastic skills.

It will probably take a little longer to get equipment for this group but as soon as they do, they will be inviting local boys and girls aged 13 years and upwards to join them.

If anyone is interested, they can visit the website www.jump57.co.uk

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