By Katy Rutter
THE pipedream of a purpose-built facility to meet the demands of budding gymnasts has become a reality for Denmark Gymnastics that is now settling into its new home.
The project was first dreamed of back in 2013 when the club began operations out of the Denmark Recreation Centre with 40 gymnasts participating.
It was not long before the club reached capacity and could not take on any more gymnasts as it was only able to run classes one afternoon in the week due to other demands on the centre.
This saw the start of a waitlist, which had over 150 names on it by the start of 2019.
Denmark Gymnastics grew as a club, attending competitions in Perth and Katanning and often had the most representatives from regional clubs.
Despite only being able to train once a week, girls were competing against other gymnasts who were training three or Gymnasts tumble through the door four times in a week, and were still achieving great results.
Boys were also limited as Thursday afternoon training clashed with footy training, so many of the boys were unable to compete.
The club also expanded to include gymnasts from Mount Barker and other gymsports such as Tumbling, TeamGym, and FreeG (parkour).
With the growing demand for these gymsports, the club applied to have a facility built adjacent to the Denmark Recreation Centre.
This was unsuccessful, but the club was not deterred and continued to search for a solution.
This presented itself by chance, and led to plans being drawn up for an extension and repurposing to the rear of Denmark Hire’s shed on Middleton Road.
With support from Denmark Shire and a $20,000 grant from O’Conner MHR Rick Wilson through the Stronger Communities Program the dream slowly took shape.
Local tradespeople were used throughout the building process including Howard Smith, Sue Parker, Kevin and Andrew Ross, Digby Jacka, Wes Henderson, Simon Barker, Terry Dodd, Dan Wright, Brad Pierce, Alan Bourne, Shaun Sims, and Macca Concrete Pumping.
Many volunteers from the club also rolled up their sleeves. Local businesses Thorntons, Denmark Hire and Hanson Concrete were also very supportive of the club, assisting with last minute needs and advice.
The new Gym Shed has allowed for the waitlist to be whittled away with more than 180 children currently registered and participating this year.
The club is keen to support this increase in membership by training new coaches and assistants, as well as sourcing more equipment, particularly matting to cover the concrete floors.
More information is available from the club’s website www.denmarkgymnastics.weebly.com