AN Olympic-standard gymnastics facility, which first opened just before lockdown last year, has welcomed members back to Moss Industrial Estate in Leigh.

Tumbles Academy of Gymnastics, which has classes as well as squad coaching, has a 5,000 sq ft unit has been fitted out with equipment and flooring as well as a preschool gymnasium, cafe and party area.

Owners Gemma Scott, who is a former Scottish national coach, and Donna Maclean, who is a former World and European champion, have always had ambitious plans to expand the academy and open their own premises.

In February last year, after three and a half years at Hope Academy in Newton-le-Willows, they moved to their own venue in Leigh, just before the Covid-19 pandemic forced them to close.

The past 18 months have been a struggle for the duo as, in addition to the financial pressures of lockdown, one of their young full time coaches was diagnosed with bone cancer.

During each lockdown, classes were delivered online six days a week while the newly renovated premises stood empty but now Gemma and Donna are looking to the future, with exciting plans for their gymnasts.

Gemma said: “We are really excited to finally launch the academy from our very own building, which is fitted out to a very high spec.

“Our viewing area and cafe never quite opened last year but we have made a few Covid adjustments and have installed a live feed so that parents can watch their children in class without having to leave their seats.

“Our new unit at Moss Industrial Estate is perfect for us as it gives us space to grow the academy and invest in and store our equipment.

“Plus, it’s really accessible for the local community.

“We can now focus on building the academy and doing what we do best - inspiring people through gymnastics.

“We currently have two girls working towards British Championships in the club and we have selected 25 children to work on the British Gymnastics pathway.

“We have also started offering specific disability sessions and we are making some adaptations to the centre to make it more disability friendly.”

Gemma and Donna are supported by a team of ten coaches, including world tumbling champion Rachael Letsche, and they run a wide range of classes for all ages and abilities, with special classes such as ninja gymnastics and gym fusion proving popular.

Neill Wood, managing director of Moss Industrial Estate, said: “We are so pleased that after 18 long and challenging months, Tumbles Academy of Gymnastics is back up and running again and can look forward to a long and exciting future.

“Moss Industrial Estate has experienced a growth in leisure-based activities on site in recent years which we are really proud of because they have such a direct and positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our local community and we look forward to supporting the academy as it grows.”

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