Gymnastic club 'desperate' for help after Covid forces evacuation

Chermond Gymnastics Club is appealing for help after being forced to evacuate its premises due to the pandemic 

Chermond Gymnastics Club is appealing for help after being forced to evacuate its premises due to the pandemic - Credit: Chermond Gymnastics Club

A gymnastics club which has served the community in Norwich for more than four decades is desperately seeking for help in finding a new home after running out of funds. 

Chermond Gymnastics Club, which was founded by Cherie and Raymond Alcock in June 1980, is a non-profit organisation which provides children of low income families an opportunity to learn the sport.

After 12 months of paying rent with no money due to the pandemic, the club has run out of funds to be able to continue operating at their unit on the Delta Close Industrial Estate. 

Chermond gymnastics club has been given £988 to buy new springboards. The money comes from Sport Rel

Chermond Gymnastics Club. Pictured are club members Alex Potter, left, and Darcey Reil. Photo: Bill Smith

With close contact sport being put on halt by Covid, the club's lack of funds means it will to evacuate the unit by May 1.

The Alcock family is seeking a new unit so they do not have to close the club entirely, which has provided countless opportunities such as performing live on Blue Peter, performing at Walt Disney World in Florida numerous times, competing at regional, national, and international competitions, and even winning medals for Great Britain in the 1993 Junior World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships. 


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The gymnastics club incorporates Circus Chermond with a number of additional classes being provided by professional circus artists, including Lucy Ladbrooke, who is the eldest granddaughter of Mr and Mrs Alcock. 

Miss Ladbrooke said: "It would be such a huge loss to the whole community as it's a non-profit club. Gymnastics is quite an expensive sport so my grandparents wanted it to be affordable for the children of Norwich with all the fees kept low.

Lucy Ladbrooke is a professional circus artist from Chermond Circus

Lucy Ladbrooke is a professional circus artist from Chermond Circus - Credit: The Grade Media

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"It's getting quite desperate. I want to put it out there that the landlord is not kicking us out, and if we can find somewhere suitable such as a smaller gym, then he would happily buy it then rent it to us. He has been very helpful to us." 

Chermond School of Gymnastics gymnasts learning circus skills. Jack Symmons, 8, on the arial net. Pi

Chermond School of Gymnastics gymnasts learning circus skills. Jack Symmons, 8, on the arial net. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

The club, which serves over 50 children in the Norwich area, has set up an emergency crowdfunding page online as they fight for its survival. 

Mr and Mrs Alcock are also currently selling equipment in a bid to raise much-needed funds.

Chermond School of Gymnastics production of Alice in Wonderland.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Chermond School of Gymnastics production of Alice in Wonderland.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Miss Ladbrooke added: "We would do anything to keep the club open and we are pretty desperate. The classes are voluntary run but all the people still work tirelessly.

"Ideally we would love to find a unit that the landlord could buy." 

The crowfunding page to help find a new home for the club can be found online by searching www.gofundme.com/f/help-lucy-to-get-chermond-a-new-home-in-norwich

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