Norwich gym club desperate to find new venue

PUBLISHED: 17:42 31 December 2011

The Chermond Gymnastic club rehearsing circus skills for a show at the Hippodrome circus, Yarmouth in June.

The Chermond Gymnastic club rehearsing circus skills for a show at the Hippodrome circus, Yarmouth in June.

Archant © 2011

The daughter and granddaughter of a gymnastics and circus skills club proprietor have told of their despair over a council decision that threatens the club’s existence.

As previously reported, Chermond Gym Club, which was founded 30 years ago by 63-year- old retired carer Cherie Alock, of Peckover Road, has had to move venues numerous times. They currently train at City Academy on Earlham Road, a venue that cannot house the club any longer.

Run by volunteers, the club works with children and many have gone on to appear in shows and competitions across the UK.

Soon they will appear in Hello Dolly at the Theatre Royal.

Mrs Alcock’s daughter, Christina Aldous, 44, of Half Mile Road, Mile Cross, whose three teenage daughters use the club, is bemused by Norwich City Council’s refusal of the club’s bid to use a Whiffler Road warehouse, that for six years has stood empty.

Mrs Alcock said: “It’s so unfair, I don’t know why, it seems simple. These are good kids, they don’t roam the streets, or cause trouble. The club is a support network.

“What will happen to these kids? Why won’t they help this club?”

Mrs Alcock’s daughter, Sophie Alcock, 15, said: “It’s a big part of my life, like a big family.

“The club helps people come out of their shell. It supports them through hard times, teaches confidence and discipline.”

The council have said the club can re-submit the bid, but Mrs Alcock said that will cost £350, which she says is unreasonable, for a volunteer-run organisation.

A council spokesman said: “The club does amazing work with young people and we are aware of the challenges it faces.

“We have had several talks with them. They can appeal and we will provide what assistance we can.”

Do you or your children use the club? Call Joe Wilkes on 01603 772 439 or email

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