Colchester School of Gymnastics

Colchester, Essex, UK

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Hundreds of people including children with disabilities have been given the opportunity to learn and excel in gymnastics, thanks to a project backed by CAF Bank.

Olympian Beth Tweddle MBE officially opened Colchester School of Gymnastics' new gym

In 2012, the Colchester School of Gymnastics (CSG) received a surge of membership enquiries from aspiring gymnasts, inspired by Team GB’s success in the London Olympics. However, despite volunteers’ fundraising efforts and a number of unsuccessful grant applications, CSG struggled to raise sufficient funds to expand its facilities.

With its waiting list rising to over 1,200, the charity decided to approach CAF Bank in order to finance an extension to their existing gym. Thanks to a £200,000 loan, CSG were able to complete the long-planned gym extension, enabling the club to double the size of its membership and deliver a wider range of classes.

Officially opened in 2014 by Olympian Beth Tweddle MBE, the gym helped to reduce the waiting list by over 500 gymnasts while offering more employment opportunities for the local community.


Speaking about the partnership with CAF Bank, Andrea Cook, Centre Manager and Girls Coach at CSG, said: “£200,000 is a lot of money to us and while we were going through a very stressful time trying to run a business, expand that business and deal with things that are normally out of our comfort zone, CAF Bank made the whole process relatively easy. We would definitely recommend them to other charities.”

She added: “CAF Bank were very supportive of our plans and seemed genuinely interested in our club. I didn’t feel we were just a number to them.”

Established in 1977, CSG provides coaching to children, young people and adults throughout the Colchester area, providing classes from beginner level through to Elite (national) level.

The school aims to offer access to gymnastics to all and works to increase participation by those with disabilities. And many of the young gymnasts who train at the facilities have achieved regional and national recognition.


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