Fundraising drive to find Â£50,000 for Northampton Gymnastics Academy after losing out on sports grant
A Northampton gymnastics school for over 500 children is asking families and donors to help them find Â£50,000 after losing out on aÂ funding grant.
Northampton Gymnastics Academy was hit by a huge gap in its funding after missing out of a scheme in May and has been raising cash ever since.
It comes as the club is set to move from its tired home in Benham Sports Centre to a new 10,000 square foot facility in Round Spinney Industrial estate in August - but they have been short on money to afford any renovations or equipment for the new site.
Rebecca Walker, who along with other parents is leading the fundraising, said: "My son is at the academy 20 hours a week for training and it's done so much for him.
"It sadly has very limited facilities when you look at other gymnastics club but they still achieve so much and bring home medals.
"The director [James Kikta] has turned this place around and built it up massively. He is a local hero.
"As a parent, I wanted to help. These kids are representing the town at competitions and we can do so much more if we can update the gym with modern, safe high-tech equipment."
The academy is a non-profit organisation where profits are reinvested back into the academy to help maintain, replace and update the academy's equipment.
In its drive to make up the Â£50,000, the academy has opened a GoFundMe page asking parents to help and have written to businesses asking for sponsorship.
Over 120 young members also clubbed together Â£900 through a "Smarties tube" change donation to help their academy.
Among the expensive equipment needed is a Â£12,000 set of safety matting for its parallel bars and Â£30,000 safe-land raised pit system.
Northampton Gymnastics Academy's "elite squad" represented the town for the first time at the British Championships 2018 at the Echo Arena.
But without the funding, the new facilities will not even be able to install heating, basic toilets or a changing area.
Parents and supporters have also raised over Â£1,200 this year through tombolas and fundraising drives, while the GoFundMe page has raised over Â£3,000 in five months.