On top of the world... that is how the gymnasts of the Northampton-based Jumpz Gymnastics club are feeling.
The club, which was formed back in 2012 and is based at St James Primary School on Harlestone Road in Northampton, is celebrating after a clutch of its gymnasts qualified for the IAIGC World Championships in Orlando, Florida - a top level international competition.
Jumpz is affiliated to UK Gymnastics and compete through them in nationwide competitions. The girls enter into IAIGC-UK and UKG competitions which result in national and world championships qualifications.
In March, nine Jumpz gymnasts qualified for the IAIGC World Championships, and at a later event, where Jumpz members claimed 35
medals, a further 10 qualified for the All Around
or individual apparatus at the world
The gymnasts who have qualified are Shantelle (AA), Zuzanna (AA), Olivia F (AA), Olivia Y (AA), Delia (AA), Lily (AA), Hannah (AA), Gracie (AA), Holly (AA), Lucy (AA), Emily (AA), Kali (AA) Tori (AA) Eida (AA), Adina (vault), Caitlin (floor & vault), Naomi L (vault), Naomi M (vault) and Olivia A (vault).
It’s a remarkable achievement for a club that currently trains in a school sports hall and once a month has to hire out a gymnastics facility.
“We don’t have the proper competition equipment such as bars, beam and vault so we train on the equipment we have bought such as an air floor, A-frame bars that have to be stood on so that they don’t wobble, small floor beams etc,” said Natalie Fitzsimons of Jumpz.
“Our gymnasts do amazingly well as they compete against clubs who have their own dedicated gymnastics facility with competition equipment who are training for longer also.
“We are restricted at our current venue due to it being a school so it’s only available to us for four evenings a week.”
The club now holds sessions on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and has a very long waiting list.
“We have been looking for premises for the last three years,” added Fitzsimons. “But so far have been unsuccessful in securing a ‘change of use’ planning consent.
“All our equipment is stored in a shed onsite so every day we have to unload and set up the equipment and then put it all away again which takes an extra hour each day on top of our rental hours just for moving equipment.”
The club’s girls qualifying for the World Championships is a brilliant achievement, but as a club Jumpz doesn’t have any funds to send a coach or children to America.
There must be a minimum of a level 3 coach to accompany the gymnasts at the competition, and this coach would need to be funded although the coach will be paying for her own food and expenses.
The parents at the club have formed a group and funding page to help raise awareness and funds for this competition and have so far raised £700 out of £898 needed for the coach to go to the USA, so the girls can travel too.
If you are interested in donating, then please go to the fund-raising page at https://uk.gofundme.com/Letjumpzfly