‘They deserve it’: Stockton gymnasts on their way to Norway to represent Britain in European festival

A group of Teesside gymnasts have been selected to represent Britain in a European gymnastics festival.

GymMad Gymnastics Academy, based in Preston Farm, Stockton, will take a group of 20 gymnasts to participate in the British Gymnastics European Gymnastics Festival, EuroGym, in Bodo, Norway this July. EuroGym, which runs every two years, is one of the biggest gymnastics events specifically for young people aged between 12 and 18 and is a non-competitive event.

It is designed to unite European gymnasts and provide an opportunity for them to display their team routines on an international stage.

GymMad, a not for profit organisation set up around six years ago by former gymnast Lyndsay Madden, previously took a team to EuroGym , but this year the team has doubled in size. Lyndsay, 43, from Ingleby Barwick, said: “It’s really exciting and it’s a great opportunity for them. We’ve got 10 to 17-year-olds (taking part).

“I’m really proud of them because everything we seem to give them to do, they rise to it and they support each other so much. They’ve got a lovely morale between them and it’s lovely to be able to give them the opportunity to do it because they deserve it.”

Lyndsay added that the young gymnasts are “really excited” about going on a plane with their friends and performing in a different country. They are busy preparing their performances at the moment which will include group routines on the floor and acrobatic skills.

GymMad took a team to the EuroGym festival in Switzerland two years ago
GymMad took a team to the EuroGym festival in Switzerland two years ago
(Image: Lyndsay Madden)

GymMad started in a school hall with around 20 children six-years-ago, but due to rising demand it has now got its own site and has 600 members who come for classes each week. It is also an inclusive club, and has had British national tumbling champions and British disability acrobatics champions for three years running.

The academy has set costs for salaries but “everything else above that goes back into the gym”, which has “everything Olympic standard” from the tumble tracks to the floor to the trampolines and the bars and beams.

Lyndsay, who worked for the British Gymnastics governing body for five years, said: “We’ve added more classes to create more opportunities so it’s not just competitive. We’ve grown our workforce so we have volunteers and people coming from the community to help with the admin side.

“I think everyone feels like it’s one big family and it’s friendly and we have the right ethos in that we don’t push for results. I think the feedback is that we have a really good ethos and a nice, warm, friendly environment.”

Lyndsay’s main aim of the academy is for the gymnasts to “get as much as they can from it and achieve what they can with their potential”. However, as it is not-for-profit and it costs “nearly £1,000 per gymnast” to take part in the EuroGym festival, Lyndsay is asking anyone who can sponsor the gymnasts to contact her on lyndsay@gymmad.co.uk.

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