With a helping hand from Hull law firm James Legal, 10 East Yorkshire girls aged between nine and 14 are excitedly preparing to jet off to Florida for a trip of a lifetime – but it’s not Disney World or Miami beach that awaits them, these young athletes are ready to compete with more than 1,000 gymnasts from across the globe at the prestigious IAIGC World Championships.
The family-run Sutton Village Gymnastics Club, based in Potterill Lane, Sutton, has had a dual focus in the past few months, with the coaches and young gymnasts adhering to a rigorous training routine while members of the club’s fundraising committee were busy raising money for the trip to America.
Head coach Danielle Wright, whose parents Dave and Annette set up the thriving club back in 1996, said: “I’m so proud of the girls, they’ve worked incredibly hard and have done amazingly well to qualify for this competition. It’s a massive honour to be able to compete at the Worlds.
“But going to Florida is expensive. There’s the entry fees, the cost of the flights, accommodation and food, and also the gym kit that the team wear. We rely on help from our community and local businesses to be able to get there onto that world stage and show what young people from a village near Hull are capable of.”
The James Legal team were more than happy to support the club with a sponsorship package. Managing Director Nick Miller said: “At James Legal we believe in giving something back to our community and we’re pleased to be able to help the Sutton Village Gymnastic Club achieve their ambitions.
“Everyone here would like to wish the girls the best of luck, we’ve got our fingers crossed that they might even return with a few medals.”
The team have been kitted out with sparkling competition leotards as well as a set of bright red jackets emblazoned with their sponsors’ logos.
“The support from our sponsors has been absolutely phenomenal,” added Danielle. “I’d like to say a huge thank you to our main sponsor James Legal as well as our other sponsors. We wouldn’t have been going without their help.”
An amazing experience
The international competition gets underway on June 23 and ends on July 1. Nerves are already jangling in Samantha Russell’s household as daughter Katie, 13, spends her final training sessions honing her routines before flying out to America.
Sam said: “Katie made the team two years ago so she knows what to expect, but it’s still a bit nerve-racking! She’ll be doing vault, floor, beam and bars, it’s an intensive week but it’s so thrilling and an amazing experience, especially as the level of competition is so high.
“Everybody has worked so hard to get here. The coaches are unbelievably dedicated and the girls have put in an incredible amount of effort. All the parents are really grateful for the assistance from James Legal and our other sponsors, we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Succeeding in this sport requires an impressive amount of commitment. Katie and the rest of the team typically fit in nine to 11 hours of training a week around their school work, and coach Danielle, who’s a fashion designer by day, can be found at the gym almost every evening and weekend.
“Everyone, the gymnasts, their parents, the coaches, work so hard,” said Danielle. “The girls have really pulled it out of the bag this year and I’m confident they’ll do well at the event. It’s wonderful to know so many people are rooting for them.”
To contact Sutton Village Gymnastics Club, ring 01482 707794 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact James Legal, ring 01482 225566 or email email@example.com