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Bank support has local gymnasts bouncing

4th March 2014

Members of Diamonds Gymnastics Club in Halifax have been given a boost after the club received £500,000 in funding after switching to Yorkshire Bank.

The club, one of the largest in Yorkshire, will use the funding from Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Bradford to complete the purchase of their bespoke training facility. The deal was completed by Nick Le Grove, corporate manager for Yorkshire Bank.

Diamonds Gymnastics was established in 2003 and moved in to its current, custom-designed 18,000 sq. ft. building in 2005. The support from Yorkshire Bank will allow the club to purchase the facility, securing the long-term future of the club and opening up the possibility of further expansion.

The funding support has also enabled the club to take on three new full-time members of staff and plans to further increase its pool of 42 part-time coaches.

The club has more than 1,000 members, from toddlers to pensioners although the vast majority are of primary and secondary school age, with a waiting list of approximately 500 in place. Diamonds Gymnastics is the only club in Yorkshire to offer such a wide range of gym disciplines including; cheerleading, artistic, tumble, acrobatics, team and display.

Diamonds Gymnastics was set-up by the husband and wife team of Bill and Helen Smithies and during the last 10 years has gained a reputation as one of the country’s leading clubs. One current member, Erin McLachlan, is Scottish senior beam champion and is aiming to be selected for the home nation at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Helen Smithies said: “This significant funding will allow us to progress the club even further and introduce further improvements to the coaching we provide to our members. Since 2003 we have grown steadily and are now seeing the benefits delivered by the investment we have made in quality facilities and coaches.

“We have more members than ever and the important thing is that everyone who comes along enjoys themselves, whether it’s just a hobby or they are aiming for a career in gymnastics. This is an exciting time for our sport in the UK and we’re now in a position to make the most of that opportunity.”

Andy Davidson, head of Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Bradford, said: “We are proud to be supporting a business which plays such an important part at the heart of the local community. Sporting legacy has been extremely topical since summer 2012 and it is clubs like Diamonds Gymnastics which are helping to deliver it for our young people.”

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