Counting down to Helsinki……

Counting down to Helsinki......

A squad of 24 girls and coaches from Meridian Club, who are based and train at , are counting down the days until they travel to Helsinki this July to take part in the World Gymnaestrada 2015.

Over 21,000 gymnasts of all ages from around the world will take part in this festival of which is held only every four years. Our local squad will perform their own routines at a number of venues in Helsinki, but will also represent their country, performing with other British gymnasts in Helsinki’s largest sporting venues, including the Olympic Stadium, as Team GB.

As part of their preparation the Meridian squad will shortly be making a second trip to the home of at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, at Newport, Shropshire – training centre for Team GB gymnasts such as Lewis Smith, Beth Tweddle and Claudia Fragapane –where they will be taking part in group training sessions and receiving their Team GB kit, which will include outfits to travel in and perform in throughout the Gymnaestrada in Helsinki.

The Meridian gymnasts – aged from 12 upwards – and their friends and families, have been taking part in many fundraising events over the last year to try and support the cost of taking part in this prestigious event.

The squad are very proud to announce that they have now reached a fantastic total of £10,000 raised, and want to send a huge thank you to everyone who has donated or supported them so far. Many local people will have already seen the girls bag packing around Beverley, holding car boot sales, cake stalls, quiz nights, disco’s and sponsored runs and all have been generous in their interest, enthusiasm and support.

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Head Coach at Meridian Club, Kev Bishop, believes attending the Gymnaestrada is a fantastic opportunity for personal growth as athletes and gymnasts for his squad, who already compete regularly at local and regional competitions.

With the basic cost of taking part expected to be around £24,000 for the squad he has been proud of the commitment and determination of all of the girls attending fundraising events this last year but knows that the squad still have a long way to go before they travel in July.

He would particularly like to thank all of the local businesses and organisations who have made donations or given support by hosting fundraising events, such as the , , and many others, including a number of private businesses and individuals who have made lump sum donations to the squad.

The Meridian gymnasts will continue their training and fundraising throughout the spring and into July and, aside from further public fundraising events locally, they hope to gain still further support and funds from businesses, charities and other organisations.

Any individuals or organisations who think they can help our local gymnasts can contact Kev Bishop at Meridian GC on 07761604160, or email

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