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Acropolis prove a hit in France From The Northern Echo

September 7, 2013 Leave a comment

A GROUP of gymnasts have reached the final of a French TV talent show.

Acropolis, a team of eight gymnasts from the successful Deerness Gymnastics Academy near Durham City, were invited to perform on a show called ‘The Best: Le Meilleur Artiste’ after producers saw their winning performance on ITV’s ‘Let’s Get Gold’ in 2012.

In the seven heats leading to the final, the gymnasts aged from 13 to 22 have been competing against stiff competition from another 84 professional acts from around the world. The show’s judges and audience rewarded the group an impressive score of 17.7 out of 20 for their acrobatic performance to Adele’s ‘Set Fire to the

“This is a great opportunity for Acropolis and Deerness Gymnastics Academy” said Stuart Thompson, coach and head of acrobatics at the academy. “We didn’t really think about making it through when there were so many other world-class acts performing. The reaction of the live audience and the comments from the Jury were just amazing.”

Getting to the final of the competition follows a number of recent achievements. Deerness Gymnastic Academy was named Tumbling Club of the Year in the North of England Gymnastics Awards. The club has also won a string of British, European and world titles, producing more than 60 Team GB athletes.

Mr Thompson said: “Getting to the final is a fantastic achievement but, now that we are there, we know it will be very hard.

“Our act includes either gymnasts who work full time or still attend school, and perform as Acropolis in their spare time in order to raise income for the club.”

The prize includes 100,000 euros and the final show will be broadcast on September 13 on TF1 in France.

via Gymnasts prove a hit in France From The Northern Echo.

Deerness Gym Club offers summer coaching

August 7, 2013 Leave a comment

CHILDREN are being offered gymnastics coaching from some of the best in the sport.

Deerness Gymnastics Academy, in Ushaw Moor, County Durham, which has produced many British, European and world champions, is staging sessions during the summer holidays for youngsters aged four to 12.

They are taking place every Tuesday and Wednesday from August 6 to 21, from noon to 2pm. The cost is £6 per child per day, or £10 for two days, including a healthy snack and drink.

To book a place, email: contact@deernessgymnastics.org.uk, call 0191-373-9419 or visit deernessgymnastics.org.uk

via Deerness gym club offers summer coaching (From The Northern Echo).

New limb hope for Kieran, 13 (From The Northern Echo)

April 23, 2012 Leave a comment

THE parents of a teenager who lost part of his leg to a rare form of cancer are renewing their efforts to get him a new prosthetic limb.

Kieran Maxwell, from Heighington, near Darlington, underwent an amputation at the knee of his left leg in March last year, after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, which attacks bone and muscle tissue.

The 13-year-old, who is now in remission and will be one of the region’s Olympic flame bearers, already has an NHS-issue prosthetic.

His parents, Nicola and Alistair, want Kieran to have one that will help him to develop his sporting ambitions.

Kieran recently joined a gymnastics club, the Athena Sports Academy, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

Mr and Mrs Maxwell have set up the Kieran Maxwell Trust to raise funds and are hopeful he will have his new prosthetic by the time he completes his 300m stretch of the Olympic torch relay, in Bishop Auckland, in June.

They will next month meet specialists from the Hampshire based clinic Dorset Orthopaedic, whose clients include Lyndon Longhorne, the Crook teenager who endured multiple amputations after contracting meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia as a baby.

Private clinics can charge anywhere between £10,000 and £100,000 for prosthetic limbs, said Mrs Maxwell.

The couple have set a fundraising target of £15,000 and are already about halfway there.

Mrs Maxwell said: “The top-of-the- range prosthetics are not cheap, and we would also have to pay for any adjustments it needed in the future, for example if Kieran had a growth spurt.

“I was talking to a lady whose son’s cancer has come back four times, so that is always a bit of a worry.

“We take it one day at a time and he sees his oncologist once a month for check-ups.”

Kieran recently enjoyed success in a gymnastics competition with his club, of which he is the first wheelchair member.

He and other members recently took part in their first regional competition, at Deerness Valley Gym Club, near Durham City.

They won a total of 34 medals, to the delight of their coaches and parents.

􀁧 A table-top sale will be held in Heighington Village Hall from 10am to 1pm on Saturday. Admission costs 50p, with proceeds to the trust.

New limb hope for Kieran, 13 (From The Northern Echo).

Gymnastics: GB team call-ups for Deerness Valley starlets – Grassroots – Sport – ChronicleLive

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

FOUR Newcastle gymnasts are among those flying the North East flag at this week’s European Senior and Junior Acrobatics Championships.

A 15-strong party from Durham’s Deerness Valley Gymnastics Club will be representing Great Britain at the event, in Varna, Bulgaria, which started yesterday and runs until Saturday.

It includes Dorian Walker, who studies at Newcastle University, Joe Charman and Conrad Dempsey from Northumbria University and Michael Gill of the city’s Royal Grammar School.

The acro-gymnasts are all aged between 12 and 21.

Deerness Valley gymnasts make up nearly half of the Great Britain team and were selected following national trials held earlier this year.

Four of the senior squad of 15 and 11 of the junior squad of 22 are from the Ushaw Moor-based club.

The senior gymnasts in the men’s group are Jesse Heskett (17) from Sunderland, Matthew Evison (19) from Esh Winning, Walker (21) from Durham City and Richard Hurst (21) from Esh Winning.

via Gymnastics: GB team call-ups for Deerness Valley starlets – Grassroots – Sport – ChronicleLive.

Deerness Leisure Centre bounces back from closure threat as gymnastics academy (From The Northern Echo)

October 4, 2011 Leave a comment

OVER 25 years, Deerness Gymnastics Club has produced more than 80 international gymnasts and brought home more than 60 world and European medals – winning four world and five European titles.

And all this came out of the small village of Ushaw Moor, in County Durham.

Coaches, parents and gymnasts alike were devastated, therefore, when, earlier this year, Durham County Council announced plans to close its base, Deerness Leisure Centre, in a move to cut costs.

However, volunteers put together a successful rescue package and yesterday the centre reopened as a gymnastics academy.

Karl Wharton, the academy’s director of gymnastics, said: “It’s our aim to run it as a gymnastics community facility, where we cater for everyone from mothers, toddlers and babies through to high-level international performers, right through to old age pensioners who want to come along and do something gymnastics-related just to keep fit.

“This facility is immensely important. It was identified as an Olympic training venue two or three years ago and it is immensely important for British gymnastics.

“We’ve currently got more than 15 of the acrobatic gymnastics GB squad and ten of the tumbling squad.

“We were all devastated at the leisure centre’s closure because we never expected that decision could be made “Initially, there was shock. But we decided there was no way we would let it go. Parents and helpers have come on board and now we have 150 volunteers who want to keep it open as a true community facility.”

Lesley Charman, whose 19-year-old son, Joe, is a member of the club, said: “It’s made a massive difference. It’s really helped with his confidence.

“He’s much more outgoing since he’s been coming to gymnastics. It has helped at school as well.”

Jessie Heskett, 17, who is part of the British champions senior men’s four, trains at the centre five times a week, for four hours at a time.

“It was quite disappointing to hear about the closure – there was panic to be honest.

“But the plans we have now are very exciting. It gives us a lot more freedom and flexibility.

“Without this club, we couldn’t have been as successful as we have been.”

Durham County Council-run leisure centres in Crook and Ferryhill closed on Saturday, although community groups are still fighting to prevent them being demolished.

Centres in Sherburn and Coxhoe will reopen as community-run facilities in coming months, while the council is retaining Pity Me’s facility on reduced hours.

For more details about Deerness Gymnastics Academy, visit deernessgymnastics.org.uk

Deerness Leisure Centre bounces back from closure threat as gymnastics academy (From The Northern Echo).

Gymnastics club takes gamble in takeover of Deerness Leisure Centre – Today’s News – News – JournalLive

October 2, 2011 Leave a comment

A COACH at a hugely-successful gymnastics club said he will take a “huge gamble” on Monday when the amateur club takes over the running of a council leisure centre.

Karl Wharton spearheaded a successful bid by the Deerness Valley Gymnastics Club to take over the leisure centre where the club is based at Ushaw Moor, Durham, after council bosses said they could no longer afford to maintain it.

Over the past 20 years, Deerness Valley has become one of Britain’s top gymnastics clubs in acrobatics and tumbling, with over 60 international gymnasts winning more than 50 World and European medals. The club includes three World and four European Champions in its roll of honour.

But the club’s future looked uncertain when Durham County Council announced plans to close its headquarters and five other leisure centres as part of cost-cutting measures.

Now the club will take over the centre after a bid by Karl with the support of 150 parents, to save the gymnastics club and take on running a new gymnastics centre on the site. Karl added: “It is a huge gamble but we are now a registered charity with a huge groundswell of support. Parents of gymnasts who work as electricians, decorators, you name it, have all volunteered to do their bit. We have 150 volunteers which is amazing.”

The club has been the subject of some criticism locally because the leisure centre will no longer be open for five-a-side football, badminton or squash, but Karl said: “We cannot afford to pay staff. We are run by volunteers. So the only activities we can run are gymnastics-related. However, we want to extend a welcome to anybody from toddlers to pensioners who would like to come along to try out some gymnastic activities.

“We will be welcoming anyone who wants to take part in some basic gymnastics, whether it be warm up exercises for older people or fun sessions for toddlers.

I can understand the disappointment of local people who used the centre for other sporting activities but what we have achieved so far is surely better than having the building bulldozed to the ground, which would have been the alternative.”

Karl set up the club in 1989 when he was head of PE at neighbouring Deerness Valley Comprehensive School. He is now a senior lecturer on the Department of Sport Development at Northumbria University.

via Gymnastics club takes gamble in takeover of Deerness Leisure Centre – Today’s News – News – JournalLive.

YouTube – ‪Deerness Valley Gymnastics Gymfusion Performance 2011‬‏

YouTube – ‪Deerness Valley Gymnastics Gymfusion Performance 2011‬‏.

Uploaded by on Jul 12, 2011

A great day for all taking part in the Gymfusion display in Spennymoor 2nd July, 2011.