Monster fundraising campaign launched to secure long-term future of homeless Honiton Gym Club

PUBLISHED: 11:28 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:22 21 November 2018

Megan Jones at the beginning of her medal winning routine

Megan Jones at the beginning of her medal winning routine

Archant

A mammoth fundraising effort has been launched to secure the future of Honiton’s much-loved gymnastics club.

Honiton Gymnastics Club has been left homeless after its landlord Tesco evicted the group from its Ottery Moor Lane-based training centre last week.

Taylor Wimpey is in the process of purchasing the site to build a new housing development.

With nowhere permanent to move immediately, the gym club and its 500 plus members have been frantically trying to find a new short-term venue to train at.

Members of the club spent last weekend packing up the centre into eight shipping containers.

Seven of the club’s popular classes have been cancelled until it is successful in securing a new long-term venue.

An ambitious £600,000 crowdfunding appeal has since been launched by Honiton Gymnastics Supporters Association in an attempt to consolidate the club’s now-uncertain future.

James Reddy, of Honiton Gymnastics Club, said: “We are training in school gyms at the moment. I am still ringing around trying to find more places to train. If we look short-term, we are never going to achieve what is right for the young people of Honiton. We need to look long-term.”

Mr Reddy said the club is hoping to move into a unit of around 20,000 sq ft that it owns.

He added: “We plan to have this venue in a place that we own that we will be able to continue building for the community.

“There are more than 500 gymnasts who have been displaced because of this.”

Mr Reddy said the club’s supporters association have raised ‘huge’ amounts of money for the group in the past.

He added: “They have raised £50,000 for new equipment and they say they want to help so we can have a long-term sustainable future. Our gym is now entirely empty and the guys worked so hard clearing it - we filled up eight shipping containers.

“We have also received support from local businesses, and my emails have been full with people offering advice and ideas for venues we could look to train at and messages of support.

“People have worked really hard for the club.”

To donate to the association’s crowdfunding appeal, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/honitongymnasticsclub

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