A rhythmic gymnastics club in Huddersfield is giving youngsters the chance to compete nationally … and also has its own display group that performs all over the country.
White Rose Rhythmic Gymnastics Club was set up in September 2017 by former international gymnast Olga Fleming and now has room for more members.
She started the club with just five girls and now has around 40 members aged from five to 20 and is based at Northfield Hall on Norfolk Avenue in Brackenhall.
Rhythmic gymnastics combines gymnastics with music to showcase the skills of grace, co-ordination, agility and artistry. Gymnasts always use a piece of apparatus which includes rope, ball, hoop, clubs or ribbon.
Rhythmic gymnastics is very popular in Russia and eastern Europe so some of the members have either emigrated here or have their family roots in Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Dagestan but anyone is welcome to join.
Olga said: “We are a vibrant and energetic club that embraces the whole child philosophy and we pride ourselves on the long-term approach to the children’s gymnastics.
“The club has a series of beginners and recreational and squad classes and our own club grades with an award scheme for progression.”
Individual and group gymnasts from the club take part in British Rhythmic Gymnastics nationwide.
The club is a non-profit making organisation and depends on self-funding from parents, running fundraising and social events throughout the year.
The club hosts its own White Rose Cup annually which can have more than 200 gymnasts taking part and attracts some of the UK’s top gymnasts.
Olga added: “The club’s focus is to develop and give as many opportunities to as many gymnasts as possible.”
Members now come from all over Huddersfield including the Holme and Colne valleys as well as Brighouse, Rastrick and even Bradford.
Before setting up the club in Huddersfield, Olga was involved in coaching rhythmic gymnastics and artistic gymnastics in several clubs throughout Leeds, Halifax and Manchester.
Olga started gymnastics when she was eight and living in Uzbekistan, part of the USSR. Five years later she moved to Belarus and ended up competing in regional and national competitions.
There are two kinds of competition – individual and group.
Rhythmic Gymnastics started in the former Soviet Union during the 1940s and was recognised by the International Gymnastics Federation in 1961.
The first rhythmic gymnastics world championship was held in 1963 and it has been an Olympic sport since 1984.
The sport has been dominated by the Russians for decades but there was a shock at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with Bulgaria winning the team gold medal.
Anyone wanting to join White Rose Rhythmic Gymnastics Club or to find out more information should phone 07895 309376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.