Local mortgage lender, Skipton International, has stepped in with a three-year partnership deal to help save the future of Jersey’s Special Gymnastics Club.
The organisation is dedicated to training young people with learning disabilities and has produced national and global gymnastic champions.
Just last year Jersey Special Gymnastics Club feared it could close permanently if a new home for its training sessions and funding for international competitions was not found quickly. The club had been searching for a more permanent venue in the knowledge that Fort Regent was to close, but nowhere had been found, leaving its future in doubt. There was also no funding, meaning all national and international competitions had to be cut, disappointing the gymnasts for whom this club is more than just a hobby.
However, that has now changed thanks to Skipton International, who were moved by the club’s plight and pledged to help in any way they could.
Lorraine McLean is Manager at the Mortgage Centre in the Esplanade, and said: “How could we not step in and help the club when it means so much to so many. The joy that the club members get from their gymnastics, the camaraderie at competitions and the benefits of the regular sport itself are all crucial.
”My team and I are very much looking forward to supporting the club, not just financially, but with volunteering roles and in any way we can.”
Sports Minister Lucy Stephenson said: “What great news! I know the support will mean a lot to the club, it is thanks to organisations such as Skipton International that so many of our sports clubs and groups are able to function as well as they do.”
Nikki Kirkland runs the club along with a band of volunteers and commented: “I cannot thank Skipton enough for their support. We have been able to purchase new merchandise and training equipment, and now can participate in competitions again.
“We are thrilled to be having our first post-Covid competition on 9th December, bringing four judges over from the UK.
“It is all very exciting after such an uncertain time.”
Pictured: Jersey Special Gymnastics Club and Lorraine McLean, Senior Mortgage Sales Manager, Skipton Mortgage Centre. Picture credit: Jon Guegan