Purpose-built gymnastics centre opens in south west London
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Purpose-built gymnastics centre opens in south west London

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A specialised gymnastics facility has opened at the Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

The purpose-built, £300,000 facility was officially opened by Commonwealth Games champion gymnast Courtney Tulloch and adds to the centre's existing gymnastics offer.

Interest in gymnastics has boomed in the UK in recent years, partly thanks to the success of British gymnasts on the world stage since the London 2012 Olympic Games.

According to Sport England figures, the number of people taking part in gymnastics has increased by more than 100,000 since 2012 – with another spike in interest recorded during the 2016 Rio Games.

According to Dave Jones, contract manager for Places Leisure – which manages the centre on behalf of Elmbridge Borough Council – the centre will cater for the increased interest.

“We hope that the new facilities will also encourage even more children to take up gymnastics," Jones said.

“The new kit will offer participants the opportunity to try all elements of gymnastics, including men’s and women’s artistic as well as acrobat gymnastics.

"Gymnastics is a foundation sport that teaches children vital physical literacy skills as they step, leap and jump towards a healthy lifestyle. Through gymnastics children can improve their strength, speed and coordination as well as learning important social skills like teamwork, confidence, trust and taking turns."

The £13m Xcel Leisure Complex first opened in 2006 and features a 120-station fitness suite, a climbing wall, a 25m swimming pool, a 20m learner pool with moveable floor and an eight-court sports hall.

The project was originally the result of a Public Private Partnership between DC Leisure and the Elmbridge Borough Council Leisure and Cultural Services Division. The construction was carried out by Willmott Dixon.

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A specialised gymnastics facility has opened at the Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre in Walton-on- Thames, Surrey.
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