A new trampoline, gymnastics and cheerleading centre has opened in Sunderland.
Opened by AAAsports, the venue, which has taken over the Sunderland Climbing Centre in Southwick, is the only one of its kind in the region.
The centre will be running classes there for all ages and abilities, with hundreds of members expected to attend every week.
“It’s fantastic, we don’t have anything like this in Sunderland at all, we never have,” said Andi Revell from AAAsports.
“At the moment all gymnastics is running out of school halls and things, which is great for the recreational side of things but if we’re wanting to take it to competition level we need more space and we need more activity.”
The club stress that they can cater for people of all ages, with their members ranging from those just learning to walk to those in their sixties. The centre runs pre-school classes and dedicated adult classes.
“There’s a lot of kids who maybe want to come and do gymnastics but they’re a little bit embarrassed because maybe they’re a little bit older than the people who are normally doing it, with it being quite a young sport,” said Andi.
“And we’ve got adult classes for those people who want to come along and try it out but don’t want to try it alongside the kids.
“When you’re stuck in a sports centre you’re limited to who’s going to bring in the money to run those classes, whereas here we’ve got a bit more flexibility.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for everybody to come and try a new activity and get involved in these fantastic sports.”
AAAsports was set up eight years ago as a small trampoline club. It originally held sessions at the Sandhill Centre and Raich Carter Centre but rapidly expanded, taking on cheerleading and gymnastics.
In July last year they bought Sunderland Climbing Centre and have been working since then to convert it into their own place. They now run across the North East.
As well as the centre offering more people the chance to recreationally enjoy the sports, it is hoped that it could provide the platform for stars of the future to blossom in Sunderland.
“The trampoliners are already quite established in our club, they compete nationally and internationally on a regular basis,” Andi said.
“Our cheerleaders are now competing nationally and they’re looking to expand their programs to give more opportunity for that.
“And our gymnasts are starting to come through and compete regionally as well, so this is a great opportunity for them to get extra time and train as often.”
Andi also believes that having the three sports under one roof will allow children the chance to find the one they most enjoy.
He said: “We know kids can be a bit fickle and get bored, no matter how good our coaches are they will want to try something else.
“But the brilliant thing is now they can simply move to a different activity within the same environment so they’re not having the pressure of learning new names and meeting new people. And as a rule they will probably know a couple of the kids in that class already.
“And most of the time it might be a slight adjustment of times for the parents but they’re going to the same place so their normal routines aren’t too disrupted.”
The club offers a range of classes under the guidance of its fully qualified coaches, including:
* Trampoline – learn skills and somersaults on their 4 Olympic standard trampolines
* Gymnastics – take on our bars, beam, vault, floor and air track
* Cheerleading – filled with dance, tumbling and stunting
* Freestyle – become a stuntman with skills seen in the movies
* Pre-School Trampoline & Pre-School Gymnastics – designed for their youngest members, help build co-ordination and balance in a fun, friendly environment
* Adults Only – try something you never thought possible with your friends, great for total beginners
For more information visit www.aaasports.co.uk