With the BUCS Open on the horizon, the Loughborough and Nottingham Opens coming up, and increasing participation firmly on the club agenda this year, these are exciting times for the University of Nottingham’s Gymnastics club.

With a strong performance at the Birmingham Open under their belt back in November, the students are looking towards building on that success in the later competitions this year.

The teams compete with universities across the East Midlands and the UK in Opens held at various locations in the country; these culminate in the BUCS event in May.

But by no means is the club simply limited to competitive action, University of Nottingham Gymnastics encourages students of all abilities to come and get involved in the sport. The team train up to three times a week and make use of a purpose-built gymnasium off-campus which is fully equipped for the sport.

Publicity secretary Jake Tenn told Impact: “training involves really intense core exercise followed by stretching and handstand-type exercises, we have a huge range of abilities at the club [and] everyone gets the chance to practice their own individual routines with the help of some very capable coaches.”

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UoN Gymnastics aiming for new heights this year

He continued, ”we tend to never really use the gym for weights to build up strength as people might think, most of the exercises we do are based around using your body for functional rather than isolation based strength.”

With gold medals for Max Whitlock, a silver for Louis Smith and bronze for Amy Tinkler and Nile Wilson for Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games, Great Britain’s success in Rio has really raised the profile of gymnastics at home.

The UoN Gymnastics team drew parallels with the action in Rio and are aiming to showcase the sport as one for visual entertainment here in Nottingham – as was seen during the Olympics.

For the club, this would come in the form of working to potentially hold a gymnastics event in the Nottingham Varsity Series for future years. UoN Gymnastics treasurer Nicky Spence told Impact: “it’s really a visual sport and if people could see the end product of all our training that would be fantastic.”

She continued, “it was one of the most popular sports in terms of viewing [figures] from the Olympics just because its so good to watch. We train with Trent sometimes and we know what amazing gymnasts they have as well as us so it would be an excellent spectacle for people to go and enjoy.”

On a personal level, Jake explained the fulfilling rewards which come from the sport, “its really fun and so satisfying when you get that next move and see yourself improving in ways that you never thought that you would.”

Like many sports teams at the University of Nottingham who partake in work and volunteering for charitable causes, the UoN club are currently undergoing an exciting fundraising initiative.

Publicity sec Jake explained “we chose to shoot an underwear calendar as a way to raise money, most clubs do one but using the gymnastics facilities it makes for some cool shots and it means we can put our own stint on it.”

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UoN Gymnastics’ underwear calendar, in aid of the Refugee Crisis charity

He continued “we’re raising money for the Refugee Crisis charity, a very worthy cause which is relevant to everything bad going on in the world at the moment.”

Visit the University of Nottingham Gymnastics Page on Facebook for information on how to get involved with the club and how to donate to their chosen charity. We wish the club further success for the rest of the season!

Joe Tanner

Image courtesy of University of Nottingham Gymnastics

Video courtesy of youtube.com

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