The Bishop Wand Church of England School

The Bishop Wand Church of England School was awarded £250,000 towards a new gymnastics facility for the school and wider community. The project involved the development of a purpose built gymnastics centre at the school, to be used by the school and a local gymnastics club, Spelthorne Gymnastics, which was at risk of closure due to the termination of its lease at another site.

In the first year since the project’s completion the club has seen record growth in membership, with their overall membership nearly doubling from 780 to now 1,500, as well as an increase in the retention of members over 14 years old by 125%. Spelthorne Gymnastics Club have also found that by providing a bigger and better equipped facility, they have been able to deliver an expanded timetable with new programmes which have attracted new members and allowed for a higher retention rate of older members. The club is also taking steps to help remove barriers to participation in gymnastics and this has resulted in an increase in the number of children with disabilities taking up membership.

The school’s use of the facility has also allowed 400 children to regularly participate in gymnastics and trampolining in a safe purpose built environment, while also allowing pupils to have more physical activity time per lesson as the equipment is already set up and ready to use.  

A key focus of The London Marathon Charitable Trust is to provide funding to help thousands of children and adults across the UK to become and remain active for life, particularly amongst children and young people outside of school hours, and Spelthorne Gymnastics Clubs’ use of the new gymnasium is proving to be a successful facility for increasing participation in physical activity.