A club training the north-east’s gymnasts of the future has thrown its weight behind plans for a multimillion-pound sports centre in its hometown.
Garioch Gymnastics Club (GGC) said moving to the new facility would allow them to expand and to tackle a 1,400-strong waiting list.
The Inverurie-based group said it could host regional and national competitions and training camps at the proposed Garioch Sports and Community Centre, if it were to be backed by Aberdeenshire Council.
The local authority is in talks to buy Inverurie Loco Works FC’s grounds at Harlaw Park for its new £37million HQ.
As part of the deal, the football club would move to the proposed sports complex, which would replace the current Garioch Sports Centre.
The council’s SNP-led administration claims the move is needed to fund the new sports facility. However opposition councillors have stalled the scheme.
Last night, GGC chairman Gary Tolometti said: “We have been informed if the move doesn’t go ahead then the sports centre doesn’t go ahead, there are rumours to the contrary.
“It will be a new centre of sports excellence, not just for us but for all clubs. If it means the HQ (too) then we are all for it.”
Currently the club – which has 650 members and is run by a mixture of volunteers, and full and part-time staff – operates from Inverurie Community Centre, neighbouring the town’s academy.
Mr Tolometti said there was scope for a permanent gymnastics facility for the club at the new sports centre.
The group shares the community centre with several other groups, which requires equipment to be constantly tidied away.
Mr Tolometti added: “We are one of the biggest if not the biggest sports clubs in Aberdeenshire. We have gymnasts coming all the way from Keith, Fraserburgh, Stonehaven and Banchory.
“We are pretty successful, bearing in mind the limited facilities we have. We have got big plans for the new facility. Nothing is set in concrete.
“It won’t be just for gymnasts. We do sessions for the disabled at the moment, we are looking at increasing our scope to senior citizens, and running physical therapy to help with balance and coordination.
“We are hoping the new place will have the (spring) floor, and that that is part of the state-of-the-art facilities we will have.”