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Save our gym club
7:40am Thursday 3rd January 2013 in News
CHILDREN who use a popular gym club in Padgate are pleading for their home to be saved with a funding row threatening to close it.
Gym Starz is used by hundreds of youngsters at Lysander High School, on Insall Road, which has now opened as the University Academy Warrington.
The University of Chester Academies Trust, which sponsors Warrington’s latest academy, has confirmed it will not pay for it because the class is not ‘financially viable’.
Warrington Borough Council currently funds the club but is only contracted to do so until March, with no new agreement yet in place.
Lisa Goodwin, aged 35, of Newton Grove, Fearnhead, is club welfare officer at Gym Starz which offers gym and trampolining classes for boys and girls three days a week.
Coaches have been given redundancy notices and she fears for its future.
“You are talking about a large number of children that are going to give up the only activity that they do,” said Mrs Goodwin.
“They are all really good kids and being part of the club is paramount to that.
“If they are not part of that community they could go off the rails.”
Ian Johnson, chairman of Poulton with Fearnhead Parish Council, is calling for it to stay in the area and criticised a lack of consultation with the community.
He said: “This area has been battling problems from the past and things are relatively upbeat.
“There are lots of things going on in the community and we want to maintain that, not lose anything.
“We will do whatever we can to help the group stay in the area.
“We would certainly be critical of the communication around this.”
Clr Geoff Settle (Poulton North LAB) agreed and said: “I strongly believe that the club should remain at Lysander.
“With so many local youngsters benefitting from the facilities, friendship and skills to take this out of the community would leave a gaping sporting hole in the area.”
A council spokesman said it will ‘ensure’ the club continues but could not confirm at what location or for how long.
Alison Sherman, head teacher at UAW, said it is ‘highly likely’ Gym Starz will continue at the academy.
She said: “It is now highly likely that the council will commission the academy to run these clubs and I am discussing the details of such an arrangement with the local authority.
“Both the academy and the local authority wish to see these clubs continue to run at the school.”