Gymnastics clubs from up and down Wales are the very heart and soul of our sport and this has been particularly true during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Raising morale and keeping us active, clubs are performing a huge service to communities, like never before.

This week, we are putting Llanelli Gymnastics Club in the spotlight as part of the National Lottery Dedicated To…campaign which celebrates our grassroots sporting heroes.

The club doors may have been closed for 142 days during the pandemic, but that has not stopped this close-knit community in Llanelli from training and having fun. Gymnasts were kept active and motivated with online training sessions while spirits were lifted with virtual bake-off competitions and virtual trips to the Oscars. The gymnasts – and coaches – dressed up every week to enjoy time together online as a club.

Once restrictions lifted, the coaches promptly organised conditioning on the beach and carried light equipment to the local park so that the gymnasts could train outdoors.

Llanelli Gymnastics Club has since been able to reopen, thanks to a National Lottery grant from the Sport Wales Be Active Wales Fund. Club coach Debra Cavill explains:

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to say a big thank you to every single National Lottery player. The funding has been a godsend and has allowed our gymnasts to come back to the gym and train safely. We come from a small town in Wales but we are one big family. We are just so grateful that we have been able to get through this time and welcome our gymnasts back.

“Our gym was closed for 142 days but our club was very much still up and running. We didn’t lose contact with a single gymnast during that time.”

The club received almost £2500 in National Lottery funding which has been spent on hand sanitisers, signage and Covid-trained cleaners who perform deep cleans of the gym. Llanelli Gymnastics Club has also received a further 14 National Lottery grants to help them keep local children active and to pursue their dreams.

With the help of National Lottery funding, thousands of grassroots sports workers and volunteers from local clubs and organisations across the UK, have been be able to continue to help the nation to remain active, happy and motivated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, many of which are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.