Early successes put spring in the step of new north-east sports facility

One of the north-east’s newest sporting centres has enjoyed a strong start to the year with a series of top results and award accolades.

Oldmeldrum-based ETKO Sports Academy, which opened its new 1092m² gymnastics centre in October last year, is the coaching home for over 1000 members of all ages and abilities. Formerly known as Laura’s Gym, it also acts as the training base for the L Gymnastics and V Wrestling competitive sports clubs. The clubs are led by ETKO Sports Academy founders, Laura and Vio Etko, a former international gymnast and Commonwealth bronze medallist in wrestling respectively.

After claiming the British Wrestling title for the seventh time last year, V Wrestling head coach Vio Etko won gold in the 61kg category at the 2017 English Senior Wrestling Championships in February.  Vio was also recently shortlisted for the Coach of the Year award at the Aberdeenshire Sports Awards, a title he won in 2015.

March provided the first competitive outing of the year for the L Gymnastics youngsters who train at ETKO Sports Academy.  A group of 22 club representatives attended the Kirkcaldy Gymnastics Club Annual Open Beginners Competition. The three L Gymnastics A squads claimed team gold across all age categories, with a further silver and bronze for the two B squads. The team successes were complemented with a clutch of floor, vault and overall medals for individual gymnasts in their respective age categories.

L Gymnastics head coach, Laura Etko, said: “This is an incredible set of results for our gymnasts and a wonderful start to the 2017 competitive season.

“Many of those who competed in Kirkcaldy joined our coaching programme in their early years and it is wonderful to see them progress to this stage. To have claimed the top team award across all three age categories is a remarkable achievement and reflects the girls’ hard work and commitment.

“We continue to enjoy the benefits of training in our new purpose-built facility and there is no doubt that increased access to competition-standard apparatus has helped to boost our gymnasts’ skills and confidence.”

Laura Etko’s business acumen in developing ETKO Sports Academy was also acknowledged recently when she was shortlisted for Business Woman of the Year at the SME Business Awards 2017.

ETKO Sports Academy is committed to helping young people achieve their sporting potential and encouraging long-term participation in sport. The company employs 18 people, who develop and deliver its range of gymnastics and wrestling coaching programmes. It also operates a separate adult gym and fitness studio, where a variety of classes take place. For further information visit www.etkosportsacademy.co.uk or telephone 01651 873876.