A new performance gymnastics club is partnering with Oldmeldrum-based ETKO Sports Academy as it seeks to establish a presence in Aberdeenshire. North East Gymnastics Centre (NEGC) will run sessions from ETKO Sports Academy’s purpose-built facility from Friday, 1 November 2019.
The partnership arrangement will allow NEGC’s members to benefit from ETKO Sports Academy’s extensive gymnastics facilities. These include a full-size sprung floor area, four competition-standard balance beams, two sets of uneven bars, vault apparatus, runways and springboards. A sunken foam pit provides a safe practice area for bars and other tumbling work. The 1092m² gymnastics centre, which opened in 2016, also features integrated trampolines and multi-use floor areas for warm-ups and cool-downs.
As well as sharing a training space, the two organisations hope to broaden the pathway into competitive gymnastics by creating links between ETKO Sports Academy’s mainstream gymnastics programmes and NEGC’s women’s artistic competitive programme. NEGC club founders Jamie Czop and Sarita Ducaseau have a wealth of combined experience: Jamie holds a high-performance coaching qualification and Sarita is a qualified women’s artistic coach and regional judge.
“We are excited to be launching NEGC at ETKO Sports Academy,” said Jamie Czop, head coach, NEGC. “Our focus is very much on competitive gymnastics, so it will be a huge advantage for our members to have access – from the outset – to the comprehensive range of national-standard apparatus that is available in Oldmeldrum.
“Over time, we hope to launch our own facility in Ellon, however our agreement with ETKO Sports Academy lets us start as we mean to go on: by combining the highest standard of performance gymnastics coaching with first-class training facilities.”
Laura Etko, founder and director, ETKO Sports Academy added: “New ventures such as NEGC reflect the growing appetite for gymnastics in this area, which is a really positive prospect.
“When our own centre opened in 2016, our aim was to make the facilities accessible to as many individuals and groups as possible. It therefore gives us great pleasure to welcome Jamie and his team to ETKO Sports Academy. We hope to provide a strong training base from which they can grow their new club.”
ETKO Sports Academy is owned and managed by former international gymnast Laura Etko and her husband Viorel (Vio), a current Veteran World Champion in wrestling and a 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist. The company, which employs 21 people, is committed to helping people achieve their sporting potential and encouraging long-term participation in sport.