Aspiring gymnasts from across the district received a special visit from double Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion Max Whitlock at a local leisure centre.
Max Whitlock visited Stratford Leisure Centre on Saturday (16th November) to meet 60 local children participating in his namesake programme, Max Whitlock Gymnastics, running in partnership with the centre’s operator, Everyone Active.
At the event, Max treated everyone, including Mayor Cllr Kate Rolfe to a demonstration of his world-class skills before leading the children through an hour of activities.
The children were offered the unique opportunity to practice a range of exercises with advice and hands-on training from the professional gymnast. They also quizzed Max about his journey to success while he offered expert advice, inspiring them to focus on their dreams.
“It was fantastic to meet so many children from our gymnastics programme and witness their enthusiasm and talent first-hand. I am delighted with the progress of the partnership with Everyone Active in ensuring that more young people are given the opportunity to enjoy gymnastics. Their brilliant facilities and our equipment offer scope to get children all over the country benefitting from the gymnastics programme.”
“It has been an excellent day, from the moment Max walked in on his hands to greet the children, to seeing their eyes light up when they picked up his gold medals. We are delighted to run such a fantastic gymnastics scheme here at Stratford Leisure Centre. Our partnership with Max Whitlock forms part of our major drive towards increasing sports participation and getting young people to benefit from being active at an early age.”
“It’s been really good to come here today and see children participating in gymnastics with Max encouraging the next generation. It is a really good inclusive programme and suits all abilities from those wanting to give it a go to potentially supporting stars for future Olympics.”
Everyone Active and Max Whitlock Gymnastics teamed up in 2018 with the aim of offering more young people the opportunity to participate in gymnastics. Together, they pledged to get one million children engaged in the sport by 2022. This is being achieved through the delivery of Max Whitlock Gymnastics in more than 30 Everyone Active centres across the country, including Stratford Leisure Centre.
The partnership between Max and Everyone Active came about as a result of his long-standing relationship with the leisure operator. He has trained at Everyone Active’s Basildon Sporting Village from a young age, and has also been heavily involved in the Everyone Active Sporting Champions scheme, a support programme for talented athletes, for the past three years.