Double Olympic medalist launches gymnastics programme

More than 100 children from Biddick Primary School in Sunderland joined double Olympic gold medallist, Max Whitlock, to celebrate the launch of his gymnastics programme in Everyone Active centres across the country.

Max Whitlock Gymnastics launched at Washington Leisure Centre, which is managed by Everyone Active in partnership with Sunderland City Council, on Wednesday 23rd May. The initiative aims to get more young people healthy and active by offering them access to fun, engaging gymnastics sessions. Children at the launch event became some of the first in the country to give the sessions a go.

Through their partnership, Everyone Active and Max Whitlock have pledged to get one million children engaged in gymnastics by 2022. This will be done through the delivery of Max Whitlock Gymnastics in more than 30 Everyone Active centres across the country, including Washington Leisure Centre.

Each structured session will give children the chance to develop and perfect their skills as they progress. They will have the opportunity to their hand on a number of apparatus and take part in fun and exciting activities set by Max and his elite coach wife, Leah, who has also been instrumental in the setup of the scheme.

The partnership between the two came about as a result of Max’s 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.

Max led the sessions at Washington Leisure Centre, and spoke to guests about importance of providing high-quality access to gymnastics, as well as the benefits of introducing children to the sport at a younger age.

“I am delighted to have teamed up with Everyone Active to ensure that more young people are given the opportunity to enjoy gymnastics. Training at an Everyone Active centre myself I know first hand that their brilliant facilities, UK wide, offer scope to get children all over the country benefitting from the gymnastics programme.”

Max Whitlock

“We are delighted to have hosted one of the launch events here at Washington Leisure Centre. The partnership forms part of our major drive towards increasing sports participation, as it continues to decline across the UK. We firmly believe in the benefits of taking part sport at a young age and will continue to diversify our offering to provide opportunities to get involved in activities that are disappearing from the school curriculum. In addition, it is vital that we bridge the gap between participation levels of men and women in sport, and tackle the declining rate of participation in girls as they enter their teens. Through the partnership we aim to create a life-long passion for gymnastics from an early age.”

Everyone Active’s Activities Manager, Chris Duncan