A fresh drive is under way to secure a new dedicated location for the Shetland Gymnastics Club – almost a full decade after the “frustrating” search first began.
The club is seeking to raise £6,000 to cover the cost of an appraisal which will help establish the best of two possible Lerwick sites.
Head coach Julie Grant has set up a JustGiving page in the hope that a new suitable centre – filled with equipment critical for helping gymnasts train and compete – can at last be built.
Annoyed club leaders have been holding out for a new centre for at least eight years, with previous attempts having so far hit a dead end.
The Clickimin Centre is seen as unsuitable because it is unable to have the specialist equipment needed for gymnast training permanently available.
The club wants to see a site developed where high quality kit – such as a sprung floor costing £30,000 – can be built into the design.
A new purpose-built centre is regarded as something that would best serve the growing number of youngsters interested in taking part.
Currently, the club has 140 members, with an additional 250 on the waiting list.
Shetland Gymnastics Club provides young people the chance to take part in gymnastics, with participants taking part in events at home and on the mainland, and showcasing their skills at display events.
Ms Grant said Shetland was the only island group which competed in the island games that lacks its own facility.
“Our numbers are 140 in the club and over 250 on the waiting list, and it’s been like that for eight to 10 years – and it’s so frustrating,” she said.
“We have gymnasts that come from Whalsay, we have gymnasts that come from the West Side, and we have gymnasts who come from up north as well.
“We have to have somewhere that’s central for all of them.
“It would give hundreds of kids the chance to try it.”