THE young gymnasts twisting and tumbling inside Unit 10 of Blantyre Industrial Estate are head-over-heels – literally - about their brand new gym.

Thanks to a massive, two-year-long, £200,000 fundraising campaign, Hamilton Gymnastics Club finally has a state-of-the-art facility to be proud of.

It’s a fitting end to the club’s 10th anniversary year, which has also seen them collect an array of impressive championship titles.

From the outside, the popular club’s new 15,000 sq feet home is part of a row of unassuming business units.

Inside, however, it’s a hive of activity and buzzing around the centre are head coaches and managers Ruth Gibson and Wendy Lucas.

“We’re really delighted to finally be here, gearing up for an official opening early next year,” says former Commonwealth Games gymnast Ruth.

“It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s fantastic to be able to say, finally - we did it!”

Diggers moved in earlier this year, and after weeks of knocking down walls, installing equipment and raising the roof, work has finally finished.

The club is the first in Scotland to have a world-class Montreal floor, a hi-tech sprung floor now used at all the top gymnastics competitions around the world, and it also boasts a whopping 10 beams, eight sets of bars, two full Olympic-size vault runs, a 12 metre fast track, a 25 metre tumble track, a full set of rings, two sets of P-bars, a pommel horse and a second sprung floor.

Wendy and Ruth, who represented Scotland at the 1986 and 1990 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and Auckland respectively, set up the club in response to local demand for gymnastics.

Originally starting out at Eddlewood Sports Barn, numbers quickly grew, and the club expanded into other sites across the town and beyond.

It is now the biggest in Scotland with 1500 members across an assortment of disciplines including male and female artistic, tumble, acro, pre-school, display and adult classes.

Ruth and Wendy remain the driving force behind HGC, taking minimal salaries and hardly any time off.

“We’re not doing this for big salaries,” shrugs Ruth, adding with a laugh: “Which is just as well! We’d rather every spare penny went back into the club.”

The last 12 months have seen a clutch of accolades coming Hamilton’s way, with young gymnasts performing well at competitions all over the UK.

Nine-year-olds Aaron Gregory, Jak Weir and Cameron Falconer represented Scotland at the British grades finals in Birmingham.

The boys were part of a Level 1 Scotland team which finished fifth out of 12 and Cameron came sixth in the UK in the all-round competition. Casey Flynn, 10, was the highest Scottish scorer in Level 2, placing an outstanding second in the UK on pommel horse, while Andrew Dickie, finished an impressive 10th on floor in Level 3.

At the British Voluntary Finals, Phoebe Cameron and Bonnie McCann represented Scotland at Level 4, and Kennedi Foster competed at Level 2, ending the all-round competition 15th in the country. Acrobatic gymnast Amy Livingstone was part of the Scottish team at the Celtic Cup, who triumphed for the fifth year in succession, while Tess Burns, Rachel Cahill and Beth Lochran all enjoyed success as part of the Scottish team at the Southampton Regional Acro Finals.

Next year, the junior display team will represent Great Britain at the EuroGym festival in Belgium, while the senior team is heading for the World Gymnaestrada in Austria in 2019.

“This is a huge deal for the club – the World Gymnaestrada is a massive event, with an audience of around 22,000, so we’re over the moon to be part of it,” says Wendy.

The club continues to fundraise to cover maintenance and running costs, with local businesses such as Tunnock’s and Wellman Cars helping to boost funds with donations of £1000 and £2000 respectively.

“Keeping it going is tough, there is no doubt about that,” agrees Wendy.

“But we do feel very passionate about the future, and we will continue to put our heart and soul into the club.

“We want to concentrate on developing every section now and helping even more people get involved in gymnastics.”

Ruth adds: “We have always wanted the same thing – which is that our club is open to all, and any child who wants to do gymnastics here is welcome.

“We don’t want to close our doors to anyone.”