Gym equipment destroyed at club by sudden flooding

A GYMNASTICS clubpart funded by Bolton Wanderers’s captain Kevin Davies’ charity has been left devastated by floods.

Equipment worth thousands of pounds has been destroyed by water at Bolton Gymnastics Club’s base at New House Farm, Darcy Lever.

The damage comes just months after Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle launched the club’s new site at the council owned building after it was forced to relocate from St Catherine’s Academy before the building was bulldozed.

The £20,000 spring floor, funded by KiDs of Bolton, has been damaged by the flooding on Friday.

Crash mats and a sprung track have also been damaged.

Sessions for the 250 members have been cancelled.

Lynette Howie, manager of the club, said: “It was heartbreaking seeing the gym. We were up to our ankles in water.” The devastation happened before a competition in Preston, where more than 70 of the club’s girls are due to compete on Sunday.

The club will receive an insurance payout to cover most of the damage but the equipment is unlikely to be ready until the new year.

Victoria Walsh, head of girls’ coaching, said: “We are all really upset. The water was three or four inches deep in some parts and the foam mats were soaked.”

Clubs from across the region have offered equipment on loan and training facilities while work is carried out.

The club is awaiting the all clear to return to the building by Bolton Council’s environmental services.

A council spokesman said: “An internal rain water pipe was blocked at the base and shattered causing the flooding. It is not contaminated.

We are drying out the property, which should take a few days to a week.”

Any groups who can help or anyone who can provide financial assistance are urged to get in contact.

Kevin Davies said: “We hope that the local community and the council will really get behind the cleanup operation and help to get the gym back in a decent condition allowing them to continue with their great work.”

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