Beth Tweddle's old stomping ground given new lease of life ahead of World Championships
14 October 2022
Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle MBE has visited her old gymnastics club in Liverpool to meet the young people who have been working to revitalise the City of Liverpool Gymnastics Club.
Mayor for the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram was also on hand to meet some of the 25 young people from across the city who have fitted a new reception and storage area and painted the entire centre in the club’s colours.
The project is spearheaded by the Community Interest Company, Volunteer it Yourself (VIY), who support young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) to learn trade skills whilst renovating community places, working in partnership with Liverpool City Council’s legacy team ahead of the World Gymnastics Championships, which start in Liverpool on 29th October.
Funding for the project has been provided by Persimmon Homes, whose employees and apprentices have also volunteered on the project - one of three that VIY and Persimmon are working on in Liverpool. Leading paint brand Dulux donated all of the paint and the local Travis Perkins branch also donated materials for the renovation, with Sport England also providing match-funding.
The young volunteers have been inspired and mentored by VIY’s Skills Mentors, professional tradespeople sharing their skills and experience, and will gain City & Guilds Entry Level qualifications as a result of their participation with VIY.
Beth Tweddle MBE said: “Grassroots facilities like these are so important for young people to enjoy the sports they love but also make friends and develop life skills such as the importance of teamwork, dedication and perseverance.
“By having local clubs like this, young people also have the chance to try things for the first time, broaden their horizons and develop a love of something they maybe previously hadn’t considered.
“That also goes for the young people who have worked on this project. Meeting them today, it’s fantastic to see the pride they rightly have in their work and hear that they’re now considering a career in painting and decorating as a result.”
Steve Rotheram, Mayor for Liverpool City Region said: “I know first-hand the life-changing impact that good careers advice and guidance can have on a young person’s future. During my time as an apprentice bricklayer, I learned transferable skills that I’ve carried with me throughout my career – many of which I’m still using today! That’s why it’s so wonderful to see our voluntary and private sector working together to create fresh opportunities for our young people, giving them the chance to learn a new skill or trade, and build their confidence.
“Their hard work isn’t just benefitting them, but everyone in our community who visits the City of Liverpool Gymnastics Club – and hopefully it will inspire a new generation of athletes!”
Karl Wiseman, Regional Managing Director for Persimmon Homes North West said: “It’s great to be able to showcase and celebrate the hard work of the young people involved in the project with Beth, the Mayor and local dignitaries.
“The construction industry is crying out for fresh new talent, now more than ever, which is why as a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer, we work with organisations like VIY to provide opportunities to young people whatever their background.”
Representatives from VIY and Persimmon Homes with Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram
Tim Reading, CEO and Co-Founder of VIY commented: “The collaboration between Persimmon Homes, Liverpool City Council and ourselves is the perfect example of community regeneration coming to life. The work undertaken by the young volunteers at Liverpool Gymnastics Club offers them hands-on experience and accreditations in painting & decorating and allows this important grassroots gymnastics club to continue to thrive and produce the next generation of gymnasts, just like Beth.”
Cllr Tomas Logan, Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills at Liverpool City Council, added: “The refurbishment of Liverpool Gymnastics Club through our partnership with VIY and Persimmon Homes is a fantastic way to achieve renovation for a much-cherished sporting facility, and will benefit current and future users of the club.
“It benefits those young people who are part of the refurbishment, helping build their confidence and learn new skills which could help their employment opportunities in the future.
“A big thanks to everyone involved with this exciting project.”