It all started when...

Marriotts Gymnastics Club (formerly Barnwell Gymnastics Club) was started as an initiative of Stevenage Sports Council and its then Secretary – Grahame Bowles. Following the “Olga Korbut” Olympics of 1972 there was great interest in the sport, but no club in Stevenage. Barnwell Gymnastics Club was formed as a recreational gymnastics club. In 1976 a Committee was formed to run the Club. All coaches were unpaid volunteers.

Olga Korbut in the 1972 Olympics

Olga Korbut in the 1972 Olympics

Over the years, the Club moved into competitive gymnastics with the gymnasts achieving success. However the demand for gymnastics in Stevenage was much greater than the Club could cater for. In addition the level of skills being worked by the gymnasts required more and more specialist equipment and training. During the 1990s the Club worked closely with Marriotts School with the aim of gaining funding for a Permanent Gymnastics facility in Stevenage.

After years of hard work, the Marriotts Gymnastics Centre was opened in 2002 and the Club changed its name to Marriotts Gymnastics Club. Professional coaches were employed to develop gymnastics, but the Club still relies on unpaid volunteer coaches to support its training programme. The Club is a not-for-profit organisation with all excess funds being used for the benefit of Gymnastics. In addition we rely on the support of parents to raise funds for the Club to help us with our Gymnastics Development programme.

Now, in 2018, the Club has a membership of over 800 ranging from 1 year old to adult and from recreational to elite. However, the demand for gymnastics is as strong as ever and we still have a waiting list for membership!