The club was founded in 1977 by Trevor Hughes as Applemore Gymnastics Club. The club was based at Applemore Recreation Centre and had two sections: Termly courses run by Mata Kanter, working towards attaining British Gymnastics Awards and a Floor & Vault competitive squad overseen by Trevor Hughes.
The club was expanding and needed to add extra sessions which couldn’t be accommodated at Applemore Centre. The club moved its base to Blackfield School and re-named itself as Waterside Gymnastics Club.
Over the next few years, led by Brian & Lesley Arnold the club developed mini-gym centres at local schools; Orchard, Holbury & Marchwood, and a general gym section was also started for gymnasts aged 9 and over.
During this time the club was financially supported by Brian Stovold owner of Sweeny Togs in Blackfield and The Lightning Electrical Group. They often helped by sponsoring events we held such as competitions and Galas.
As a club we took part in Hampshire Floor & Vault Individual and Team Competitions, along with friendly invitational competitions with local clubs and even clubs in Jersey. We also supported local schools and social clubs by performing at their summer fetes.
The main Artistic competition squad gymnasts started to train on bars & beam along with floor & vault. To achieve this, the older squad girls started to train at the New Gang Warily Recreation Centre on Sunday afternoons.
The running of the club was handed over to Mike Garside, who with the support of other volunteer committee members and coaches continued to develop the club. It was over the next few years that that they worked tirelessly with local councils, schools, lottery funding, sponsorship, Continental, Gymnova etc to build our own purpose built gymnasium on the grounds of Noadswood School.
The gym facility that we have the pleasure of training in today was opened in 1996. The 3 mini-centres were centralised at the new gym with the Womens Artistic Squad and the General Gym Sessions. With these new facilities Waterside started to attract more and more members and the Artistic squad started to make a name for the club at County Competitions.
In 2000 we introduced the relatively new gymnastic discipline of Team Gym, it was originally started to bridge a gap between general gymnastics and the artistic squad, focusing on floor and vault based skills. Team Gym however, has grown into a serious competition squad including Womens, Mens and Mixed Teams at different levels. The senior teams have participated in British Championships and we have had a senior gymnast qualify for the British team and compete in the European Championships
Waterside has grown from 50 gymnasts in 1977 to over 300 gymnasts today. The Club continues to be run by volunteers whether that be coaching in the gym or organising the finances, coordinating all the sections of the club, ensuring all members are insured, qualifications are valid and the club is complying with guidelines set by British Gymnastics. It takes an army of volunteers and we always need more help, if you want to join our gym family please make yourself known.