The original Spectrum Gymnasts May 2016
Sarah & Emma
My name is Sarah Hills and alongside Emma Young we started Spectrum Gymnastics Academy in May 2016 with a mere 17 gymnast that were selected from Bright Stars Gym Schools. Bright Stars is a before & after school gymnastics club which I started in 2013. It covers primary schools in Sevenoaks and Maidstone and now feeds into Spectrum.
Emma and I began Spectrum in the hall of Churchill Primary School Westerham and gymnasts trained with us every Thursday evening for 2hrs on Floor, Vault and Beam and Mini Bars. The name Spectrum came to us as we wanted something colourful, vibrant and our "pot of gold" at the end of the rainbow I guess which became our Squads!!! (gold & black leotards) :-)
We were so excited to secure the hall at Valence School in Westerham as our new venue in August 2016 and ran a summer camp to test things out. We offered new classes on Monday evenings and soon had to expand to Wednesday's, Thursday's AND Saturday mornings without any advertising, it went Spectrum crazy!!!!
The club soon had to introduce new coaches and we invested in their awards. Every penny was poured into new equipment, money was reinvested back into the club and soon SGA was full to the brim and a waiting list system was set up online.
Within our first year, we entered x2 competitions and over 150 of our gymnasts entered bringing us fantastic results at each level. This was a huge sucess for Spectrum as the coaches did not have long to prepare children but did an amazing job with such short notice. We were so proud of everyone and how Spectrum looked.
We also enetered 6 gymnasts into Pre Grades with an AMAZING result of 1st place in the South East at Level 5 (in age) 3 gymnasts competed in the NDP Grading in March 2017 with Distinctions and Commended awarded. It was amazing for us as we were up against clubs that had purpose built facilities and 25hrs+ a week training schedules.
Emma and I decided to develop a satilite club for Pre School children aged 18 months to 4 years. 'SPECTRUM STARS' was born at the Eden Centre in Edenbridge in September 2017. Classes ran on Friday mornings for parent & toddler sessions as well as independent classes to ease children into lessons at Lingfield when they started school aged 5. We also started Monday evenings at Lingfield Prep Hall to accomodate our ever growing waiting lists. We raised money for A- Bars to be rigged into the floor there for our WA Squad and ran both sites simultaniously, Emma at Valence and myself at Lingfield Prep.
In September 2019, Spectrum left Valence and Lingfield Prep to combine classes in the much larger sports hall at Lingfield Senior. We invested heavily in brand new competition standard equipment including x2 more rigged sets of bars, 1 being a much needed single High Bar, a full 12x12 matted Floor, x2 New High Beams and Vaulting Table amongst lots of other goodies for Pre School and our general lessons. Emma, her husband and father built our shed outside too.....we were living the dream and Lingfield College was so welcoming to us.
We had only been at Lingfield for a term and a half when disaster struck....
As you know, in March 2020 the world and all of its doors closed due to Covid-19. We were told to STAY HOME. We followed government guidleines and froze all of our memberships. We held Zoom sessions for gymnasts to connect with friends and keep them training as well as running some outdoor squad sessions in the park. We worked hard on a "Gym Portal" to create a place for everyone to follow our home workouts online with our fabulous coaches Georgia & Katie.
The club managed to re-open for a brief period between September and November 2020 under a strict Tier 3 management with bubble groups, but this was short lived and once again we closed our doors and awaited the governments announcements like everyone else......
Fast forward to now and we are very excited to say that (hoping all goes well) we can re-open our doors from 12th April 2021!!!!!!!! Unfortunately, its not all good news. Due to the Covid crisis we made the hard decision to close our Pre School lessons at the Eden Centre and pull everyone under one roof at Lingfield.
After many tears, late nights and and some serious soul searching, we re-structured the whole company and are extremely grateful to be able to continue at Lingfield to provide high class Pre School, General Gym, Floor & Vault and Women's Artistic Squads when we can safely return.
We have a fabulous team of coaches and an amazing parent following which has enabled us to carry on and make this small business partnership work. We are forever grateful to you all and cant wait to be able to celebrate our 5th Birthday with you all very soon. Spectrum is our second home, we would like it to be yours too.
Heres to a happy and healthy future...
All our love and best wishes
Sarah & Emma xxxx