Pegasus Gymnastics Club
Farleigh Hill
Tovil, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6RG
W - www.pegasusgc.org
E - info@pegasusgc.org
T - 01622 688719

Farleigh Hill, Tovil, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6RG
W - www.pegasusgc.org, E - info@pegasusgc.org, T - 01622 688719

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History of the club

1987

Founded by the Fef Griffin, who recently retired as club Director, with the support of husband, Peter, Pegasus Gymnastics Club opened its doors, or rather those of a local Grammar School, on 9th September 1987.

We took delivery of our first apparatus 6 days after the great hurricane with the County in chaos, the hotels so full of BT repair men that the nearest vacancy we found for the long suffering Continental fitters was at the seaside! - £2500 bought a vault, 2 springboards, Asymmetric Bars including fitting the floor plates, Beam, 12M x 2M x 25M strip AND 2 agility mats!

An early commitment to Coach education provided an additional Club Coach and two qualified assistants by December.

1988

Karen Harris won the club’s first medal at a County Championships. First Annual Open evening and presentation of awards held in July. August saw the introduction of summer courses and in December three gymnasts were selected to County Squad.

1989

Opportunities extended to include training camps with session training with N. Ireland Commonwealth squad in Belfast and a second camp at Margate during the summer.

1990

Saw the first major development project launched to provide a sprung tumble run. It was built during the May Bank holiday weekend and in use by early June.

301 miles were walked (to raise funds); 135 pieces of wood were cut and sanded; 1440 holes drilled; 600 bolts fixed with 600 nuts & washers; 100 rubbers stuck on; 15 panels coated with seal.

An imaginative piece of custom design it was used until replaced in 2003 and became a semi sprung vault run!

1991

Like so many club’s, Pegasus started with girls but there was soon a demand from interested boys. The decision to accept boys included a commitment, to provide equal opportunities- no working in the gaps, no space in the corner, knowledgeable coaches and complete competition equipment.

1992

This commitment has proved fundamental to our success. A development plan was produced, aimed at providing a designated facility by 2000. The official launch took place in April at Invicta Grammar School with a day long “come and try it” interspersed with displays. The Mayor of Maidstone even did a “Beam walk” to support the scheme.

1993 / 4

A critical year as we were faced with the loss of the school as a suitable training venue, failure to locate alternative premises, lottery funding not yet on line, desperation and the pavement looming, a phone call revealed a possible solution, a commercial loan. Planning battles ensued, budget balancing looked precarious but who dares wins and in November 1994 we walked into an unbelievably tatty warehouse. OURS, apart from the chunk owned by the Building society and the other bit secured against the second mortgage. We overhauled, we counted the half pennies, and just 51 days later held our first session.

1995

January 15th – First session held at Crismill Lane.

July saw the official Opening attended by representatives of Kent Sports development Unit, Kent County Council, Maidstone Borough Council, County & Regional Gymnastics Associations and many colleagues and friends. Jackie Brady, the Senior British Champion, who also held all four apparatus titles, unveiled the plaque! A record only equalled by the great Beth Tweddle.

November saw the first boys represent the South East Region at National Development Plan finals and by December standards had risen to enable members to win County Championship medals in Women’s Artistic, Men’s Artistic and Sports Acrobatics.

The Director climbed a vertical learning curve in management skills, with more than the odd slip but we survived. Correction we prospered at least - gymnastically.

1996

A successful application for lottery funding and Phase 2 of the facility development was under way. Installation of a sprung floor and an upgrade of equipment provided a quality all round training venue for Men’s & Women’s. It is still the ONLY club in the County equipped and competing both disciplines at National level.

British Olympian, Marvin Campbell joined the Coaching team as Senior Coach.

1997

February saw Regional success in Women’s & Men’s Artistic, and National qualification in Tumbling.

First entry in the Men’s British Teams Championships.

August and Maidstone Borough Council agreed a grant of £8000 towards Phase 3 development.

September – 10th Birthday celebrations and completion of the Lottery funded Phase 2. By this time the club was a centre for Coach education, involved in event management at County, Regional and National level. As the only full time facility in Mid Kent it also provided the Counties most comprehensive gymnastics provision.

1998

A pivotal year for the club saw the recruitment of Ionut Trandaburu, who was a member of Romania’s Olympic Squad. After a highly successful Summer Camp Ionut returned in October just in time to accompany the boys to the National finals at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. Two gymnasts, Ellie Verlinden and Catherine Deadman also enjoyed a coaching session with the great Olga Korbut.

1999

Andrew Morris, a member of the British team in Barcelona provided a valuable coaching session at the club.

Sean Nash completed a training placement by achieving the first NVQ in Sports Coaching, specialising in Gymnastics. A first for the Club and the South East Region.

James Chapman became the first gymnast from the club to compete in the English Championships.

Exchange programme initiated with Romanian club Brasovia. Ovidiu Rugina, a coach from Brasovia visited Pegasus for a month in the summer.

Neil Thomas MBE, World Silver medallist in 1993 and arguably Britain most successful male gymnast to date held a session at the club in October.

2000

Millennium Award won to improve opportunities for members with disabilities including modifications with particular relevance to the visually impaired.

The competition that started as a novice invitational event comes of age as the Pegasus Open. A two-day event with Men’s and Women’s Artistic competitions catering for over 200 competitors.

Romanian Radio and television report the visit of Pegasus gymnasts to Brasovia as part of the continued exchange programme. Six gymnasts and two coaches spent 10 days learning form one of Romania’s most successful junior clubs.

Kieran Spittle wins a Team bronze at National NDP finals

Friends of Pegasus is founded to assist, support and enhance the opportunities within the club.

2001

Civic recognition for Jennie Deadman who won the under 21 Outstanding service to Sport Award at the Maidstone Action Group annual ceremony.

Grant secured form Foundation for Sport and the Arts for equipment and training aids.

Catherine Deadman wins a Bronze team medal at National Voluntary 1 finals.

Pegasus Open moves to Maidstone. It was new venue, new format, new code, new vault but same quality and opportunity. Two Romanian gymnasts, here for two-week exchange, participated in the Under 16, with Dan Tazlauan taking the Bronze just behind Kevin Sellors and Matthew Bullimore from Huntingdon.

James Chapman took the Vault silver medal in the under 16 British Championships.

Ovidiu Rugina joins the coaching team.

Boys teams compete in Slovenia and bring back the overall trophy.

Matthew Gibson takes a silver team medal at NDP national finals.

Orteo Raci took Gold in the national Club finals in Poole

2002

Maidstone Youth Sport Action awards – Jennie Deadman won the Under 21 outstanding service to sport category, Orteo Raci won the trophy for outstanding personal achievement, Matthew Gibson the Under 12 individual sports person, at Under 17 individual level Orteo came 2nd and James Chapman 3rd. The under 17 team came 2nd.

Encouraged by the Golden Jubilee and the Manchester Commonwealth Games the club established an Annual display and presentation ceremony, which took place at Maidstone Leisure Centre. 250 gymnasts participated in the displays.

Amy Barford & Catherine Deadman become the first gymnasts from the club in the national Challenge event.

National NDP Final Team Gold medals: Matthew Gibson & Kieran Spittle

2003

Maidstone Youth Sport Action awards – Under 12 Team 1st, Individual 3rd Kieran Spittle, U21 Outstanding Service to Sport 2nd Jennie Deadman, 3rd Catherine Deadman. Service to Sport awards: Fef Griffin, Kay Turner, and Alison Gibson

Emma Williams 6th at Level 4 National Age Group finals.

Annual display with many costumed items on the theme All around the world. Awards presented by Deputy mayor of Maidstone Councillor Morel D’Souza.

Ross Brewer, member of the winning English team at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, competed and won the Pegasus Open.

Thomas McCullagh individual Gold and Team gold in the Primary 2 National finals. Other Team medals: Gold Gareth Davies, Bronze Robert Turner, Michael Holmes, Thomas Janaway and Sam Ellis.

Gheorghe Blaj – A Romanian coach with the National teams spends August at Pegasus. Great summer camp with gymnasts from Poland, Malaysia, and UK.

Fef Griffin awarded with a Service to Kent Sport Award for services to gymnastics and a High Sheriffs certificate in recognition of “great and valuable services to the community”

Baby Gym classes start.

New elite training regime introduced supported by flexible school hours.

Amy Barford wins National Challenge Cup and takes both Floor & Beam titles.

Team takes bronze medal at Bettembourg Christmas Cup in Luxembourg.

2004

Maidstone Youth Sport Action awards – Under 12 team 1st, Individual 2nd Thomas McCullagh, Under 15 Individual 3rd Amy Barford, Under 17 Team 1st, U21 Outstanding Service to Sport 3rd Catherine Deadman.

Award for All Grant: to support an education and support programme for gymnasts with disabilities and / or exceptional talent.

London Development Open – Jonathan Mills 2nd Overall, 1st on Rings.

Annual Display based on the Circus involved record number of gymnast. Inauguration of Malcolm Taylor Memorial award – presented to Jonathan Mills.

Regional Development Plan – 11 boys qualify for national finals.

Pegasus gains Gym Mark accreditation under Sport England Club Mark scheme to ensure safe, effective, child friendly clubs.

Club achieves Community Amateur Sports Club status.

Pegasus Open attracts several clubs from abroad.

Baskerville Cup Team of boys born 1996 & 1995 each won their event bringing home some splendid silver ware. Thomas Jenkins took individual Bronze.

Level 4 team of Kelly Baker, Kathleen Boakes, Bethany Cownden, Heather Campbell won Kent Open Team Competition.

Team of boys participated in British Under 12 team and Individual Championships.

Gheorghe Blaj (Romania) returns for a second summer.

Planning for facility improvement begins.

Kent Awards for volunteering excellence awards Sports Development category won by Peter Griffin, Club Chairman for his work at Club, County, Regional and National level.

Team of boys – Matthew Gibson, Kieran Spittle, Thomas Jenkins & Jonathan Mills; & girls – Emma Williams, Heather Campbell, Jenna Weller and Kelly Baker competed in Coupe Avenire, Malmedy Belgium.

2005

Ionut Trandaburu wins Kent Coach of the Year award.

Maidstone Youth Sport Action awards –Under 12 Team 1st, Individual 2nd Thomas Jenkins, Under 15 team 1st, U21 Outstanding Service to Sport 1st Catherine Deadman, Outstanding Personal Achievement 1st Jonathan Mills, Kent Messenger Service to Youth Sport award 1st Emma Clough.

Mayor Councillor Peter Hooper presents awards an Annual ceremony. Catriona Rainey won the Malcolm Taylor Memorial award.

Service agreement negotiated with Maidstone Borough Council.

Community Sport Coach employed by the club to work in Ashford & Mid Kent Partnership schools with pupils at Key stage 1.

National Grade 3 finals Heather Campbell 7th .

Pegasus won all four Primary Club titles in South East Qualifier: Primary 4 Jacob Harris, Primary 3 Reece Brown, Primary 2 Josh Mustill, Primary 1 Joel Burch.

Elite Grades National finals. - Team medals; Primary 4 Gold. James Owen, Adam Deans, Primary 3 Silver James Hall, Under 16 Silver Matthew Gibson.

Individual – Primary 2 - 3rd Thomas Jenkins, British Gymnastics Awards of Merit won by Thomas Jenkins, James Owen, James Hall and Adam Deans who were also selected to National training squads.

Afina Moscow spend a week training at the club and competing in the Pegasus Open along with clubs from Belgium, Germany, Poland and UK.

London wins 2012 Olympics – our facility requirements are now critical. Discussion started with Kent County Council Sports Development Unit and Maidstone Borough Council.

Club Development Plan National finals: Team medals; Primary 4 Bronze. Jacob Harris, Joshua Campbell.

Individual - Primary 4 - 2nd Jacob Harris

Gheorghe Blaj jets in to assist with coaching, programme & facility planning.

Grant awarded to support sports coaching on Kent County Council School sites. Club sessions for partnership schools to start November based at Norton Knatchbull School, Ashford.

Ionut Trandaburu appointed an Assistant National Coach

Emma Williams  took 5th place in the Regional Age groups and reserve place for the Nationals in November!       

Kent County Council Awards for Volunteer Excellence - The Friends of Pegasus were Highly Commended in the Kent Sports Development Unit Category in the KCC awards for volunteer excellence.

£326 was raised during the Children in Need week when teddies enjoyed coming to the gym and their owners bought up the teddy biscuits, buns and sweets.

Teams competed in the Coupe Avenir in Malmedy, Belgium. Emma Williams finished well in the top half of a highly talented multi national field. The boys team were competing against both club and National teams but looked clean and competent in the arena. Matthew Gibson competing full FIG requirements showed a more positive approach and was rewarded with a place in both the Pommel and Rings final.

The Kent County Championships moved to Maidstone, Emma Williams won the FIG category.At Level 5 Samantha Roberts won Bronze overall with Kate Boniface in 6th place. Both girls were selected to Kent County Squad.

Members of the Floor and Vault squad competed in the County Floor & Vault Championships. Much improved work by all our gymnasts produced clean floor routines and dynamic vaults in both the novice and intermediate sections.

The Christmas Cracker included members of advanced recreational classes taking part for the first time.

2006

Success continued despite the suspension of Director Fef Griffin following an unfounded allegation of assault. The complaint was, of course thrown out, and British Gymnastics bowed to the inevitable and now has a coach support officer. The Coaches were brilliant and the Club continued to operate throughout a very difficult period.

The British under 12 team championships saw the club on the national team rostrum for the first time. Team: James Hall, Jonathan Mills, Reece Brown, James Owen, Joshua Campbell and Adam Deans.

James Hall and Jonathan Mills who competed in the Under 12 event. James worked well all round, in 5th place just missing out on an all round bronze whilst Jonathan finished in 12th position! On Individual apparatus James took Bronze on Pommel whilst Jonathan nailed a superb handspring front somersault vault to take a well earned silver.

The Fridge Magnet project, an inspired idea from the Friends raised the magnificent sum of £1039. Helen Cooper took brilliant photographs and Anne Hall converted the photos into magnets in addition to administering the scheme. They made super presents for Grannie's and other family members at Christmas. At least one went abroad - to sunny Florida.

Holiday sessions at the club during summer holidays and half terms included a wide range of activities ensuring a great time was had by all. The foundation camp proved as popular as ever and was again full to capacity.

A second Ashford school opened as a club satellite in November 2006.

Approximately 50 candidates have attended Assistant Club and Club Courses at Pegasus. Tutors based at the club were joined by South East development officers and have been busy delivering approved courses in 4 different disciplines at 2 levels.

2007

A great start to the competitive season at the Deal invitational with the youngest gymnasts competing in their first event away from home. Megan Nathan saw her take the Gold medal ahead of an extremely competent field of youngsters.

Floor & vault squad gymnasts competed in Swifts Invitational bringing home a total of six medals. Gold - Ben Kerr, Bethan Cooper, Silver Alison Thomas Bronze Abigail Clarke, Annie Savage, Laura Fowler

Regional Championships at Guildford Spectrum saw Ellie Gooding taking First on Bars & Beam and the overall Championships by almost 2 clear marks. At FIG level Emma Williams showed a welcome return to form, taking second on Vault, 1st on Bars to finish 4th overall in the Espoires age group.

The British Men's Championships in Wigan saw Pegasus become one of only two clubs in the country at under 12 to have two gymnasts finish in the top 10 places. Joel Burch competing in his first National Championships and shoot straight to the top half of the rankings with an excellent 13th position in all round results. James Hall followed a Piked Tsukahara vault with an outstanding performance to grab 5th place on Parallel Bars and an amazing 10th position overall. Positive in warm up and enjoying every minute of the event Courtney Tulloch gave his all to finish in sixth place overall winning a Gold medal on Floor and a bronze on Parallel Bars.

Great Britain team selection for Courtney to compete in the 33rd Tulit Peter Memorial Cup, which was first run in 1974. Since then it has grown to be the most popular International Gymnastics Competition for young gymnasts anywhere in the world. An outstanding performance from Courtney put him in the silver position overall and into five apparatus finals. He won medals in 4 of them. Well done Courtney and of course his Coach Ionut.


History