“NBC Gymnastics has been formed by Erdington Gym Club which is one of the oldest Gymnastics Clubs in the country. It was formed in 1890 when it was known as the ‘Erdington Athletic Club”.
It formed part of the Birmingham and District Amateur Gymnastic Association and took part in many competitions and activities hosted by it. At this time it was both a men’s and women’s club (many of the members were in their twenties and thirties and married). The men competed on the horizontal and parallel bars, pommels and vaulting horse. Whilst the women competed in free standing exercises, club swinging and stave exercises with little use of equipment.
The First and Second World Wars saw many clubs close, and the mens’ section of the club did come to an end. The women’s club was known at this time as the ‘Erdington Physical Ladies’ Culture Club’
As we moved into the 1960s and 70s, the club was renamed as ‘Erdington Gymnastics Club’ and had lots of success at local competitions. The club at this time became affiliated to the West Midlands Amateur Gymnastics Association and the Amateur Gymnastic Association of Great Britain. The club focused on ‘Olympic’ Gymnastics and encouraged gymnasts who wanted to learn advanced skills to attend courses arranged by the region.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s a lady named Mary Dawes had a huge influence on the direction of the club. After her death in 1986, Ann Southall and Pat Lightwood took over the running of the club. The club at this time focused on Artistic Gymnastics and did well at Regional Development Plan Grades.
After the departure of Mrs Lightwood, the club was run by Mrs Ann Southall and later by her daughter, Rebecca Whitehouse. The club moved towards non-competitive gymnastics and provided classes at Stockland Green Community Leisure Centre. The Club did very well at local Floor and Vault competitions and had a very high membership.
The current Head Coach, Louise Combellack has been involved with the club for over 25 years and took over the ‘reigns’ in 2009. Since this time the club has trained at both Stockland Green and Greenwood Academy in Castle Vale and has increased in membership by over 300%. The club has a large competitive programme of children who compete regularly at regional competitions, still with the emphasis being placed on personal achievement and fun. The main base of the club is the recreational gymnasts who partake in high quality gymnastics for all sessions once a week.
In 2017 we were made aware that we would have to move from our venue in Caste Vale. A long and difficult process was begun to source a building, funding and gain planning permission. A new inclusive gymnastics programme has been designed starting in Sutton Coldfield in September 2017, which is where you find us now with the launch of North Birmingham Community Gymnastics!