Sika Gymnastics Club jumping for joy over 40th anniversary

Pictured at Gazelle in the 80's is  Lucinda Bradley, Pamela McClure, Suzanne Malcolm, Cathy Bradley, Rachel Barr, Fiona Burgess, Michelle Henderson, Sonia watters and Lisa Nicholl (now Christie).
Pictured at Gazelle in the 80's is Lucinda Bradley, Pamela McClure, Suzanne Malcolm, Cathy Bradley, Rachel Barr, Fiona Burgess, Michelle Henderson, Sonia watters and Lisa Nicholl (now Christie).

Sika Gymnastics Club is head over heels about celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year.

The Coleraine based community sports club, has over 300 members from throughout the province including Ballymoney, Ballycastle and Bushmills. And prides itself on introducing thousands of recreational children to the sport over the past 40 years.

Head Coach Mary Robinson (right) pictured with medal winners.

Head Coach Mary Robinson (right) pictured with medal winners.

Formed in 1976 by Fef Robinson, the club was originally called ‘Gazelle’ and was held at Coleraine Girls Secondary School before moving to the Tech College in Coleraine.

In the 1980’s, Gazelle became the first club to join the recently built Coleraine Leisure Centre where it grew from strength to strength developing many for the local stars of the future. In 1984 the club changed its name from ‘Gazelle’ to ‘Sika” as another club in Scotland shared the same name.

One of the first successes was in 1986 when local girl Michelle Henderson was picked for Northern Ireland at the Common Wealth Games in Glasgow, unfortunately she got injured and was unable to compete.

Four years later in 1990 Suzanne Malcolm went to the Common Wealth Games in New Zealand and then again in 1994 Fiona Burgess went to Victoria in Canada for the Common Wealth Games.

Medal winners: Pamela McClure, Suzanne Malcolm, Cathy Bradley, Lucinda Bradley and Charlotte Robinson.

Medal winners: Pamela McClure, Suzanne Malcolm, Cathy Bradley, Lucinda Bradley and Charlotte Robinson.

Lisa Christie, joined Gazelle when she was only 7 years old and now coaches the up-and-coming stars, explained: “I started in 1982, Sika has played a very important part in my life and many others I have had so many wonderful memories and developed great friendships. I feel so privileged to be part of an amazing club and look forward to great times ahead.”

In 2013, due to popular demand the club expanded and moved to its current full time dedicated facility at Northbrook Industrial Estate in Coleraine.

Since then the club has never looked back boasting numerous NI squad members, Irish squad members, NI Champions as well as Irish Champions.

In 2013, 2014 and 2015 the club were crowned Northern Ireland Floor and Vault Team champions as well as many other prestigious accolades including having a gymnast training in the Irish Olympic start squad, a National development squad member, Kerry-Rose Draine, and Tamara Walker who is the current holder of the Tony Byrne Cup.

Sika.

Sika.

Not only renowned for training champions over the past four decades, the club also prides itself in its large disability Programme and it’s accessibility for both the young and old...even offering a gym fit programme for adults only.

Head Coach Mary Robinson, who last week represented the Irish coaching delegations at a recent UEG European Training camp, continued: “I am extremely proud and humbled everyday to see how Sika continues to go from strength to strength. The club has played a key role in my life both as a gymnast through to that as a coach. We have so many wonderful gymnasts coming through our doors from the tiny tots to those whom we hope will go on to represent the country!

“It is a privilege to be able to coach them all and be part of the a wonderful club that Sika is.”

For all the latest information about Sika go onto their Facebook site. Email:

sikagymnasticsclub@hotmail.com or call 07817 594748.

Our waiting list is reopening...on Friday 5th August from 7.30am until 7pm Sika will be accepting names onto their waiting list. If you wish to have your child (three-years and above) added to the list please call into the gym on August 5 within these times to complete a wait list registration form. Please be aware names will only be added to the waiting list via this process and will not be accepted online or via phone.

To all those currently on our waiting list - we are in the process of offering all available places and will be in touch when space becomes available. They welcome gymnasts of all ages and abilities!