• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

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Deerness Puts On A Show To Celebrate Survival

Tickets have gone on sale for the Deerness Christmas Shows as the club celebrates five years since the threat of closure loomed over the club.


Taking place from Sunday 18th December to Wednesday 21st December The Deerness Christmas Shows are some of the most sought-after performances in Durham at Christmas time.

For tickets (£9 / £6) please contact Deerness Gymnastics Academy on 0191 373 9419 or email: contact@deernessgymnastics.org.uk

The Christmas Shows combine all aspects of the traditional and  the modern in acrobatic stage performance, including a dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment, with awesome displays of physical strength and incredible feats of balance. They will include over 100 performers from all levels at the club, from NDP to world champions and acrobatic entertainment group Acropolis.

Acropolis, winners of the ITV talent show Let’s Get Gold in 2012 has continued to entertain  audiences at private and public events regionally, nationally and internationally to raise funds for the club.

“This is going to be a magical week of events at Deerness Gymnastics Academy as we celebrate 5 years managing the whole building as well as the club”, said Karl Wharton, director of gymnastics at Deerness Gymnastics Academy.

“The high-quality, artistic entertainment is perfect to kick off the festive season with friends and family. As well as providing great entertainment these shows help to provide much-needed funds to support our gymnasts throughout the year.”

Five years ago the club faced uncertainty due to the closure of its training base, a council run leisure centre, where the club had been based since 2002. Rather than let the club close as there were no other suitable facilities in the area, Karl Wharton galvanised support from gymnasts and their families, the national governing body and local councillors to take over the building and create Deerness Gymnastics Academy.

Karl persuaded the council to let the club, operating only with volunteers, to take on responsibility for running the entire building not just operating a club. After a six-month campaign, the council agreed and the club was saved. It is now a not-for-profit organisation which has charitable status and five years later is still going strong.

In these five years, the club has helped Team GB win over 20 medals against stiff international competition, at both European and World Championships. As well as producing numerous National Champions and medalists at the British Championships.

Deerness Gymnastics Academy is a charity based in County Durham which has Matt Baker as its patron. It has become one of Britain’s top gymnastics clubs over the past twenty-five years, with over 100 international gymnasts with more than seventy World and European medallists, including 15 World and European Champions in its roll of honour. It is not only one of the most successful clubs in Great Britain but it is also recognised on the International scene as one of the top clubs in the world.

Gymnastics coaching in acrobatics, tumbling and trampolining are available to all ages from novice to elite level. Recreational classes are available for children from 3 years and baby gym sessions take place on a weekday.

But it’s not only medals that the club has produced, but has also helped to develop happy, healthy and confident children whose life opportunities and choices have been expanded because of their involvement in gymnastics.

Accolades since 2011: 

  • 2016 – Karl Wharton award an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List
  • 2016 – County Durham Sport and Physical Activity Awards Young Sporting Achievement Award for Georgia Hewison
  • 2016 – Northumberland Sports Awards – Junior Male Award for Finn Gavin
  • 2015 – Local Heroes Awards – Most Promising Newcomer for tumbler Mary Young
  • 2015 – Stuart Thompson named British Gymnastics National Coach of the Year
  • 2014 – Karl Wharton named Local Hero of the year after winning the Sir Bobby Robson Leading Light
  • 2014 – Acropolis selected to tour with Diversity Limitless The Reboot
  • 2014 – Club named Sports Club of the Year for Durham & Chester le Street
  • 2014 – BBC North East Junior Achievement Award for Shanice Davidson
  • 2013 – Acropolis selected to tour with Diversity Limitless
  • 2013 – Wins Best Corporate and Business Campaign in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Awards
  • 2013 – Acropolis chosen to appear on SKY1 “A League of their Own”
  • 2013 – Acropolis clinch second place in French TV show called “The Best: Le Meilleur Artiste”
  • 2013 – Matt Baked becomes patron of Deerness Gymnastics Academy
  • 2013 – Club named North of England Club of the Year & Karl Wharton receives President’s Award at North of England Gymnastics Awards
  • 2012 – Club receives BBC North East Sports Award for Sporting Inspiration of the year
  • 2012 – Named Club of the Year at The Northern Echo Local Heroes Awards 2012
  • 2012 – Win £100,000 for their club as winners of ITV1 “Let’s Get Gold” TV Talent show
  • 2012 – Wins Best Sporting Campaign in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Awards
  • 2012 – Gymnast selected to carry the Olympic Torch
  • 2012 – Senior coaches and gymnasts receive Nik Stuart Honorary Life Member Award from British Gymnastics 

Success with Team GB since 2011:

  • 2016 – World Championships – SILVER 13-19 Men’s Group  & BRONZE 12-18 Mixed Pair
  • 2016 – Tumbling European Championships – Senior & Junior Team GOLD, Senior Individual BRONZE
  • 2015 – World Tumbling Championships – Three SILVER medals
  • 2015 – European Championships – BRONZE Women’s Pair
  • 2014 – World Tumbling Championships – GOLD
  • 2014 – World Championships – Eight junior gymnasts return with GOLD Medals
  • 2014 – Tumbling European Championships – Junior GOLD
  • 2013 – Tumbling World Championships – 2 SILVER
  • 2013 – European Championships – all ten gymnasts win SILVER medals
  • 2013 – World Games – Senior SILVER for Men’s Pair
  • 2012 – World Championships – Senior GOLD for Men’s Group
  • 2011 – European Championships – Senior GOLD for Men’s Group