Active Therapy Foundation

Spartac - Road to Amsterdam

Spartac is an inclusive gymnastics club run by the charity, which includes gymnasts of all ages and abilities. In 2023 the display team are travelling to Amsterdam to represent Great Britain in the World Gymnaestrada. Please help by donating now.
raised of £42,000 target
RCN 1165068

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Spartac is primarily a club for gymnasts with a disability based at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. The club has been in existence since 1993 when Dave Rozzell, former National Coach for British Gymnastics and Special Olympics, moved into the area and started working with youngsters with a disability.

Initially the group was quite small, and a lot of work was done on developing basic gymnastics skills until the gymnasts were ready to participate in British Gymnastics Disability Competitions and to develop display routines which they could perform at local events. The competition squad became very successful and Spartac can now boast of having Regional and National Champions in rhythmic gymnastics, and both men's and women's artistic gymnastics.

In 2001 we decided to develop display gymnastics, entering the London Festival of Gymnastics and the Scottish Gymfest in preparation for the 2003 World Gymnaestrada in Portugal. World Gymnaestradas are held every four years and have more participants than the Olympic games (approximately 23,000 mainstream gymnasts) from all over the world. Spartac is one of only a small number of teams to include gymnasts with a disability.

Since Portugal we have participated in four more World Gymnaestradas in Austria, Switzerland, Finland and again Austria in 2019, together with a Euro Gymfest in Finland. Our reception has always been amazing, with standing ovations from the audience. Currently our team comprises of twenty gymnasts whose ages range from 7 to 44 years, many of whom have been members of Spartac since it's' inception. There are currently four mainstream gymnasts in the squad, and we hope to maintain this level of inclusion.

In 2012 Spartac were invited to perform for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations at the Savoy Theatre in London's West End, where they received a Royal standing ovation.

We are now raising funds to enable our gymnasts to represent Great Britain again at the 2023 World Gymnaestrada in Amsterdam, plus national festivals and competitions. Unfortunately, the costs of these events are much higher than for most of the other teams. Due to the range of disabilities within the group, there is a need for a high level of support to enable our gymnasts to participate. In addition, where the gymnasts would normally have four years to prepare and fundraise, due to Covid that four years has been cut down to eighteen months.

The benefits to the gymnasts at Spartac are enormous. For many of them the friendships built in the gym forms a huge part of their social life both within Spartac and in the wider world.

Confidence, self-esteem, achievement, acknowledgement, appreciation, recognition - all the things that are so difficult for those with disabilities to otherwise experience. The benefits to the wider community are equally important as there is recognition that those with a disability can, and do, achieve great things, thus fulfilling the aims of our charity.

About the charity

To promote and protect the good health of persons suffering from mental and/or physical disabilities of any description or in need of rehabilitation as a result of such disabilities, by the provision of physical therapy programmes and facilities for recreation.

Donation summary

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+ £605.25 Gift Aid
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