Nostalgia: Young gymnasts vault their way to trophies at Downlands


There’s nothing like an afternoon of forward rolls, back flips, handstands and vaults to wear a child out.

And there’s nothing like showing off your skills in front of your parents to make you feel 10 feet tall.



These young athletes were members of the Weald Gymnastics Club for Boys in 1980 and were taking part in their first display since the club opened in April 1979.

The lads showed no sign of nerves as they were put through their paces at Downlands School, Hassocks, in front of 150 people.

The club was founded by Mrs Jeanette Grant and, within a year, 70 boys aged seven-12 had signed up to train for four hours per week.

The top gymnasts were named as: Phillip Lethby, Gary Bibby, Jan Christiansen and Paul Maclean.

The most improved gymnasts were: Colin Clarke, John Saxby, Anthony Schwager and Paul Bourn.

Our pictures show Jeremy Tuke demonstrating his vaulting skills, and instructors Ken Austin and Ted Ricks presenting trophies to Phillip Lethby, Colin Clarke, Gary Bibby, John Saxby, Jan Christiansen, Anthony Schwager and Paul Bourn.

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