A brief history of CMIG
The club has four levels of gymnastics for all including, pre-school; beginners and foundation level; more advanced and a special higher level known as high flyers. We also have a complete full programme of competitive gymnastics both male and female from county through to international level.
At CMIG we are extremely proud of all our expert coaches who are highly qualified British Gymnastics coaches delivering excellent programmes of gymnastics at all levels. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge stimulating the children to challenge their own boundaries.
For more informative see gymnastics for all.
1971 – Coaching Director Colin Leigh, who was then employed as a PE teacher at Moston Brook High School for boys in north Manchester, developed a highly successful boy’s gymnastics team
1972 – The school club extended into the evenings and soon started to involve local children including girls. This then became known as The North Manchester Gymnastics Club and became a British Gymnastics affiliated club. The club soon grew gaining upwards of 40 children with the school gym overflowing with apparatus much to the annoyance of other sports.
1978 – After seeing a film of a Soviet gymnastics club, Colin planned a five year strategy in which he would acquire a large, suitable building for a permanent home where also all apparatus would be fixed permanently; similar to the soviet model. Monies were raised with support from parents; local politicians and sports councils were approached. Displays were key to selling our project especially to Manchester City Council.
1983 – The old Gorton Baths on Hyde Road was revamped into a permanent gymnastics centre and was officially opened in 1984 by Bobby Charlton. This became the spiritual home for the now named Central Manchester Institute of Gymnastics. At this time this was the first purpose built pitted (foam blocks in large holes to safeguard landings) gymnasium for a club. Many thanks must go to all who helped to formulate our dreams into a reality.
A full program was eventually pieced together involving beginners classes through to international level with a membership of over 300 gymnasts. Over the next 20 years the club worked hard and some of our gymnastics went onto amazing achievements
1991 – Our first British Senior Champion Paul Bowler.
1992 – Two gymnasts go to Barcelona Olympics – Marvin Campbell and Paul Bowler.
1993 – Marvin takes our second British Senior title. Also in 1993 the team became Senior Champions of Great Britain.
1998 and 2002 — John Smethurst won 2 consecutive gold medals at the Commonwealth games in Kuala Lumpur and Manchester also gaining two bronze medals on the apparatus. John is now a coach at the club.
2002 – Mark Freeman put the icing on the cake by taking Britain’s first ever European Title on rings and is now completing a sports scholarship in America. Paul Bowler has become an institution in the Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas with his own specialist act. Over the last few months Mark has joined Paul in the Cirque.
Because of our success we were designated a High Performance Centre for British Gymnastics in 200. This included a National Coach who was permanently attached to the gym. Part of this award was a large capital grant from Sport England to upgrade the facilities. However the pool old Baths was on its last legs with water features on the walls from a leaking roof. After all it was 110 years old and the Club had used the building for 20 years.
2001/2002 – From discussions with the City Council and Sport England it was decided to abandon any ideas of refurbishment. Therefore the search was on for a different building and strangely the answer came in the guise of another redundant swimming pool. Neptune’s Kingdom on Garrat Way, just 800 meters away from the Baths and adjacent to the Gorton Library, became the third site for the gym club. The City Council offered financial aid to help with the conversion adding to the Sports Council grant. The club also raised £10,000 towards the project from many fund raising events.
Work started in January 2004 and the new state of the art gymnasium was finally completed in September that year. Our name changed once more to become The City of Manchester Institute of Gymnastics and the club moved in during October. In December 2004 the Lord Mayor of Manchester officially opened the new gymnastics centre.
It has taken nearly 35 years but Colin Leigh finally achieved his major ambition – a gymnastics training centre better than the prototype gym he saw during the viewing of a film about a Russian gymnastics club. This has been a history of hard work, love and a desire to produce gymnastics for all – from the beginner to the top international.
February 2010 – in the five years since the new centre opened the club has expanded its membership five times over since being in the old gym on Hyde Road. At the moment our membership is at twelve hundred plus and growing. We now have a large pre-school program throughout the week; teach over 30 classes of participation gymnastics spanning 50 hours per week; coach 10 different ability performance groups covering County, Regional and National Levels (100 gymnasts) spanning 30 hours per week. Alongside this the club has developed 25 qualified coaches from assistant to High performance level.
The club is affiliated to British Gymnastics and is Gym Mark accredited. We have partnerships with Manchester Sports Leisure Trust, Manchester Sports Development and Gymnastics England. The Centre is recognized as a 2012 Olympic Training Venue and is accepted as a North West Regional Centre.
In all these 5 years we have continued to produce many individual and team Champions at all levels and continue to boast National Squad members.
In our future strategy of development we are focusing on reaching the 2000 member mark; an improved talent identification program and increasing the High Performance coaching.