GMax fundraiser proves a success

Martial Arts

THE Royston-based GMax Academy martial arts club held its first public event on Sunday, for the newly-formed GMax Foundation which raises money for good causes.

Head coach Glen Stanway said: “I liked the idea of doing traditional sponsored events to raise money for good causes, but I also wanted to offer something to the wider community other than the regular classes I run, such as seminars or fun events.

“I spoke with Royston Leisure Centre about the aims of the Foundation, and they were very supportive. We came up with the Gymnastics Workshop due to my previous experience of working with some top gymnastics coaches.”

GMax members and volunteers, along with the Leisure Centre staff, organised the gymnastics sessions for children and adults – raising over �200.

Gymnastics coach Stephen Russo from London, who has been coaching men’s gymnastics full time to squad level since 1995, gave up his Sunday for free to run the workshop. Steve was mentored by Eddie Van Hoof, technical director of the GB men’s gymnastics team that made history at the Olympics this summer.

Steve’s own squads train to national level, and he was a London Gymnastics Federation “Coach of the Year” in 2002. His students include current and former gymnasts, actors, stunt performers, and dancers, including the Britain’s Got Talent stars, Flawless and George Sampson.

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The children’s session sold out completely, with participants of both junior and adult sessions learning about stretching, handstands, cartwheels, and finished with everyone having a go at backflips.

Russo said: “I’ve trained and coached with Glen for a very long time now, and I think what he is trying to achieve with GMax is very commendable. I wanted to do my bit to help him, and this was the least I could do. Everyone did really well, and I had a lot of fun coaching them.”

Stanway added: “Steve is one of the best coaches I have ever worked with. I was delighted when he volunteered his time for us.”

“This is the first of several events the GMax Foundation will organise throughout the year. I would like to thank everyone who helped to plan and promote the workshop; the GMax members, the Leisure Centre staff, the mums and dads, and of course, everyone who took part.”

GMax Academy teaches Kung Fu and Kickboxing classes in Royston, for children and adults. For further details or to get involved with the GMax Foundation, please visit the website or call Glen on 07563755199.