Manchester Academy of Gymnastics (MAG), in Eccles, is pleading for support as its forced to shut its doors again for the second time.

Gymnastics, boxing gym and charity MAG was a successful new fitness facility before the first lockdown.

But in the first lockdown, the gym had to close.

Parents of the child gymnasts did pay parts of their child’s gymnastics fees to support the gym, some up to 80%. But the gym, now closed again, has lost its income.

Maxine Quinlivan-Grech, owner of Manchester Academy of Gymnastics said:

“My landlord is still asking for full rent throughout the lockdown, demanding the rent to a point where he sent solicitors letters. Quite strong, threatening behaviour; like eviction and changing the locks.”

photo Credit: Manchester Academy of Gymnastics

The gym relied heavily on the café for financial support as it could generate £15-16,000 in revenue per month.

Maxine has asked for support from John Fury, former boxing champion and father to two-time heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Maxine took him out for a Chinese takeaway and showed off the facilities. But the gym hasn’t heard back from Mr Fury. Maxine said:

“We asked him to be our ambassador to try and save the club. But we haven’t heard anything. We took him out for a Chinese, embraced him, showed him our facilities.

“Obviously he’s really busy with Tyson and his fight in December but maybe after the fight if we’re still alive we’ll hear back from him.”

Photo Credit: Manchester Academy of Gymnastics

After the first lockdown, the gym reopened on 4th July but it has taken till October for the gym to start making some money. The café provided a takeaway service for customers and parents held fundraisers. MAG thanks those parents who continue to show support. Maxine explained:

“We are fundraising, selling jumpers, doing raffle prizes and various things like that, some parents are making cards, they’re doing their bit with sponsored events etc.

“Without those parents, we’d really be struggling.”

Usually, MAG has 1300-1700 visitors per month. This went down to an average of 900 people in October as gym members were afraid to return in a pandemic. Now, with nobody able to visit, Maxine explains how much support is needed. Maxine said:

“The gym isn’t okay, we definitely need some sponsors, some investors.

“We’ve got some beautiful beautiful gymnasts and some talented gymnasts within our community.

“It would be absolutely catastrophic if we had to close and it’d be devastating for those children.”

Many British athletes have set foot in the gym. Youth Olympic champion Giarnni Regini-Moran trains at MAG and has aspirations to compete in Tokyo 2021.

MAG manager and gymnastics director, Oliver Quinlivan-Grech explains the gym’s plans for lockdown. Oliver explained:

“With the second lockdown, we are doing zoom classes. We will support the gymnasts with scheduled zoom classes they can take part in.

“We’re hoping its only a 4 week period and once its over we can come back to the gym in a safe manner under guidelines.”

Oliver remains hopeful that the gym will survive the lockdown and he explains the gym’s plans for the future:

“We have exciting plans we do want to do, we have a backroom we want to turn into a shop so parents can purchase leotards, equipment, accessories such as rucksacks.”

“The main goal is to become sustainable for years down the line so people have a place they can come to near Salford, somewhere safe where it is warm and people can do an activity that Is fun, make new friends and learn new skills.”


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