Karen and Barry Phelan left full time coaching positions in Hampshire to move to Somerset for a quieter life! Still wishing to be involved in gymnastics but on a much smaller scale they set up 'Rolling Rascals' Pre School Gymnastics, travelling to schools and village halls with a transit van filled with mats and boxes. Following the success of the programme there was a clear need, along with a strong desire from Karen and Barry to offer more gymnastics to more people which led to the formation of Orchard Gymnastics in 2008.
Within a year the club had its own 5,000 sq foot facility and membership that just grew, grew and grew! Another three years and the need for more space was clear. An 'Olympic Legacy' grant from Sport Englands Inspired Facilities enabled the club to knock through to the adjoining unit and double its floor space. The construction of a training podium with safety pits along with a British Gymnastics funded 'Freestyle Gymnastics' area – (one of the first of its type in Britain) saw Orchard established as one of the premier gymnastic facilities within the South West.
Development within the community has always been at the centre of the clubs ethos and it works with a host of partners to ensure that as many children as possible have the opportunity to experience the sport of gymnastics. Working in conjunction with South Somerset District Council and SASP the club has delivered coaching programmes/teacher training to every primary and secondary school within Yeovil along with a highly successful, annual Primary Schools competition structure.
The clubs work in developing the sport of gymnastics within South Somerset has been recognised by several bodies, with the club receiving 'Club of the Year' awards at a District, County, Regional and National level between 2011 and 2013.
Orchard's membership currently stands at over 1000 and the club which is a 'not for profit' organisation, continues to develop and find ways for more children to become involved in the wonderful sport that is Gymnastics!