Tunbridge Wells’ top gymnasts met an Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth medallist when he opened a new extension to the Next Dimension Gymnastics Academy (NDGA).
Louis Smith MBE had words of wisdom for Sam Large and Hector Kinghorn, who themselves won European silver medals earlier this year, and other young athletes at the gym last Thursday.
Sam and Hector joined Mr Smith to cut the ribbon on the new 80 sq m extension, which features the pommel horse on which Mr Smith competed as he won the world championship silver medal in October. The extra space has allowed the main gym to be reorganised enabling a new sprung floor to be installed.
NDGA operations manager Chantelle Harman said: “It was an incredible opportunity to be able to buy the floor and pommel horse from the world championships. The pommel horse arrived still covered in chalk dust and Louis signed it for posterity.”
An NDGA spokesman added: “Mr Smith told the young gymnasts that to reach the top, they would have to overcome hurdles including injuries, illness and making mistakes, as he had.
“He told them they should always believe in themselves and listen to the advice of their coaches, and their parents.”