WELCOMING Gymnastics Australia to Waveney, two international athletes from down under have hit Lowestoft.

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Waveney Gymnastics Club, who are heavily involved in London 2012 as an official Pre Games Training Camp, held a special event last Thursday after the Olympic Torch relay in the district.

A unique open balcony session watching the two Australian men’s gymnasts – Josh Jefferis and Thomas Pichler – was held, and the two aspiring medallists were pictured with the Olympic Torch that Waveney GC chairman John Pawsey had used in completing the torch relay earlier that day.

The Gymnastics Australia women’s artistic team will also arrive in Waveney soon, with both teams training at the top-class facilities in Southwell Road, Lowestoft later this month.

The arrival of the Australian women’s artistic delegation will also be the first time that Waveney GC has hosted a female squad. And while the teams train at the first class facility, with all equipment provided by Waveney GC, this Pre Games Training Camp will have far-reaching economic benefits for the area, as each squad is accommodated locally.

The torch relay celebratory event took place over four hours at the club last Thursday. And as well as acting as the official welcoming of Gymnastics Australia to Lowestoft, there was music, performances from dance groups, an Aussie style barbecue, a meet and greet session with the Olympians before they showcased their skills to a captivated audience.

And as well as lining up with the gymnasts for pictures of the torch, chairman Mr Pawsey also posed for photographs with Ashley School Academy Trust PE teacher Jackie Milton, who also ran a leg of the Lowestoft torch relay.

Waveney District Council’s portfolio holder for leisure, tourism and economic development, Bruce Provan, was present earlier in the day during the Olympic Torch relay in Lowestoft - before attending the celebratory event at the gym club.

“It has been an exciting day for Waveney, and it was very inspiring to see the gymnasts perform,” Mr Provan said.

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