The Wyndley Teacher That Has Helped Gymnastics Come On Leaps & Bounds

Sep 06, 2023 | Blog

When Doreen Smith walked into Wyndley Leisure Centre for her first day of work in 1992, she never could have imagined how many children she would help in the local area.

Doreen, from Sutton Coldfield, has been part of the furniture at Wyndley for 31 years – but her appetite for improving children’s sporting foundations has never wavered. Doreen has helped thousands of children through the doors and was a co-founder of the ever-popular Gymfants programme.

Growing up, Doreen was part of the British Trampolining squad and has taken that elite-level knowledge into her teaching career. But now, along with a dedicated team of gymnastics teachers, Doreen welcomes children of all abilities to lessons. From babies and the parent-led Gymfant sessions, to the instructor led sessions for children up to the age of 11-years old.

Doreen has seen it all in her years at Wyndley and says that things have improved over the years.

The place has changed a lot,” Doreen said. “But the idea is still the same from when I started. We want to keep children active, and we take great pride in seeing them progress. Our main aim here is to get children off their devices and into physical exercise whilst making friends at the same time.

I think Gymnastics is such an important sport for children to learn as it’s a foundation that you can take into other sports. Strength, coordination, and balance are all skills you need for sport in general, and gymnastics puts such an emphasis to get those right from a young age.

Although her youth was spent competing at a high-level in various gymnastics disciplines, Doreen says that competing and winning should not be at the forefront of your child’s mind when embarking on their gymnastics journey.

“We have had World Champions come through the doors here and I’ve been lucky enough to play a very small part in helping their learning, but I probably take more pride in seeing the shy child coming out of their shell during a lesson. Seeing the effect a bit of confidence can do for a young person really is fantastic, and that’s what sport and physical exercise can do.

“We are a facility with teachers who put a lot of emphasis on teaching through fun, and our gymnastics lessons will teach key skills which are beneficial for children of all ages, races, abilities and faiths.”

So, what about the facility, why should people bring their children to Wyndley Leisure Centre?

“We really have got brilliant facilities here with a huge range of equipment. When I started in the early 90’s, we didn’t have much. But now we have bars, beams, vaults, trampettes, springboards, air tracks - everything a gymnast would need.

“There is also a lot of space which is quite a rarity – our sports hall gives children the opportunity to practice their skills and gives us an opportunity to fill the room with more equipment.

“But most of all, we have brilliant coaches who give these children an opportunity to flourish, not just in gymnastics, but all the other sports we offer.

“This place has got it all and I’m proud to work here.”

Get your little one started on a gymnastics journey today. It is sure to build a solid foundation that they can take into any sport or activity. Contact us here or give us a call on 0121 516 5659 and take that first step today.