NBC History

“NBC Gymnastics has been formed by Erdington Gym Club which is one of the oldest Gymnastics Clubs in the country. It was formed in 1890 when it was known as the ‘Erdington Athletic Club”.

It formed part of the Birmingham and District Amateur Gymnastic Association and took part in many competitions and activities hosted by it. At this time it was both a men’s and women’s club (many of the members were in their twenties and thirties and married). The men competed on the horizontal and parallel bars, pommels and vaulting horse. Whilst the women competed in free standing exercises, club swinging and stave exercises with little use of equipment.

The First and Second World Wars saw many clubs close, and the men’s section of the club did come to an end. The women’s club was known at this time as the ‘Erdington Physical Ladies’ Culture Club’

As we moved into the 1960s and 70s, the club was renamed as ‘Erdington Gymnastics Club’ and had lots of success at local competitions. The club at this time became affiliated to the West Midlands Amateur Gymnastics Association and the Amateur Gymnastic Association of Great Britain. The club focused on ‘Olympic’ Gymnastics and encouraged gymnasts who wanted to learn advanced skills to attend courses arranged by the region.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s a lady named Mary Dawes had a huge influence on the direction of the club. After her death in 1986, Ann Southall and Pat Lightwood took over the running of the club. The club at this time focused on Artistic Gymnastics and did well at Regional Development Plan Grades.

After the departure of Mrs Lightwood, the club was run by Mrs Ann Southall and later by her daughter, Rebecca Whitehouse. The club moved towards non-ndp competitive gymnastics and provided classes at Stockland Green Community Leisure Centre. The Club did very well at local Floor and Vault competitions and had a very high membership.
The current club is overseen by Louise Combellack who has been involved with EGC for the last 30 years and took over the ‘reigns’ in 2009. Stockland Green Leisure Centre being privatised meant that the club moved to Castle Vale to Greenwood Academy for three years. During this time, the club swelled in size to over 200 members and opened its doors to boys and also created a small group of out of age Women’s Artistic grades competitors. Again, the club’s future was jeopardised by a new build at Greenwood Academy meaning training and storage space was not available. In 2016 the committee took the decision to look for a full-time venue.

Louise Combellack and Club Manager, Sarah Hayward spent a great deal of time designing a full-time programme, searching out possible venues and meeting with various social investors and funders. At this time a charity was formed to oversee the running of Erdington Gymnastics Club. The purpose of the Charity was to provide affordable and accessible gymnastics sessions of the highest calibre to all children and young people regardless of their ability or disability. When the current venue in Sutton Coldfield was found, planning was sought from the local council and connections made with lots of local agencies.
Planning being granted and with the help of social investment, and funding from those that can be found on our Supporters page, North Birmingham Community Gymnastics was born. We moved into and kitted out a large industrial unit over the summer of 2017 with top of the range equipment and accessible facilities.

As of 2021 we now have a full-time disability gymnastics and rebound therapy programme. Children taking part in this can make us of our full changing place facility and overhead hoists. We have over 1000 children and young people taking part in our weekly activities of all abilities and disabilities.