Gymnasts heartbroken as raiders trash new HQ

Ribble Valley Acrobatics Academy (s)
Ribble Valley Acrobatics Academy (s)

Sporty youngsters have been left heartbroken after thieves broke into their new headquarters where they trashed equipment and stole cash.

Members of the Ribble Valley Acrobatic Academy, who have only just settled into their new home six weeks ago, discovered the break-in last Thursday.

What should have been a safe and secure haven has been completely violated just so someone can make some quick cash

Toni Connolly

Money for gymwear and holiday courses had been taken along with Smart TVs and sound systems key to dance routines. The intruders also broke ipads and vending machines.

Club founder Toni Connolly said: “We are a club with over 260 gymnasts and feel that what should have been a safe and secure haven has been completely violated just so someone can make some quick cash.

“But it has not stopped us operating and it will make us stronger as a club.”

Launched 10 years ago in Simonstone Toni has single handedly built up the club which started off with around seven members. Initially running it through schools in Clitheroe, Toni was able to source grants and help from local firms to move into new premises based on the Whitebirk Industrial Estate at Blackburn.

Since the move more members have flooded to the successful club, which has celebrated success in several national competitions.

Since the break-in Blackburn Alarms has offered the club a full alarm system and further security equipment to keep the headquarters safe.

Toni, who lives in Barrow, added: “It has made me so angry but this will not defeat us.’’