CHILDREN at Monkton Park Primary School in Chippenham showed off their gymnastic skills at the launch of a national initiative, which has been created by a former Olympic coach, to get youngsters more physically active using the gym.

Sarah Moon from Trowbridge has helped launch the real gym programme across nearly 4,000 schools in the UK to inspire children to take part in gymnastics, which will allow them to develop life skills and keep fit.

Two gymnastic sessions were held at the Chippenham school on Tuesday, where children were taken through a range of exercises and activities.

The school and its 230 children were selected to host the launch having been part of the real gym PE programme for three years.

Deputy headteacher, Jan Douglas, said: “It’s had a huge impact not just on the children’s skills but also all the other important things like their collaboration and leadership and we’ve seen an impact in the schoolroom.

“The children enjoy it and are really enthusiastic. They are making huge progress and as they move through the school years.

“Right across the board every child is involved.”

“We can’t escape the fact that in many areas the sporting world is in crisis,” said Ms Moon, a team GB coach at the 2012 Olympics in rhythmic gymnastics. She has worked with company Create Development to roll out the real gym scheme nationwide.

“Now, it’s more important than ever to go back to grass roots and look at how we are nurturing a positive relationship and love of sport and PE in all young people.

“This is exactly what the real gym programme does. Without this new approach, the legacy that we talked about after the London 2012 Olympics will not exist.”