Over the summer Activate Camps held a number of their specialist sports camps at Oundle School including their new Louis Smith Gymnastics Academy (LSGA). Hosting forty gymnasts from across the region, participants on the three day course were put through their paces and also got to meet the Olympic medal winner, Louis Smith himself.
Boys and girls experienced expert coaching from hand-picked gym coaches within a programme supported by British Gymnastics as part of their leisure centre scheme as well as gaining support from TumblTraks and Gymnova who are both prominent gymnastics equipment suppliers.
The Academy coaching programme was designed to cater for every level of gymnast to benefit, enjoy and develop in a fun and safe learning environment.
The LSGA coaching programme is devised by Louis's coach, Paul Hall, lead instructor at Huntingdon Gymnastics Club. Paul has worked with Louis for over twelve years and has also taught many of the GB gymnastics team.
Participants had the chance to meet Louis on 25th August which provided a unique and inspiring opportunity. Mrs Smith said “The girls were so excited to meet one of their all-time heroes. They had a fantastic three days.”
Susie Raby, Oundle School Enterprises and Events Manager, commented: “We were delighted to have been able to provide sporting venues for these camps. It was a particular honour to welcome Louis Smith to Oundle and he proved to be an inspiring sports hero for all the future generations of gymnasts who had this privilege of meeting him.”
Programmes are uniquely designed to reflect individual goals and abilities and cover age appropriate gymnastics disciplines.
Louis trains at the now famous Huntingdon Gymnastics Club in Cambridgeshire alongside GB teammate Daniel Keatings, with his specialist discipline being the Pommel Horse.
As a junior Louis was a two-time European Champion on Pommel Horse, winning the title in both 2004 and 2006.
In the 2008 Bejing Olympics, Louis won a bronze medal, becoming the first British man to win a medal in the individual gymnastics at the Olympic Games since Walter Tysall won a silver medal in 1908.
In 2012, Louis was part of the Great Britain team at the London Olympics. The team won a bronze medal at the event on 30th July 2012, marking the first team medal for a British Olympic gymnastics team in 100 years. Louis also won the silver medal in the Pommel Horse Final.
In 2012, Louis also won another title, becoming the winner of Strictly Come Dancing with his partner Flavia Cacace!
Louis was awarded an MBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours for his services to gymnastics.
Background Information on Oundle School
Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.
The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology.
There are currently 1100 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 850 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children aged 4 to 11.