INVERCLYDE Gymnastics Club belatedly celebrated its 30th birthday by holding a Beacon bash - with proceeds going towards Ardgowan Hospice and Garvel Deaf Centre.

The ‘Night at the Movies’ party featured performances from around 120 gymnasts aged between five and 16 years-old, as well as a charity raffle for attendees.

The event was meant to happen two years ago, but had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

Christine Anderson, owner and coach of the club, says all the youngsters have been so excited to get 'back to normality.’

She said: “It was so exciting for the show to happen after all this time.

"Some of the older groups are now getting to perform a routine they started practising two years ago."

Christine started the club with just five children on the books.

She estimates more than 1,000 children have walked through the doors in the decades gone by.

She told the Tele: “It’s a special feeling when people I taught as children are now bringing their kids to me.

“The club is such a social thing - of course it’s about keeping fit and healthy but mostly it is about making friends and socialising, especially after the pandemic.

"Seeing the kids' faces light up is why I have been doing it all this time.”

Bethany McNeil, 23, one of several young committed club coaches, joined when she first started primary school in 2004.

She said: “I couldn’t imagine this club not being here.

"It’s been such a big part of my coming-of-age experience, and now I get to pass it on.

“It’s lovely to have constant new faces.

"When I started coaching, some of the kids in primary school are now away to university. ”

Christine chose the hospice to receive half of the proceeds from the show in memory of her late friend Rona Boag.

Rona, who was a fitness instructor, passed away 12 years ago and received care from the hospice.