HILLINGDON School of Gymnastics Swallows put their training troubles to one side to put in some impressive displays in the London Gymnastics Federation Twin Piece Team Championships at the weekend.

The club used to train four times a week at their old base in Victoria Road, South Ruislip, but can only manage half that number since being made homeless.

As the Gazette revealed earlier this year, the premises was closed a few months ago following a dispute over business rates between its owners and Hillingdon Council.

Since then, the youngsters have resorted to training in parks and school halls to keep in tip-top shape.

However, despite the ongoing problems, Shani Ross and Charlotte Hooker still won a bronze medal in the senior novice team competition.

Lucy Dickens and Fabiana Barber also put in a good display,

finishing in sixth place, while in the junior team, Grace Tucker and Natasha Bishop came 12th.

At the regional level, it was a tough time for Ava Daruwalla and

Charlotte Harrison, but they still managed a creditable ninth place.

HSG's Tania Swallow said: "All the girls worked well under continuing difficult circumstances. They don't have their own gym to train in, and have to travel to friends' gyms to get at least a few hours a week to put together their routines.

"We were delighted for Shani and Charlotte. To come away with medals means so much to all the girls, who keep fighting for the name of HSG Swallows.

"Under normal circumstances, Charlotte and Ava could have won silver at the regionals.

"These gymnasts need to be working at least four days a week on their routines, and at present can only manage two days at the most, with not ideal equipment and hours of travelling time. At least the girls showed they can still compete. But why can't Hillingdon Council understand that the gym meant so much to so many children?"