A fantastic new centre - where kids can try their hand at everything from cheerleading and martial arts to gymnastics and musical theatre - has opened its doors in Rotherham.
The Team Katalyst Performance Centre, on Barbot Hall industrial estate, is home to the country’s largest indoor freerunning and Parkour park and has welcomed more than 1,000 visitors since it opened last month.
The performance centre is a result of the hard work and dedication of three local lads - directors Liam Fairest, Richard Codd and Thomas Hinch.
“It’s been a fantastic few weeks – we really feel like we’ve come home,” 25-year-old Liam told The Star.
Liam and his partners have been working as Team Katalyst since 2006, hosting classes and performances in schools and venues across the region, as well as overseas, with young people on International Leadership courses.
Liam explained: “After years of working in the community and building up our class sizes, the centre was the next natural step and it took over a year of funding applications before we were in a position to make our move.
“It’s great that we now have a base where people can come and find us, to join in a class or activity.”
Each of the directors has a different background - in either martial arts, gymnastics or dance - and it is this combination of experiences they were eager to bring to their hometown of Rotherham.
“People can come and try a bit of everything all under one roof,” said Liam, whose own background is in street dancing.
“This has been our dream for a lot of years and it’s taken a lot of hard work, most of which we’ve done ourselves – everything from acquiring the funding to much of the construction.
“It’s a real labour of love and we’re incredibly proud.”
And for Liam, the Parkour facilities are one of the centre’s biggest draws.
He said: “Parkour is where skateboarding was 30 years ago, still a relatively new, underground sport and yet it’s the second most searched term on YouTube, which gives you some idea of how big it’s set to become.”
The 10,000 sqft converted warehouse also features a dance floor with mirrors, a martial arts floor and a gymnastics square, as well as offices and classrooms.
Liam, who has a Degree in Sport & Exercise Science, said: “Richard is currently the only one of us working full time for Team Katalyst, while Thomas and I are still holding down jobs until things are fully established. We know the first six months are crucial for any new business and hope that, one day very soon, we’re able to make it our full-time focus.
“For now, we’re dedicating every spare second we have to making sure this facility is the perfect place for people of any age to come and learn new stuff and really push their boundaries, whether they’re complete novices or elite athletes at the top of their game.”
Visit www.teamkatalyst.com for a full timetable of activities.