A gymnastics club has gained more than 250 new members after relocating to Cwmfelinfach.
Islwyn Gymnastics Club moved to its new site in September 2018, having previously been based at Blackwood Comprehensive School.
It now has more than 300 members and hopes to continue growing.
The club had been running for 35 years before closing in March 2017, but Karl Ward and his wife, Marie Ward, reopened it roughly six months later.
Karl and Marie, who own and work full-time at the club, are hoping to train the Olympians of the future.
Karl said: “We’re achieving our aim, which was to create a place to allow children of all ages and abilities to succeed in the sport of gymnastics and have fun.
“Our motto is: ‘If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough’.
“We’ve managed to gain a family feel to the club and had a positive response from the community in Cwmfelinfach. People were so pleased that children had something to do in the local area.
“One of the major factors in our growth is the fact that there are three million children on gymnastics club waiting lists in the UK.”
Karl added: “I was in the army for 22 years and didn’t know what to do afterwards, but when our daughter started gymnastics, I caught the bug.
“Marie had been a gymnast and a coach so we decided we would reopen the club for the community.”
Karl and Marie now run classes seven days a week aimed at all ages and abilities and have ten coaches to instruct the classes.
Karl was part of 1 Royal Anglian and the Small Arms School Corps for 22 years, serving in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland and travelling as far afield as Germany, USA, Kenya and Belize.
Karl said: “Every child who walks through the door could be the next Olympian.
“Our aim is to make the club better over time but the ethos will always remain the same.”
He added: “I want the club to succeed because it’s a place where young people can believe they can succeed and follow their dreams in a safe, bully-free environment.”
Marie began as a gymnast aged four, going on to compete in competitions until her 20s, before focusing on coaching.
She said: “I’m working my dream job and I love seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces.”
All new members join the beginners group, which is focused on more recreational activities for one hour each week.
As members develop their skills they can move up to higher-ranked classes, which are geared more towards competitive gymnastics and ultimately national and international competition.
According to Karl and Marie, the sport has been growing rapidly in the UK thanks to Team GB’s performances at recent Olympic Games’ in London and Rio De Janeiro.