A Napier gymnastics centre is hoping new equipment used by Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles will help entice children back post-Covid.

Omni Gymnastics Centre, in Onekawa, recently received $84,000 of funding from Grassroots Trust to help purchase a new floor and uneven bars.

Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles competed on the centre's new floor at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart.

Omni Gymnastics Centre Manager Adrian McMillan said he hopes the equipment's professional users entice the region's youngsters back to the sport.


"We've seen a reduction on registrations at the centre of about 30 per cent compared to the same time last year," he said.

"What makes the floor and uneven bars so special are that both were used in Stuttgart, where countries like USA, Russia, China, Great Britain, Japan and France competed.

"But, what gets the girls most excited is knowing that Simone Biles has been on this equipment."

The 23-year-old is the most decorated American gymnast and the world's third most decorated gymnast of all time, with a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals.

The new floor and uneven bars, which are now installed, cost a total of $105,000 to purchase.

McMillan said securing the new equipment was years in the planning.

"Partway through 2019, Gymnastics New Zealand secured the rights to hold Pacific Rim 2020 Gymnastics Championships here in New Zealand," he said.

"The committee decided this was a great opportunity to purchase a new floor and set of uneven bars and thankfully, with the support of Grassroots Trust, we were able to accomplish this. Then Covid-19 happened."


Pacific Rim 2020 Gymnastics Championships was postponed due to the pandemic.

"But, the excitement of the kids is coming back and has just been overwhelming recently," he said. "Everyone has missed being at gym.

"The floor is set to be used for our recreational programme, competitive programme and schools programmes."

The centre manager said he expects to between 1000 and 1500 children go through the facility each term.