World Championships - Wroclaw, Poland June 2010
Silver Medalists, Fran, Becky and Freya
Laura, Vicky, Emma GOLD
Melissa, Ava, Aysha GOLD
Rowan, Kirsten GOLD
James, Katie GOLD
Korben, Will 11th
Write up to follow shortly
NDP National Finals May 15th / 16th 2010
Eleven gymnasts arrived at Stoke on Trent
on Friday, full of anticipation and excitement of the competition ahead. The
build up had gone very well and everyone was feeling physically fit and mentally ready for the event ahead.
Gabrielle and Siobhan and Steph and Emerald
started the competition off, competing on the Saturday, whilst Cosette, Sophie, James, Katie, Laura, Vicky and Emma had a
nervous wait until their turn on the Sunday! The venue was packed which added
to the atmosphere and by the time the National Anthem was playing, nerves were high in both the arena and the warm up gym
as the first competitors waited to go on.
Gabrielle and Siobhan were happy that they were
competing balance first and looked stunning as they warmed up, the moves looking beautiful and effortless which is the sign
of good preparation. Both girls had worked really hard on their dance and in
particular their expression and this new found confidence was evident and made such a difference to their self esteem and
self belief. After some encouraging words the girls were ready to perform and
hid any nerves well as they marched into their starting positions. The routine
was outstanding and apart from a slip on the entry into the last move, technically very good.
The dance was dynamic and strong and the interpretation of the music excellent.
Siobhan was upset about the slight error, however after a few encouraging words, soon realised how well they had done,
being over 1 whole mark ahead of their next competitors.
Steph and Emerald were next to perform and after
an excellent warm up, where all eyes were on them with their beautiful Mexican handstands, they were standing ready to go
on. Their routine is mesmerising and the precision of their shapes and their
control within all their moves makes it beautiful to watch. The girl’s
similar somatotypes and colouring all helped with the overall impression and though we all knew they would be heavily deducted
for mass and maturity, the artistry marks reflected the quality of their performance.
Again, another small error at the end of the routine shows that it is very important not to relax concentration until
you are in the kiss and cry area and is worthy of a conversation with everyone back at the gym. Going into the afternoon, the girls were a few clear marks ahead of the rest of the field and were quite
rightly, very happy.
in first position to perform your final routine is never easy, as the gold medal is within your grasp, but still seems a long
way away and this was the position both partnerships were in. The pressure is
on to go clean and for some, this is very tough to handle. Both pairs showed
a lot of courage and professionalism and even though there was the usual Oxford concern about tumbles, they remained focused
and positive. Gabrielle and Siobhan, first to perform, were amazing and there
was no way they were going to let that gold medal go!! Both tumbles were very
good and confident and the moves showed flight and power. The last move,
front angel to back angel was not as precise as they have practiced, but they had clearly done enough to win the Grade 3 event
by over 1 mark which is amazing! Congratulations girls J Steph and Emerald had definitely
benefitted mentally from having the orientation in the morning and were happy that the floor was nice and bouncy for their
flick tucks! They too were not going to let the gold medal go to anyone else
and were quietly determined it was theirs! Again, another excellent routine,
with superb choreography put them marks ahead and that top podium spot was quite rightly theirs. A huge congratulations J and 2
happy coaches and 1 happy coach/judge went back to the hotel that evening!
We warned all the gymnasts that historically, the
grade 1 and 2 competition was very tough and we were definitely right. Deerness,
King Edmund, Wakefield, Harefield and Spelthorne all had gymnasts and are as competitive as we are, so the fight was on (friendly
Cosette and Sophie had a massive chance to
medal, as their routine when performed correctly, was pretty un –deductable, however so were a lot of the other grade
1 Pairs warming up and so it was all to play for. After a nervous start to the
warm up, the girls focus was way beyond their young years and their moves looked technically very good and strong. This was their first time on a National stage and even though their preparation had been excellent, as
coaches, you can never be sure how nerves will affect the performers. The first
routine in their group was very good and scored 27 which was one of the highest marks of the weekend and so the high standard
had been set. The girls were last on which is a good place to be, but makes for
a nervous wait for supporters! Cosette and Sophie didn’t disappoint and
performed outstandingly to score one of the highest marks of the competition. The
gold medal was theirs and all their hard work and 100% effort had paid off and they were the grade 1 champions J A fitting
end to their time as a pair, as they venture into the world of trios! Watch this space..... Well
done girls, you made your coaches very proud!
Laura, Vicky and Emma were the next to perform
and after some quick leotard changes, looked stunning in their new attire! It’s
fair to say that the girls were very nervous and it was hard when the first 3 partnerships had taken the gold medals, not
to feel some pressure. Their warm up went very well and the girls looked well
conditioned and prepared. Emma had worked very hard on her straddle levers and
her leg strength and extension had improved considerably. As the girls marched
onto the floor there was a massive cheer from the Oxford camp as they got into their starting position. This routine suits the girls perfectly and they have worked very hard with their expression which was their
weakest area. The minute the music started, the girls relaxed into the routine
and even though Vicky said she was shaking during the first move, it didn’t show as it was brilliant! All the moves went well and apart from a minor loss of balance on the last move, the routine was technically
very good. Frustratingly for the trio, they came 4th, which is always
difficult, because of just missing out on a medal, however as far as we were concerned, the girls were fantastic and we were
really pleased and proud of how they had done and reminded them that they were now ranked 4th in GB which is amazing. Well done girls J
Our final competitors were James and Katie
who were our newest partnership to qualify for the event. They both looked stunning
in their red and black leotards and looked very well suited together as a mixed pair.
They were not as prepared as we would have liked due to some missed sessions during build up, however, both had worked
extremely hard in the final week and their routine was looking polished. Their
warm up had gone well and although slightly over awed at the situation, looked really confident when performing their moves. When it was time to go through to the arena, after the initial look of panic, both
gymnasts seemed positive and confident about their performance. As soon as the
music started James’s expression was excellent and Katie’s movements sharp and precise. The moves went really well and their timing and choreography showed so much improvement. The judges liked the routine and in a tough field of competitors, James and Katie came a fantastic 5th
which is a top 5 GB ranking. Well done you twoJ
JJJJJCONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE JJJJJ
Inter-Regional Championships - Sunday 25th April
Gold and Bronze!
Southampton gymnastics club was buzzing on Sunday with gymnasts from all over England competing for their regions, all champions
within their own right having qualified to be at the event from their Regional Preliminaries. Representing the South from
Oxford were Kirsten and Rowan, Ava, Melissa and Aysha, Phoebe, Xenia and Nina and Korben and Will.
First to compete were Kirsten and Rowan and its fair to say that nerves were high in the Oxford camp as the first round
of competitors were stretching! One of the hardest things to do is to try and hide your nerves when you are practising on
the competition floor in front of the judges, as ideally you want to appear confident, however this skill comes with experience.
For Rowan and Kirsten, this was only their second ever competition so they did very well to be as calm as they were! When
it came to their routine, both girls were magnificent and performed with style and accuracy. Each balance was under control
and still for the required 3 seconds and the individual elements performed well. We need to work on the sharpness going into
and coming out of moves, as this will improve the overall performance even more, however an excellent effort and a very well
deserved and fantastic 4th place. Congratulations girls!
Next to compete were the grade 1 trio of Ava, Melissa and Aysha. It was always going to be a tough category with the
high number of competitors from Harefield gymnastics academy, but the girls were very focused and driven towards achieving
a well deserved, yet elusive medal. Their warm up went well and was technically sound, with the bases demonstrating good
strength and Aysha achieving extended lines. They appeared quite confident and walked onto the floor to a big cheer! The
girls always deliver a good, solid performance and this competition was no exception. A clean routine, with varied expression
and choreography led to high expectations for a good mark and so the girls and their supporters were understandably disappointed
with their mark in the 24's, which we believe should have been higher. Hopefully next week will be your event trio as you
deserve to be on that podium.
Phoebe, Xenia and Nina were the most focused we've ever seen them and it was obvious that they had come to win the Gold
medal after their disappointing and frustrating 2nd place at the pre-lims. The girls are true professionals when it comes
to the warm up and orientation and act as though they are on the floor performing with their heads held high, causing other
gymnasts to stop and watch them. Looking stunning in their green, gold and silver leotards, they were confident when marching
onto the floor into their starting positions. The minute the music started, the girls shone and apart from a small timing
issue, could not have performed it any better! It was an outstanding performance and 3 very happy gymnasts walked off the
floor, knowing they had done their absolute best. With compliments from another HPC coach from the Harefield academy, we
felt confident for a good mark and yet again were disappointed with a score in the 25's which we knew could easily be beaten.
Luckily for us, no-one beat the score and so the gold was ours which was fantastic for the girls and a fitting end to an amazing
partnership, who as individuals, all have highly successful and exciting futures in Acrobatic gymnastics.
Will and Korben were very excited to be competing again after missing their last competition and excitement levels were
high all day with the thought of possibly getting onto the podium and winning a medal!! It was quite a challenge for the coaches
to try and contain these energy levels and make sure they had a positive effect on performance and not a negative one as was
the danger. Again, its all about experience and the boys are very new to competitive environments and it is all a learning
process. I think the boys would be the first to admit that during their warm ups they did not have as much concentration as
they should have had and this was affecting their performance. After a few stern words and then some team bonding, they went
out there and performed brilliantly with maximum effort and concentration and in a very competitive field of gymnasts, won
the bronze medal which was absolutely wonderful! Both boys have so much style and presence in front of judges and this is
always widely recognised and rewarded when the marks come in. Both boys quite rightly looked so thrilled and proud with their
achievement and it was a great end to a long day!
British Championships March 2010
Gold, Silver, Bronze, 4th
click here to download the full results
It was always going to be an emotionally charged weekend, firstly because the gymnasts knew that qualification into the World
trials and the GB team rested on them finishing in the top four and secondly because it was Rosie's last competition before
retiring. Podium training went well and was very useful, especially for Megan who had to change her tumble at the last minute!
All the gymnasts liked the floor, especially for tumbling on and felt comfortable with the new set out of the arena, so all
was positive going into the event.
Cath, Rosie and Emily were first on of the whole day, which can be quite a challenging position to be in because you set
the standard , however the trio are so experienced that apart from a normal amount of nerves, they took it in their stride
and went out and performed confidently and cleanly. Their dynamic moves showed excellent flight and their choreography was
stylish and sharp; an excellent start! For the trio, the goal was to try and qualify for the final which meant coming in
the top 6 after the dynamic and balance routines and they knew with the quality and experience they were up against, this
would be a tough challenge. Their balance routine went very well and the moves were solid and performed with good execution
and extension. A good score put them in 6th place overall which meant qualification into the next day and the combined final.
A fantastic achievement and well deserved. The trio's combined routine took on a more contemporary style and wearing the
cat suits, the whole thing looked stunning, which was reflected in the artistry marks which were in the 9's. Cath, Rosie
and Emily look so good on the floor together and their expression and dance ability always score highly and that added to
their acro elements gave them an amazing final 4th place! It was such a great and deserved end to an absolutely remarkable
partnership between Rosie and Cath and there were lots of happy and sad tears shed in recognition of this achievement.
Chris and Beth had a tough field to compete against and couldn't afford to make any mistakes if they wanted to be contenders
for a medal. Usual warm up room nerves affected their 1 arm handstand, however they soon calmed down and the move became
secure again. Time went quickly and they were soon waiting to present to the judges. It was important that Chris and Beth
performed with expression to lift their artistry score and this is one area that they have been working really hard on at
the gym. They didn't let themselves down and danced their socks off with more expression than we've ever seen them do before
and this added to the stability of their moves gave them an excellent mark and a fantastic 2nd place going into the dynamic
round. The dynamic moves in Chris and Beth's routine have been going really well in training and it was fair to say that
they were quietly confident with what they were doing. Their tumbles had been more of a concern with steps on landing and
it was this the pair were determined to land cleanly. The routine went really well with the moves showing flight in tight,
accurate shapes. The first tumble they both nailed, however there is still work needed on the second run with a couple of
steps losing vital point one's. Even so, an excellent score secured their 2nd place going into the next days final, a fantastic
achievement from both of them and most definitely their most successful competition so far. The combined routine is very
powerful and both gymnasts were in good spirits going into their final performance. They performed with energy and style
and were elated when they came off the floor, with everything having gone well. Its fair to say that they were slightly disappointed
with their artistry marks, however their technical marks were excellent and a happy Chris and Beth left the arena. In the
end it was a tie for second place between us and Wakefield, however because we were 0.05 lower in the technical marks, the
rules state that we had to drop to third place. Although this was disappointing, especially as they had been in 2nd place
all the way through, it was still a fantastic achievement and good place to be in, going into the trials, with everything
to play for. Congratulations to you both.
The 11-16 category was huge and with no final, only the overall top 4 partnerships would go through. It was going to be a
fight for the top positions because the accessibility of the 11-16 code meant amongst the top half, very few mistakes would
be made. Megan and Becky were first up with their dynamic routine which they were slightly apprehensive about because of
not having practiced it with the music after the emergency change of tumble. They needn't of worried and performed a very
good first routine with solid landings and flight and with excellent dance and expression. This gave them a high score in
the 28's and put them into 4th place going into the next routine. The balance routine is their favourite and with their closed
leg Mexican opening, it looks stunning. Both girls put everything into their performance and came out with a fantastic 28.350,
which put them into an amazing 2nd place and silver medal. Well done girls! Rebecca, Fran and Freya were probably the most
nervous of our competitors, having been together for the shortest time. Unusually for groups, they started with their balance
routine, which definitely worked in the girls favour because they went out and performed beautifully with full extension and
expression and immediately went into first place which quite rightly boosted their confidence. With their unusual first balance
and 2 very nice straddle ups in the routine they certainly had the edge over their competitors in that round and if they could
hold it together for the next day, things promised to be very exciting. Nerves were very high on Sunday morning as the girls
felt the pressure of being in the lead and the need for a clean, solid dynamic routine to maintain it and hopefully get them
the gold medal. The warm up went well and after a long wait the girls marched on to perform. The minute the music started
, nerves disappeared and they were brilliant, performing their tumble the best we'd ever seen. Two and a half minutes later
a relieved trio were sat in kiss and cry waiting for their score and after an anxious wait and a wrong score they finally
received 28.450 and the Gold medal! A fabulous achievement and fantastic end to a highly successful weekend. Congratulations
to you all!
Southern Region Prelims - March 2010
click here to download floor results
Prep A and B
There was a buzz of excitement in the warm up gym as the
gymnasts warmed up for the prep A and B event, for many like Rowan and Kirsten,
this was their first competition and so it was an important day. The top 3 places
would qualify for the Inter
Regional competition as part of the Southern region team so there was a lot to
work for. It’s fair to say that Rowan
and Kirsten were very nervous and needed reminding that they needed to look
confident with their heads held high, even if they were scared inside. Their warm
up went very well and it was soon
their turn in front of the judges. The
girls performed superbly and you would never have guessed it was their first
competition because they did exactly as they had been asked and smiled and kept
their heads held high. All the moves
held without a wobble for 3 seconds and the girls marched off the floor with
huge grins knowing they had performed the routine the best they had ever done
it. A fantastic silver medal was theirs
and a place in the Southern Region team for the inter-regional event! Congratulations
NDP Grades 1-4
It was the most important competition in the NDP calendar
because a place in the Nationals was on offer and so nerves were initially high
in the Oxford
camp as this is what the gymnasts had worked so hard to achieve. There was a quiet
determination and as the
gymnasts prepared for their routine there was a strong focus on perfection from
the performers and coaches and as always, the self-confidence started to
overtake the nerves as the moves went well and looked and felt good. Without
exception when the Oxford
gymnasts went onto the floor for their orientation, they all oozed confidence and
presence with their expression and obvious physical preparation. With the
warm-ups over, all that was left was for the gymnasts to go out and perform
their best when it mattered! The new
partnership of James and Katie started Oxford
off and performed brilliantly and cleanly and took the first gold of the
competition and a place in the national finals!
Laura, Vicky and Emma followed with a fantastic routine to take the
second gold and the important place in the finals. Cosette and Sophie who have
worked so hard
for this comp had the coaches hearts racing after a uncharacteristic mistake
which could have cost them the competition, but their professionalism at
performing the rest of the routine faultlessly as if the mistake never happened
gave them the gold and the place at the Nationals that they fully
deserved. Gabrielle and Siobhan
performed 2 stunning routines to take the Grade 3 title and their Nationals
place and the hard work they had put in during the build up period really
showed in the quality of their performance.
Steph and Emerald were the only ones in their grade 4 event, however
this is sometimes worse than having competitors because you are under a lot of
pressure to go clean and feel you really deserve your gold medal place. The girls
had everyone’s eyes on them as they
performed, their elegance and technical skill outstanding and showing that they
fully earned their place in the Nationals in May. Finally the level 1 Women’s
was always going to be a tough event because the standard is high across the
region. Ava, Melissa and Aysha performed
a technically clean routine and their performance skills were so much improved
and more confident than their last competition and that was great to see. They
disappointingly missed out on a medal by
coming 4th however earned their place on the southern region team
for the Inter regional event which is a fantastic achievement. The young trio
of Phoebe, Xenia and Nina were desperate to perform in
the National Championships. We say to all
of our gymnasts that as coaches we can prepare you to perform to the best of
your ability at competition, however when you march out onto the floor, its up
to you. They marched out in front of the judges determined to perform their
absolute best which is all we as coaches can ask for and they didn’t
disappoint. They were outstanding and
performed technically the best routine we’d ever seen. We were disappointed
and confused with their
score which put them into joint first with another group and as the rules state
in the event of a tie, the partnership with the highest technical score
win. This is always difficult for either
partnership and unfortunately for us, we came second. We had a chat with Phoebe,
Xenia and Nina and they are aware of how
fantastic we feel they performed and that they have done us proud. The professionalism
they showed despite this
huge disappointment was way beyond their young years and all we can say is that
their time will come and it will make it all the more special and deserved.
A fantastic day with fantastic performances –
King Edmund Invitational - 30/31st Jan 2010
5 Golds, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze and NDP team trophy!
It was a fantastic weekend at Bristol and the competition with its friendly atmosphere and high standard is proving to be
a favourite of ours to compete in.
A change in structure this year meant that the NDP and FIG gymnasts competed over the same weekend and a team competition
was introduced. Unfortunately we were one partnership short for the FIG team event, but we entered a strong NDP team who
we had high hopes for!
The NDP team started off strongly with Cosette and Sophie performing a stunning routine which won them the gold trophy.
They always are consistently good and with beautiful legs and toes, control and expression, have a special quality on the
floor which judges love.
Our FIG competitors started with Chris and Beth who were up against tough opposition from the mixed pair from Russia and
the Bromley Valley pair that pushed them into 4th place at the British Tournament. They performed well and their confidence
with their choreography is improving each time they step on the floor. A technically difficult routine starting with a one
arm handstand was clean and put them into 2nd place behind Russia. Their dynamic routine went equally as well with a new
move added which they performed cleanly and with ease. They maintained their 2nd position going into the final. A clean
combined routine gave them the silver medal which they really deserved, although there's still a lot of work to do before
their next competition.
Cath, Rosie and Emily made their début at Junior, performing just a dynamic routine and although it was their first competition,
were working from a 9.9 tariff which was impressive. Nerves were high as the girls felt under pressure after being so successful
at 11-16 and an uncharacteristic mistake was made in the first move and link. True professionals as they are though, they
went on to perform the rest of the routine very well and scored highly putting them into 1st place. They repeated the same
routine in the afternoon and it was like watching a different trio on the floor. The dance and moves were far more confident
and the girls came off the floor delighted with their scores and performance.
Steph and Emerald performed for the first time with 2 NDP 4 routines and no-one would have guessed that they were a relatively
new partnership. They performed their balance routine with style and grace and with Emeralds flexibility and Steph's strength,
caught the attention of the coaches around them. There were more nerves concerning the dynamic routine with the dreaded tumbles,
but the girls went out there determined to perform a clean routine and that's what they did. They fully deserved their winners
Phoebe, Xenia and Nina carried on the strong NDP team competition and performed an excellent routine with beautiful expression
and dance, but had a nervous wait at the end to see how they had done after a slight error at the end. The girls command
the floor well and are technically excellent for their young ages and now just have to learn how to keep the high level of
concentration needed for the whole routine. They were delighted to win their trophy and the team title was on course!
It was James and Abi's last competition together and they went out in style, performing the best routine they have ever
done! The moves, dance and expression were excellent and really showed how much they had both grown as performers. The Gold
medal was theirs and was very well deserved and earned!
Becky and Megan were the first of the 11-16 partnerships to perform and along with Fran's trio, had the added pressure
of the National Coach and Chair of Acrobatics watching them as possible contenders for the GB world championship team. Their
static routine is very fast, with intricate steps and they performed this with energy and style, putting everything into it.
They scored very highly, getting in the 28's which is fantastic, however both girls left the floor disappointed after a couple
of unusual errors and determined that their dynamic routine would be better. The routine was a winner with the judges and
again, the girl's energy and performance quality was outstanding. The tumbles which had been a weakness were performed with
confidence, however another error meant the girls had to settle with the bronze behind the mixed pair from Harefield and the
mens pair from King Edmund. This was excellent preparation for the British and an invaluable experience from which to learn
and build from.
Rebecca, Fran and Freya were very nervous before their balance routine and as a new partnership, this was only their 2nd
comp. The girls had been working hard with their choreography and this showed as they were far more confident, polished and
elegant when performing. Freya's beautiful extension means that their moves were technically near perfect and they were in
1st position after this routine. The dynamic routine was more worrying for the trio because of the tumbles, however after
they went well in the warm-up and performed them without needing support for the first one, they felt slightly more confident!
The routine is amazing on the floor and a real crowd pleaser! The girls danced beautifully and performed a clean routine
and with only a slight stumble in the tumbles, came away with a well deserved silver medal behind the Spelthorne mens four.
Sunday's competition proved to be just as exciting and started with the new partnership of Gabrielle and Siobhan. The
2 girls had only recently been a pair after Katie left and had to learn their moves and 2 routines in a very short period
of time. However, looking at them on the floor, you would have thought they had been together for years as they performed
both routines cleanly and with beauty and style. The static routine was stunning with the balances clean and without movement.
Both girls have grown in confidence with their dancing skills and expression and this was evident when watching them perform.
The dynamic routine which again was difficult because of lack of confidence with tumbles went brilliantly and after both
girls landed their front somis, you could see them visibly relax and enjoy the rest of the routine! The gold medal was theirs!
Vicky, Laura and Emma were our grade 2 participants and had a long wait over the weekend before they could perform. The
trio had a good warm up and their dance and use of floor looked good. They had been having a few problems during training
with their first move and the girls were anxious about it because due to injury and the snow, they had not been able to train
as much. The move was not up to their usual standard, but they went on and performed the rest of the routine brilliantly,
nailing every balance and dancing beautifully and winning the bronze medal despite the error.
Finally we did not think Will and Korben were going to compete because Will had been very ill on Saturday and was not
well enough to get out of bed. On Sunday he felt a bit better and after speaking to the organisers, they agreed to let them
perform whenever they could get there. As soon as they arrived, they literally were straight on the floor doing their warm-up
and were ready to compete. There were a few nerves from the parents camp about how the boys would cope and perform, however
the boys were amazing and like true professionals, performed one of the best routines they had ever done. No-one would ever
have guessed that Will was not 100% and at the end of the routine, the cheer was phenomenal and well deserved!! The boys
came a very credible 4th place, missing out on the bronze medal by 0.03, however they were true winners in our eyes.
Finally to end a fantastic weekend, we won the NDP team event, winning £150 for the club! Well done and thank you to