With many of our men’s artistic squad putting so much time and energy in to preparing for the national grades finals a few weeks ago, only five of our gymnasts attended this year’s Pipers Vale competition.
This event was condensed from its usual weekend running order in to one day of intense competition. The second round saw under 10’s Caden O’Shea and Eden Marlow compete in their first ever competition, having missed out on the grades finals by finishing outside the top 6 at qualifiers. A strong start on the horizontal bar for the boys was followed by some good, clean routines on subsequent pieces. Rings proved to be a stumbling block for the pair with a few costly mistakes but they recovered well and showed great determination, putting in a comfortable performance on the vault. Overall Eden scored 56.15 (16th) and Caden finished on 63.70 (13th). This was a valuable experience for the pair, learning about the pressures of a competition environment and how to bounce back after a mistake.
The final round of the day saw Oscar Mitchell, Jay Coote and Max Veo-Creek all competing in the under 12’s category. Max had a good competition despite recording a fall attempting a new vault and finished 7th with a score of 69.40. He recovered well from his frustrations and put in a strong score on parallel bars, finishing just 0.05 marks off the bronze medal. Oscar proved his excellent vault at the Club Grades was no fluke, losing just 0.10 in deductions to score 11.50, which rewarded him with the bronze medal. With a clean competition he scored 69.25 overall, finishing 9th. The top performer of the day was Jay Coote who also had a clean competition. His standout performance on rings (11.90 scored) won him the gold medal on that apparatus and his 12.10 on horizontal bar earned him the bronze. Overall he scored 70.15, finishing 5th.
Pipers Vale is always a great competition to go out and try some new skills and gain experience and this year was no different. Plenty of lessons learnt for our newer competitors and some confidence building performances for all. With this being the last competition in the 2021 calendar we are thoroughly looking forward to a productive winter period of learning and refining skills ready for next year’s competitions.
Guildford Spectrum hosted the highly anticipated British Championships on the weekend of 27/28th November. With having a gap year in 2020 the expectations were high, and more than 150 girls spread across three levels – Espoir, Junior and Senior – were eager to show off what they had been working on over the last year.
It had been a long while since Woking Gymnastics Club last fielded any female gymnasts at this prestigious event and all eyes were on our very own Annabella Higgins and Isabelle Millen competing in the Espoir section.
A steady start on Bars set the tone for the day, with a clean routine for Izzie and a minor mistake from Annabella. Next up was beam: a piece which tends to either make or break the competition. Unfortunately, Beam did not turn out the way Annabella was hoping for, but she showed her classy work and posted one of the highest start scores across the whole competition. Izzie managed to show her upgraded routine with poise and style, only a minor mistake on her acrobatic series prevented her from being up near the top of rankings. Both girls re-grouped on Floor, where Izzie displayed a great mixture of power and elegance to wow the judges, where she earned the 6th highest execution score on Floor. Solid Vaults from both Izzie and Annabella, saw them finishing with a total of 41.900 point for Izzie and 38.400 for Annabella.
A great display from the girls after a very challenging year!
Well done Team Woking and massive thank you to all the gymnasts and parents who came to support us!
Eight of our men’s artistic squad gymnasts were selected to represent the South East region at The National Finals in Telford.
The event began on Friday with Oscar Mitchell, Fionn Kelly and Declan Freeman competing in their first ever external competition. Oscar enjoyed a clean competition in the Club Level 3 category concluding with a particularly impressive 9.900 score on the vault. He scored 60.200 overall - enough for 27th place.
In the Club Level 1 competition, Fionn Kelly performed a beautiful PPP routine scoring 9.700: the third highest score of the competition. His all-around total of 62.850 put him in thirteenth place. Woking’s top performer for the day was Declan. He produced seven clean routines and his total of 63.700 earnt him the seventh place spot. As a result, Declan - along with his coach Steve - have been invited to attend the National Club Reward Camp at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. Here, they will get to use the same facilities as our Olympic team and train with the GB coaches - a fantastic reward for all their hard work.
Saturday morning began with the Club Level 4 competition. After a two year break from competition, Jay Coote made a shaky start on his least favored piece of apparatus – the PPP. With each apparatus he grew in confidence and finished his competition with a brilliant 9.700 score on the H-Bar. His total of 56.600 (28th) helped the South East Team to a Bronze medal.
Ben Porter was competing in the Elite Level 4 competition. Despite early errors on the P-Bars, Ben produced excellent routines. He was judged best in four out of the seven apparatus, including a perfect 10.000 on the vault! He finished the competition in second place (63.000), just 0.04 behind the national champion.
Oliver Porter was one of only five gymnasts able to compete in the Elite Level 6 competition. The routines at this level are tough and this was reflected in the performance of the gymnasts. That said, Oli can be pleased that he landed his vault for the first time ever and scored a great 9.750 on PPP. He took home the bronze medal in the all-around competition. Both Oli and Ben have been invited to the National Squad testing day to try and retain their spots in GB squad.
The competition concluded on Sunday with the Elite Level 1 category. Mac Griffiths and Xavier Barau-Wilding were understandably nervous about competing in their first competition. They were part of the South East Team that finished just outside the medals in fourth place. Individually, they finished 28th and 32nd respectively.
It was great to be back in competition after such a long break. Well done to all the gymnasts and coaches for all your efforts.
Full results can be found on the BG website.
The weekend of 30th/31st October saw the second instalment of the 2021 South East Regional Championships. The focus this time around was on those participating in the Zinc competition, as well as a few other gymnasts, competing across various levels, that had been unable to compete back in September. For the vast majority of the gymnasts, this was their first competitive action for over 18 months but with the quality on display, you’d have been forgiven for believing otherwise. Five gymnasts were representing Woking at these championships: Bella-Rae Cheeseman-Wheeler, Jessica Donnelly, Rayaan Hussain, Mia Vernon and Maggie Rees.
At a time of the year renowned for spooks and scares, the Woking girls provided only treats as they stole the show, bringing home multiple medals to cap off an immensely successful competition season for the Women’s Artistic Squad. In the team event, Bella, Jess, Rayaan and Mia combined superbly to deliver the silver medal. Next came the All-Around presentations where Jess, scoring an impressive 44.500, was awarded 6th place overall, followed by Bella in 4th with a total of 44.650 which was just a whisker away from a podium finish. But Woking weren’t done there as, with a tremendous score of 45.800, Mia Vernon took the top step on the podium and with it, the gold medal, meaning Woking took up half of the places inside the top 6. In the individual events, the girls shone even brighter with Bella earning a bronze medal scoring 11.950 and Mia finishing just outside the medals in 4th. Mia once again made the trip on to the podium to claim silver on bars with a score of 11.300 and Jess rounded the presentations off superbly as she won a much-deserved gold medal on beam, scoring 11.550 with Mia once again featuring, this time in 6th position.
The afternoon saw the turn of Maggie Rees, competing in the Compulsory 3 level. Maggie, only back in training for a short time prior to the competition following an elbow injury, put on a fantastic display scoring a very commendable 48.400, narrowly missing out on the coveted pass mark. With plenty of positives to take away, namely being able to put full routines together after a frustrating injury, as well as performing one of her best R&C routines, the competition served as a great measuring stick for Maggie as she looks ahead to her next competition.
Overall, a very happy Halloween for the Woking girls’ squad which marked a very successful return to the competition arena following the disruption of the past 18 months. A big thankyou to all the coaches, parents and supporting gymnasts who cheered on throughout the competition. Go Team Woking!
Stoke-on-Trent once again hosted the National Compulsory Level 2 Finals on the weekend of 2/3rd October, which was also a qualifier for the coveted British Championships, set to take place later in the year. Packed with nearly 150 gymnasts trying to score over 54.500 points across five pieces to move up to the elite “British” club, the competition was going to be fierce.
On Saturday in Round 1 representing Woking GC, were Farah Rothwell, Annabella Higgins and Isabelle Millen. It’s not easy to start with Range & Conditioning, a piece where you must show a mix of strength, balance and flexibility, but the girls delivered a superb performance with Annabella scoring whopping 12.10 and finishing inside the top 20 on this piece.
Next up was Vault where all three girls delivered solid performances, followed by Bars, where once again Annabella Higgins showing tremendous work earning another 12 + score and getting complimented by the National coaches for her performance on this piece.
Having had a bit of wobble on Bars, Izzie Millen and Farah Rothwell knew they had to hold their nerve on Beam to deliver clean routines and that’s exactly what they did. Composed, solid work earned enough to stay on track with their target scores.
However, it wasn’t over yet and there was still work to be done on Floor to decide whether they would hit the 54.50 total and earn the right to perform at the biggest domestic competition: The British Championships. First up was Annabella who, showing her natural elegance combined with good tumbling skills, scored 10.600 resulting in a total of 55.300 All Around and with it, a place at the British. Next up was Izzie and there is no other word to describe her routine but masterpiece. Her tremendous showing also dazzled the judges, who rewarded her routine with a score of 11.950 meaning she ended up in the top 15 on this apparatus and finished with a total of 55.425, joining Annabella in qualifying for the British. Last but not least was Farah whose natural power and poise gained her a score of 11.700 on Floor and an All Around score of 54.850, meaning all three girls scored enough to qualify for the illustrious British Championships.
A massive congratulations to the girls whose hard work, dedication and determination culminated in fantastic results, meaning they will now compete alongside Olympic medalists on the biggest domestic stage at The British Championships.
Good luck for The British Championships, Team Woking!
The South East Regional Championships took place across the weekend of 18th/19th September at Guildford Spectrum. Just shy of 150 gymnasts were competing, 8 of whom represented Woking, in what was the first regional competition for more than 18 months.
The first action of the weekend was the ‘Copper’ competition which, due to the large number of competitors, was split across two rounds. There were 5 gymnasts from Woking competing in round 2 at this level: Kimberley Ly, Zara Naidu, Shannah Culwick, Julia Hamasaki-Colombini and Heidi Woodhatch. Each of the girls performed exceptionally, showing great composure and elegance across all pieces, with their hard work and dedication over this challenging period coming to fruition as they won silver in the team event. But the success didn’t end there for these girls as they also recorded a further 6 individual medals. The first of these was 3rd place all around for Kimberley, with Zara finishing 4th. Next came the individual apparatus medals, where Kimberley won gold on vault to give her a full set of medals, with Zara and Julia finishing just outside the medals in 5th and 6th respectively. On beam it was Zara who would take the top step on the podium to earn herself gold, joined by her teammates Julia and Kimberley who finished joint 3rd. The last of the medal presentations were for floor, where Heidi topped the scores to win gold, with Kimberley finishing 6th, meaning Woking girls had won gold in 3 of the 4 individual apparatus events. A fantastic return to competition from all of them, doing their club immensely proud!
Next up for Woking was round 6 on Sunday, which saw the turn of Farah Rothwell, Annabella Higgins and Isabelle Millen in the Compulsory 2 event. This event was the practice run before their national finals at the start of October. Despite the nature of this particular competition, and having not competed for quite some time, the girls delivered a superb performance culminating in a team bronze medal, meaning every Woking gymnast competing at these championships left with a medal. Annabella and Izzie finished the competition with scores of 56.750 and 55.975 respectively, both passing with flying colours. Annabella also took the accolades for 1st place in Range & Conditioning, as well as 2nd on bars. Farah, competing for the first time in 3 years and also carrying an injury, mustered 5 outstanding routines to score 51.900, narrowly missing the pass mark. These 3 will head to Stoke-on-Trent in a couple of weeks for their main event, buoyed by the results from this competition, hoping to hit the pass mark to qualify for the British Championships in November.
After nearly two years without competitions, eight of our Men’s Artistic Squad travelled to the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff to take part in the British Championships.
The weekend began with the Under 16 competition. Joel Ireland competed his Healy on P-Bars for the first time, but mistakes across the other apparatus proved costly as he finished in 39th place. Not long back from injury, it was a similar story for Josh Porter; whilst clearly disappointed with his 24th place finish, he can be proud of a solid H-bar routine and upgraded vault. Sarp Orbay enjoyed a great day amongst a tough field. Despite a fall on P-Bars, Sarp’s improved routines were enough for him to score over 70 for the first time and cement a top 10 finish.
With Saturday morning came the turn of the U18s. Christian Fuoco’s preparation had been hindered by a positive COVID result but he showed great determination to compete across all six apparatus and even found the courage to complete his double back dismount off H-Bar. Christian finished the day in 19th place AA. Also competing was Charlie Rose, nerves got the better of Charlie in the early stages of his Pommel routine but he was able to perform an impressive Flair Magyar. He composed himself for rings, performing a tidy routine with just over a mark in deductions.
The showpiece event of the weekend was the senior competition. With all of the team from Tokyo taking a well-earned break; the door was open to crown a new British Champion. Unfortunately it was not the day Jamie Lewis had hoped for. Whilst he showed flashes of brilliance, a number of errors and falls condemned him down into 9th place. Fraser Griffiths had a mixed day, making mistakes on Pommels and Floor, but going clean on P-bars and Vault. Fraser demonstrated great attitude and team spirit to motivate everyone around him. Tim McCarthy can be pleased with his performances as he bounced back from a fall on P-Bars to perform good routines on Pommels and Vault.
Injuries are unfortunately a part of our sport, and our thoughts are with Rudi Moriano and Jasper Smith-Gordon who had to withdraw before the competition due to injuries sustained in training. Jasper has undergone surgery for a ruptured Achilles and we send him our best wishes as he recovers at University in America. Rudi’s injury was fortunately not as severe and he was able to attend the competition as a spectator. His support throughout the day was very much appreciated. Well done to all the gymnasts and coaches. Full results and videos of the routines are available on the BG score app.
On the 9th of February 2020, our Floor and Vault competitive gymnasts competed at the Surrey Tumble and Trampette competition. It was a very successful day for our Woking gymnasts taking home a total of 35 medals throughout the day meaning that over 70% of the Woking gymnasts stood on the podium!
Clara, who competes in the Novice category, was the youngest gymnast of the day to take home the gold! We had our Intermediate level gymnasts; Tom, Harry, Charles, Finley, Freya take home gold medals as well as our Advanced, Bronze, Silver and Gold gymnasts; Jamie, Mabel, James, Max and Laila stand on that top podium! The other gymnasts that were awarded medals are:
Silver: Rhys, Tamara, Leo, Olivia P, Keira, Poppy, Scarlett, John, Josie, Oscar, Archie, Georgina, Libby and Josie
Bronze: Sophia, Olivia K, Callie, Amelie, Gracie, Ethan, Jack L, Jack D
We are so proud of all our gymnasts that competed on the day and hope that their success will continue in the upcoming Floor and Vault competitions.
Twelve of Woking’s Boys Squad qualified to represent the South East Region at this year’s National Elite and Club Grades Finals in Birmingham.
The weekend started with the Club Level 6 competition. Sarp Orbay and Joel Ireland both enjoyed good competitions, performing all their routines without major error. The two of them could only just be separated, Sarp (7th) beat Joel (9th) by just 0.05 but together their scores summated to earn the South East team a Bronze medal.
Tom O’Connor was Woking’s sole representative in the Club level 5 competition. He performed routine after routine with technical mastery and style to score an impressive 65.800 and won the competition. In addition to his gold medal, Tom was awarded an invite to the club development reward camp.
Saturday morning started with the club level 4 competition. Jamaal Kashim helped his team to a bronze medal with his stellar performance. Scoring 63.350, Jamaal finished the competition in 6th place and will also join Tom at the club development reward camp.
In his first appearance at National finals, Hayden Blackmun contributed to his team’s gold medal in the club level 2 competition. The standard was high, and Hayden’s score of 61.400 put him in 36th place out of the 63 competitors.
Saturday concluded with the start of the elite competition. Alex Donchev had a mixed day in the Elite level 5 competition. Despite sticking his handspring front somersault vault and performing a good h-bar routine, falls on the other apparatus proved costly as he slipped down to 12th place in the standings. Oliver Porter was competing in the Elite level 4 competition. He was the top scorer on pommel horse but made mistakes on PPP and Rings causing him to narrowly miss out on a podium position and finish in 4th place AA (62.050). This was enough to earn him an invite to the GB squad selection day in December. He will be joined at this day by his older brother Josh Porter. Josh was competing in his final level of the elite grades competition and can be pleased with his 5th place finish helping the South East team to win the bronze medal at Elite level 6.
With Sunday morning came the turn of the Elite Level 2 competition. Woking had four members of the six man team. Jay Coote competed on just five apparatus due to injury, he scored 33.150 AA. Harrison Lamble helped the team with good performances on Floor and PPP, his AA score of 54.000 put him in 31st place. Team mate Max Veo-Creek enjoyed a good day at his first national finals including a 9.850 score on vault. Max finished in 29th position (55.350). The standout performance of the day was by Ben Porter. He delivered seven clean routines including two scores of 9.900 on Vault and H-Bar. Ben finished the competition in third place (64.750), he will join his two older brothers at the National Squad Selection Day as he hopes to gain a place in the GB Foundation Squad for 2020. Collectively, the South East team were winners of the silver medal.
A great weekend for Woking and the South East team concluded with the Region being awarded the Blakeborough Trophy recognising us as the most successful region across the Elite Grades competition. Well done to all involved.
Thirteen members of our boys’ squad travelled to Pegasus Gymnastics Club to compete in the South East Grades qualifier. With gymnast entered across nine different categories, it was a busy morning for our coaches but the gymnasts delivered with some good routines. Ben Porter was competing in the elite level 2 category and registered the highest AA total across all the age groups, his score of 65.467 ensured he took home the gold medal and was crowned regional champion. Four other gymnasts were also awarded the title of regional champion in their respective age categories; Oliver Porter (elite level 4), Thomas O’Connor (club level 5), Alex Donchev (elite level 5), and Sarp Orbay (club level 6). There were silver medals for Josh Porter (elite level 6), Joel Ireland (club level 6) and Jamaal Kashim (club level 4). All in all, Woking qualified thirteen gymnasts for the national finals in November, more than any other club in the region. Well done to all the boys who competed, the list of qualifiers is shown below.
Elite level 1- James Fricker
Elite level 2- Ben Porter, Max Veo-Creek, Jay Coote, Harrison Lamble
Elite level 4- Oliver Porter
Elite level 5- Alex Donchev
Elite level 6- Josh Porter
Club level 2- Hayden Blackmun
Club level 4- Jamaal Kashim
Club level 5- Thomas O’Connor
Club level 6- Sarp Orbay, Joel Ireland