Eighteen members of the Woking Boys Squad made the journey to Ipswich to compete in the Pipers Vale Challenge. This voluntary competition is one of the largest events in the calendar, with over 400 gymnasts taking part across the three days.
The long weekend started with the U8 competition. Woking entered six gymnasts, and for many of them it was their first six-piece competition. There were lots of positive comments from coaches and judges alike as the boys, in their new kit, completed their routines with style. Jake Palmer came out on top, winning the all-around title and bringing home several apparatus medals. His complex routines were performed with confidence and precision, this was highlighted in his P-bar routine where he lost just 0.1 to take home the gold medal. Team mate Ben Porter can be equally proud of his performances, he delivered six routines without major mistake to take home the bronze medal in the all-around, along with three additional apparatus medals. Jay Coote (11th) and Max Veo-Creek (17th) also had clean competitions and did well to finish in the top 20 amongst tough competition. Hayden Blackmun (37th) and Harrison Lamble (39th) looked good in places but some large errors proved costly and hopefully this competition will allow them to learn from their mistakes.
With the second round came the turn of the u16 and u12 competition. In the u16s, Woking’s team of four gymnasts came away with four medals. Rudi Moriano had a great competition, finishing 5th AA and picking up medals on the Pommel and P-bars. Just behind him was Laurence Butler who made mistakes but still managed to finish 6th and pick up a medal on the rings. 7th place went to Christian Fuoco who suffered a couple of falls. Despite falling in the H-bar warm up, Charlie Rose showed tremendous character to get up and finish his competition. He was to leave the competition with a silver medal on rings and his fractured ankle in an air boot!
Dylan O’Rourke was the sole Woking representative in the U12 competition. He was able show the judges his improved routines without falling, earning himself a 6th place finish and a bronze medal on rings. It is hoped this experience will fill him with confidence to help him flourish in the latter part of the competition season.
Saturday morning started early with the U9 competition. Lucas Henry went clean and finished 11th. While James Nott, in his very first external competition, will have gained invaluable experience. Apart from a fall on pommel, he completed his routines well and can be pleased with his overall performance.
Over 90 boys took part in the U10 competition and the standard was very high. Oliver Porter was the highest placed Woking gymnast, despite a couple of wobbles he finished in 5th place AA and won a silver medal on P-Bars. Jamaal Kashim was neat and tidy but limited by his lack of difficulty so can be proud of his 18th place finish. Aidy Jarred (34th) and Tristan Lamble (63rd) looked good but need to knuckle down in the gym if they want to move up the rankings.
The final day of competition saw James Miller compete in the U18 competition. He hit all six of his routines and did well to finish in 5th place.
Overall it was a great weekend for WGC, well done to all the gymnasts that took part and thanks to the parents and coaches for their continued support.