Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th April was an important weekend for the U10 & U12 boys in our Men’s Artistic Squad. It marked the first competition of the year for this younger generation of gymnasts and provided an excellent opportunity for them to build upon their maiden year in competition last year. 7 boys made their way to Ipswich for the annual Piper’s Vale Challenge.
Saturday saw the U10’s in action in their first ever voluntary competition with 4 boys taking to the arena in the afternoon. Xavier Barua-Wilding was the highest scorer of the four, finishing 18th with an overall score of 67.60. Xavier made amends for his unfortunate performance at last year’s grades finals on Vault, where he scored a zero after a bad fall, this time executing a clean Handspring. This highlights the hard work he has put in in the training gym and his focus on improving areas of weakness. Not far behind him was Fionn Kelly who finished 20th with a score of 67.30. Fionn also showed how much he has progressed from last year by nailing his P-Bar routine, a piece which cost him a top 10 position at the grades finals. Much like Xavier, Fionn’s hard work and focus has been highlighted by his performance at the competition. Our 3rd gymnast, Mac Griffiths struggled a little with the pressure of adding some new skills and made a few minor errors, scoring a 66.60 and finishing in 23rd overall. What was most commendable though was how he dealt with the disappointment of those errors so well and showed an excellent routine on the subsequent apparatus. Finally for the U10’s we have Dec, who, despite having a difficult time in his Pommels and P-Bars routines, showed excellent composure and, much like Mac, responded well after each mistake. His determination and the high expectations he puts on himself are something to be very proud of. Dec finished 32nd overall scoring 62.90.
Sunday’s competition saw the U12’s in action with Eden Marlow, Caden O’Shea and Oscar Mitchell representing the club. Eden had a comfortable competition scoring 65.55 overall and finishing 24th. Much like some of the younger boys, Eden showed excellent resilience after falling on High Bar and really showed a strong character with a determined performance on floor immediately after. Caden had a clean competition and finished 14th with a comfortable 67.30. With consistent and clean routines he is looking forward to adding some difficulty to boost his start values. The standout performer of the weekend was Oscar who scored 69.10 and finished in 8th. Oscar had a beautiful routines on multiple apparatus but the pick of the bunch was his Rings where he scored 11.35 and earned himself a spot on the podium with a bronze medal!
Congratulations to all of the boys who competed. Hopefully they can learn from the mistakes and build upon the positives and feel confident heading in to the upcoming Regional Championships and London Open.