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.