Monday, 6 December 2010

Plymouth girls make the grade

Congratulations go to Alice Baker, Lucy Hudson, Chloe Willis and Corey Ford. Esprit’s artistic gymnasts, who attended Regional Grading in Plymouth on 5 December.

All four gymnasts had exceptional passes, with both Alice and Lucy gaining Distinctions at Grade 13, whilst Chloe gained Highly Commended and Corey a fabulous Distinction, at Grade 10.

done goes to all four gymnasts and a very big thanks to must go their coaches Kirsty and Hannah, who made the trip to Plymouth with the girls.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Welsh Wonders!!!!

Ashleigh West, Alyssa Weymouth, Fleur Randall, Elizabeth Walecki & Lauren Hoard all travelled to the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff on Sunday 7 November.

The Esprit girls were invited to participate in the Welsh Group Invitational event, against other clubs from Wales and England, in the Under 13 hoop group and after performing an exceptional routine were delighted to discover they had won.

Their performance scored a very impressive 30.34 for the Gold medal position, with the Silver medal position 4.22 marks behind on 26.12.

Coach Cherie Skeats (pictured with the girls) was delighted with their performance and the professional way they went about their performance.

Well done all of you, the club is extremely proud and you and Cherie.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

County Floor & Vault results

10/10 (the 10th day of the 10th month) was significant for Esprit gymnasts this weekend, as it was the County Floor & Vault competition in Melksham.

13 gymnasts made the trip from Esprit and 10 returned with top 4 placings in their age groups.

A fantastic effort
from all involved - well done girls, a fantastic result.

8/9 years Group 'A' -
Carlissa Daniels won Gold, with Kira Mertha close behind in Silver, whilst Emily Broadfield posted a respectable 13th overall.

8/9 years Group 'B' - Esprit posted a fanastic Top Four placings, with Alice Baker in Gold position, Lillie Postlewhite in Silver and Lucy Hudson in Bronze. These three were followed up by Jessica McCabe in 4th and Hannah Woodward a close distance behind in 6th.

10/11 years Group 'A' -
Saw an impressive Gold medal winning performance from Esprit's only competitor, Rebecca Colwell. Whilst in Group B Eden Nicol won a great Bronze.

12/13 years Group 'C' -
Saw Lilly Weaver post a 4th placing with Abbie Miles a creditable 7th.

14 years+ - Was another great end to proceedings with top coach and fab gymnast, Aimee Stokes winning Esprit's final medal of the day, with a well deserved Bronze.

A brilliant day of competition for Esprit's girls, loads of outstanding performances and congratulations to all the coaches involved in training the girls to such a well conditioned, prepared and disciplined standard.

Well done all of you!!!!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Work Starts!!!!

At last we can start work on two new fab gyms for our gymnasts!

over the next 3-4 weeks there will be lots of activity at Esprit as the builders, painters, decorators and gymnastic suppliers transform the gyms with some great new equipment, including two new foam landing pits, under the bars and at the end of the beams and tumble track.

Following a tender, Gymnova won the job to fit out the new gyms and now both will be fully colour coordinated with the Artistic floor we bought from the O2 following the World Championships this year.

They will be starting work as soon as the builders finish and we will then move on to fitting out the staff room for our hard working coaches and finishing the parents room so the picture on the TV is clearer and its a bit more comfortable.

We will be installing some sensory awareness equipment into the room adjacent to the apparatus gym so those with learning difficulties and severe handicaps can enjoy the gym and then finally fit a new floor in the round ballet room.

Once all this is done and 'if we have any money left' from the grant received from British Gymnastics (thanks to them), we'll be buying some portable stadium seating so we can have up to 150 people at a time watching our competitions and displays.

Watch this space people I'll post pictures of the work as it progresses.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Esprit becomes ‘world’ training centre

Picture: Great Britain and England team members

Left to Right – Francesca Fox, Rachel Ennis, Lynne Hutchinson, Francesca Jones, Keziah Gore.

Swindon gymnastics club Esprit is set to become a training camp for the Great Britain and English Gymnastics Teams, to prepare them for the upcoming World Championships in Moscow and Commonwealth Games in India.

The local club who recently took over the sports centre at the old Headlands Grove School site are developing it into an International standard gymnastics facility for Swindon.

It heard the news this week that it had been selected, out of all the clubs in the country, to host Britain’s best gymnasts, who are currently preparing for the World Championships in Moscow later this month and XIX Commonwealth games in Delhi, India in October.

A quote from British Gymnastics said, “The Esprit Academy has been awarded the pre-event training camp ahead of the 30th World Championships in Moscow, and the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The camp will be a combined preparatory session for the British Team and English Commonwealth Team and led by coaches appointed as team officials for the two events

The camp will also incorporate the English Championships in September at GMAC, Birmingham, as part of the Championship preparation.

In addition to this great news, Esprit’s Deb Hows has been awarded the post of head coach to lead the Great Britain team in their trip to Moscow for the World Championships, whilst Bath’s Sarah Binding will head up the English/Welsh team to India for the Commonwealth Games. Both coaches are working together at the training camp.

Club Chairman, Mark Hows said, “we are thrilled to have been chosen to host the English and Great Britain team here at Esprit and extremely proud that Esprit’s head coach, Deb Hows has been appointed as Great Britain coach for the trip to Moscow.

We still have a way to go before our new home is completely finished, but being chosen to host the Great Britain and English teams, preparing for two massive competitions, shows we’re already achieving the world class standards we set ourselves”.

Esprit has only been in its new home at Headlands since January and to have been selected for such a high profile role, proves the club is already one of the very best in the country.

It is a club that caters for all levels and ages, pre-school to senior elite athletes, and with a growing membership of more than 600, looks set to continue producing some of the country’s finest gymnasts, in one of the best equipped gymnastic facilities around.

Hows concluded, “Esprit is great club with a fantastic team of coaches, most of whom have been taught through the clubs own, in-house, training scheme.

We are extremelly proud of what we have achieved so far, but this is just the beginning, as we want to put Swindon firmly on the Gymnastics map and have the rest of the town be as proud of the club as we are”.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

News just released by British Gymnastics - woohoo!

British Gymnastics release funds for key facilities
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British Gymnastics have announced they are contributing £800,000 into facilities this year through the ‘Whole Sport Funding Plan’ from Sport England.

Esprit Gymnastics Club
are the first facility to benefit from the fund, and will receive £100,000 to transform an old school sports centre into a multi-discipline gymnastics centre, which looks set to transform the provision of gymnastics throughout the Swindon area.

Jane Allen, British Gymnastics Chief Executive Officer said:
"British Gymnastics is delighted to be able to support our clubs through the BG Facility Fund. All projects receiving funding will make a significant impact in the sport at a local, regional and national level.

There is high demand at this current time for funds to develop club facilities and BG is pleased that we have been able to contribute some funding towards these worthwhile projects.

There were many applications to consider, with the successful clubs being the ones whose projects we felt best met the criteria set, offered value for money and would help promote the sport of gymnastics and support British Gymnastics to achieve their long term objectives."

Esprit's funding is to support the development of their new facility that they have recently moved into at Headlines Grove, Swindon and which has also received support from Swindon Borough Council.

Club Director Mark Hows explains how the funded facility improvements will reap many benefits:

“The funding from British Gymnastics, ensures the club is taken seriously as one that not only has had a proven and demonstrative effect on the local community, but on the sport of gymnastics as well.

Within the community Esprit will now be able to grow its membership, encourage participation within minority groups and demonstrate the levels of attainment available.

As a club it will now be in a position to host events from schools competitions, to high-level training camps, competitions and displays, which will raise the profile of the club and help show Swindon as a town that encourages participation in sport at all levels.

Having developed a multi-disciplined club where we cater for all levels in pre-school, artistic, rhythmic, trampoline, display and acrobatic gymnastics, as well as disabled, special needs and schools.

The club is now in a position to make gymnastics an important part of the development of every child in the town and that is what we will be working towards achieving.”

Thursday, 19 August 2010

flying carpet comes to Esprit!!!!

To aid the Olympic preparation of Britain's gymnasts preparing for 2012, it has been decided by British Gymnastics, that the Rhythmic carpet currently in place at the National Training Centre in Lilleshall will be moved to Esprit.

Esprit will take possession of the floor until after the 2012 games in London, to allow another artistic floor to be installed at Lilleshall, which will maximise floor space for the men's and women's artistic training camps.

This will ensure the Rhythmic programme can continue to develop through a club based approach and the floor at Esprit will help the whole sport work towards rhythmic representation at the London Olympic games.

Esprit is lending its own carpet and floor to another club to further expand the opportunities for rhythmic in the country.

Happy days!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Ellie & Lola make the Grade in Bristol!

Congratulations to Esprit gymnasts Lola & Ellie who passed their regional Grade 14 on 11 July at the City of Bristol Gymnastics Club.

The day was made even more special by
both girls finishing well up in a strong field of 28 gymnasts, Lola passing in a brilliant 6th place 'with distinction' and Ellie only just missing out.

Brilliant performances, well done girls!

Tayshan wins Bronze at the British

There were some notable performances at this years British Championships from the 11 Esprit girls who made it through qualification and all performed very well indeed.

Just qualifying for a British is an incredible achievement, but most also finished inside the top 10 in their respective age groups and qualified for the apparatus finals on the Sunday .

Unfortunately Esprit's former British Champion, Laura Halford had to pull out through injury and was obviously disappointed, but the other 10 all made it through unscathed and young Tayshan Dowe stepped up to make the most of her trip, by winning a fantastic Bronze medal for her performance on the Sunday.

It was a well deserved medal and great achievement for this up and coming young Esprit star - well done Tayshan!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Scottish Gymfest

At last, it's been a while coming, but we finally have a video of the Esprit Display Team at the 2010 Scottish Gymfest - enjoy!!!!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Sophia welcomes Esprit

The beautiful Bulgarian city of Sophia, was the most recent venue for the Gymnasts from top Swindon club Esprit recently.

10 of them made the trip to the Bulgarian capital Sophia, with the clubs head coach Deb Hows, to compete against more than 130 of the worlds top gymnasts from Czech, Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Brazil, Serbia, Russia and Belgium.

For some of the clubs up and coming young stars, it was their first ever International competition and this bought with it the inevitable nerves and excitement of seeing a new country for the first time.

But for others such as Laura Halford and Jade Faulkner it was a case of meeting up with old friends from previous International campaigns and renewing their friendly rivalry.

Those competing abroad for the first time included youngsters Cassy Harding, Katy Coleman, Gabriela Caruso, Tayshan Dowe, Fleur Randall and Maya Lucas and considering the lack of International experience they performed exceptionally throughout the 4-day trip.

All the girls were placed within the top 13 in their age groups with Cassy, Katy, and Gabriela all in the top 10. However Cassy turned in a truly outstanding performance winning the Bronze medal for her impressive Ball routine and a well deserved 6th place overall.

Hannah Curtis, who made her d├ębut for Great Britain in 2009 was back at her first International this year and showed how hard work and determination can achieve great things.

Senior gymnast Gemma Rand was competing at her 3rd International of 2010, following on from being part of the Great Britain Group that competed in Portimao, Spain and the European Championships in Germany, Gemma secured a very impressive overall 6th place and brilliant Bronze medal for her Hoop.

Esprit’s top Junior was the dependable Laura Halford, who had already competed in Calais and the European Championships in Bremen for Great Britain in 2010 and for Esprit in Portugal, where she made three overall finals and won a spectacular bronze medal with her clubs.

Laura didn’t disappoint with an impressive 6th place overall in her age group.

Finally Esprit’s newly crowned ‘Master Gymnast’ Jade Faulkner who had already competed for Great Britain in Corbiel France this year, won a 7th place overall finish and a fabulous Silver medal for her Ribbon routine.

Head coach Deb Hows said, “this has been a wonderful competition and the gymnasts were joy to bring away, extremely well behaved and a credit to Swindon and Esprit.

The trip was designed as preparation for the upcoming British Championships in July, but the girls performed exceptionally and the medals won by Cassy, Gemma and Jade really were an unexpected delight, we’ll certainly be back to visit this beautiful, friendly country again”.

Thursday, 24 June 2010


Jade Faulkner, Great Britain team member, British Championship medal winner, European and World Championship competitor and an Esprit gymnast from the very beginning, has been awarded the very highest accolade given to any gymnast, the coveted status of Master Gymnast.

Jade received her award from Alan Sommerville OBE, the executive Chairman of British Gymnastics.

At a prestigious awards luncheon held at the Heritage Motor Centre in Warwickshire, Jade was joined by other greats from the sport, including Beth Tweddle MBE who received a special mention in recognition of being made an MBE in the new years honours.

Jade now joins the sports elite alongside Britain's Got Talent winner, Alex Uttley (the little one with the 6 pack) from acrobatic group Spellbound and is one of only 16 rhythmic gymnasts in the UK ever to receive this honour.

The award is for ‘distinguished service to British Gymnastics and is reserved to only those people who have represented their country and by example or deed been an inspiration to aspiring gymnasts and excellent ambassadors for the United Kingdom and British Gymnastics’.

For Jade the event was a well deserved break and a chance to change out of the normal tracksuit or leotard, attend the superb luncheon and mix with the UK's elite sports stars, but Jade was soon back in training and preparing for the British Championships, which are being held on 9-11 July at Fenton Manor, Stoke on Trent.

Jade will be competing in her second British Championships as a senior and she will be joined by no less than TEN of her club mates competing at various age groups!!!!

So why not pick up a leaflet from the club and go along to Stoke-on-Trent to watch Jade and Esprit's other top gymnasts, it really will be a fantastic spectacle of the country's best gymnasts from the tiny 8 and 9 year old's, right through to the Jade in the seniors.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Do you remember when...?

This is a video all gymnasts should watch, found on you tube it quite simply sums up the sport! If your a gymnast and it doesn't bring a lump to your throat, you really are a hard cookie!

Jade's 'French' Connection!!!

Esprit's Jade Faulkner is off to Corbeil in France from 5-9 May to compete in the city's Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup event.

It's great opportunity for GB team member Jade, who has traveled with Esprit's head coach Deb Hows and fellow GB team member Frankie Jones.

Both of them will be competing against the worlds best rhythmic gymnasts, working extremely hard, gaining valuable experience for the future and hopefully having a great time.

Everyone at Esprit wishes them all the best for the competition, Go Jade!

Scottish triumph for Display Team!

It was off to Glasgow over the Bank Holiday weekend for Esprit's impressive Display Team. Starting on Friday with a ten hour coach journey, the girls made the long trip to perform in the Scottish GymFest.

Held at the Magnum Centre Irvine it is the current home to Gymfest and each year approximately 1500 gymnasts, 200 coaches, 50 volunteers and 4000 spectators literally invade the Magnum Centre over the first bank holiday in May, to take part in what has become the UK’s premier gymnastics display festival. The festival is getting bigger and better each year and Esprit always receive a warm welcome from the appreciative crowd.

This year however, coach Cherie said it was the best ever and the gymnasts performance heralded a standing ovation from the vast crowd of spectators.

The movie hasn't been loaded yet, so here's a taste of what the girls had to offer at the recent Liverpool Ministrada. The Scottish video will be loaded here as soon as it's ready.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Laura selected for Junior Europeans!

Good luck to Laura Halford! Esprit rhythmic gymnast Laura is off to Bremen in Germany this weekend as part of the GB team at the European Championships.

Whilst already being an experienced and successful International competitor at a very young age, this will be Laura's first Junior European Championships and everyone at Esprit wishes her all the best.

Good luck Laura, we know you'll do great!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Celtic Cup Winners

The Celtic Cup and Home Nations Competition at the Welsh Institute of Sport were a fabulous success for Esprit.

With gymnasts competing for both Wales and England, we were always in with a good chance of some success, but a Gold in the team competition, Gold in the Seniors and Gold in the Junior sections, were quite exceptional.

Esprit's delegation consisted of:

Esprit Rhythmic coach Rachel Haines and head coach Deb Hows, who attended as Judge and Head of delegation for England.

Esprit's competitors included:

Jade Faulkner - Senior Gymnast representing England

Laura Halford - Junior gymnast representing Wales

Ellie Morse - Espoir gymnast and England debutant


Ellie Morse's selection to the England team was proven by an impressive 6th place debut in the Espoir section.

Jade Faulkner then won bronze in the team event and Esprit's first
Gold medal, as top individual in the Senior event.

Jade was followed by Laura Halford, who went on to win Esprit's other two Gold medals, with Gold in the Junior section and Gold for Wales in the team event.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Off to the Celtic Cup!

It's a case of two of Esprit's English Roses up against our own little Welsh Dragon this weekend!

Three of Esprit's Rhythmic Gymnasts - 3x British Champion Laura Halford has been selected to represent Wales and she is up against World Championship competitor Jade Faulkner and debutee young Ellie Morse, who have both been selected for England in this four nations clash at the Welsh Institute of Sport on Sunday 21 Feb.

Well done girls, we're sure you'll all do your countries and your club proud!

Friday, 5 February 2010

In the news again

The Swindon Adver has spotted we're up to something here at Headlands and published a story about our new home. See it here...

Nice story and great way of announcing our arrival at Headlands. As soon as the building work is finished we'll have an 'official' opening and invite them along to see how brilliant our new home really is.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Moving pics 2

Here's the second installment of moving pics, this time showing just a small amount of the work moving in to Headlands. Once again, thanks to Hannah & Kirsty for use of their extensive range of Facebook pictures!

Moving pics

To give everyone some idea of what we have achieved so far, here are a few pics of the work done moving out of the io Centre. Most of the pics are of Hannah & Kirsty, but hey, they did spend their entire Christmas helping and it was their camera!!!

The big move

Well we're in and the gym's are working great. The gymnasts are having a great time and showing massive improvements already.

There have been a few moans from a couple of parents, because they can't get a coffee!!!! Honestly guys, think about what has been achieved here, with just a few coaches and a couple of fantastic parents, who worked tirelessly all over Christmas to make sure your children had two fantastic gym's to work in. The new place is fantastic and set to get even better as the ongoing building work is completed.

Just look at the place!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

D Day approaches

It's good to be back, hope everyone had a great Christmas and is looking forward to to Happy New Year!

We managed a couple of day's off over the festive season, but most of the last month has been spent moving out of the io centre, turning it back to a warehouse, then moving all the equipment into our new home at Headlands.

Classes are due to start on Monday 11 January and as long as the council live up to their promises and make sure the 'toilets have water', we'll be on time and raring to go.

I must admit even though there is still a lot to do and lots more equipment to buy, it does look fantastic, with loads more room, a massive car park and generally better training environment. we're sure everyone will love it and hope you will all help us make Esprit the best Gymnastics club in the country.

We have some great pictures of the move, which will be posted here as soon as Kirsty and Hannah let me have them! I also want to say a great big thank you for everyone who helped with the move. There are too many to mention individually, but Phil Coleman, Dave Read and Andrew Veveris deserve a special mention, as the move would never have happened without them.

Coach Kirsty has been an absolute star, coming in every day to help, even though she could have been enjoying a well deserved break, as was Hannah who was with her much of the time. Over the last week both have managed to put more paint on themselves than the walls, but they do seem to have enjoyed themselves, getting messy, and are looking forward to seeing everyone again from 11 Jan.

See you all soon!