Tuesday, 31 January 2012

London 2012 Gymnastics test event hailed a success

Daniel Keatings
The event offered tens of thousands of spectators the chance to see some of the world’s top athletes competing at the North Greenwich Arena.
Over 50,000 tickets were sold for the competition, with crowds enjoying group and individual Artistic, Trampoline and Rhythmic Gymnastics.

In the Artistic Gymnastics team qualification event, the Great Britain men’s team took the gold medal ahead of France and Spain and confirmed their place at the Games.
Great Britain gymnast Daniel Keatings (pictured) said: ‘It was amazing, especially the support from the home crowd. We had to pull together as a team after Tokyo (World Championships), but the crowd really lifted us.’

'Spectacular venue'
Debbie Jevans, Director of Sport at LOCOG said: ‘The Visa International Gymnastics was the largest test event that we have run to date. As an Olympic qualifying event we had to ensure everything was delivered to the highest standard and the team performed really well.  

As far as Esprit was concerned, we were represented by our head of Rhythmic coaching, Deb Hows who was one of the officials making sure the event ran smoothly.

Our gymnast, Jade Faulkner, was part of the Rhythmic Group who fell agonisingly short of the qualification mark on day two of the competition and easily surpassed it in the finals on day three.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Even more reason to come to Esprit!

A new poll from Play England has found that just one in five children regularly play outside. The study also found that one in three has never climbed a tree, one in ten has never ridden a bike.  
Scary statistics for those of us old enough to know what it was like to spend our days playing outside. But at least Esprit gives them the chance to develop some of the skills we all learnt outside, but in a safe, effective, child friendly environment.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Half Term Gym Camp

Don't forget Thursday 16 February, its our fab half-term gymnastics camp. We'll be doing all the stuff you love, including gym, trampoline and dance and it'll give the grown ups chance to have a break for  a few hours.

It's also open to non-members so why not talk a friend into coming along and giving it a go?

Cost is only £10 per person, for 3 hours of FUN!

See you there!

Are we wasting our opportunities?

An interesting article about the Olympics, which uses the BG Rhythmic Group as an example

London 2012 Olympics: Team GB's home advantage is at risk of being frittered away through bureaucracy

Olympic dream petition underway

Fans of Rhythmic Gymnastics across the country have launched a petition to try and force a rethink over the decision to exclude the Rhythmic Group from the Olympics. If you would like to show your support, you can do so by following the link and signing the on-line petition...


BBC report on Rhythmic disappointment

Below is a link to the BBC Sport news pages on the disappointing news about the British Rhythmic Group, which includes Esprit Gymnast, Jade Faulkner...

London 2012: British rhythmic gymnasts launch Olympic exclusion appeal

You can keep up to date with whats happening by following the girls on their Facebook page at

Great Britain Rhythmic Senior Group

Rhythmic disappointment

Esprit gymnast Jade Faulkner was part of the self funded British Group attempting to qualify for this years London Olympics. Unfortunately in qualification, Jade and her team mates fell agonisingly short of the mark required, just 0.273 of a mark. 

However in the finals at the same event they smashed the qualifying mark with a brilliant 47.200, two whole marks above the requirement.

Here's their brilliant Ball routine from day one...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Welsh Group Invitational

Esprit gymnasts make it a fine end to a great year.

As the year draws to a close, Swindon club, Esprit Gymnastics are still bringing title after title back to the town with impressive displays from its elite squad of young athletes.
The final Group competition of the year before the National Group finals in December, saw young girls from the club travel to Cardiff for the Welsh Group Invitational event.
This high profile competition sees the girls compete in group routines, rather than the more usual individual or duets they are used to.
This means they have to concentrate as much on what the others in the group are doing, as themselves, and execute their timing perfectly.
This didn’t phase the highly experienced young girls from Esprit, all performing at an exceptionally high level, against some of the best clubs in the country.
As has been the case on other occasions this year it was the clubs Junior’s that led the way with an impressive array of skill that saw them secure victory and the Gold medal, 3 marks ahead of Welsh club Llanelli.
However they weren’t the only Esprit gymnasts to make their mark, with the youngest Espoirs securing a well-deserved 4th place behind exceptional teams from Bath and Llanelli.
This was followed by the clubs Seniors who pipped Llanelli, to the Silver medal position behind the City of Bath squad who took Gold.
Esprit coach, Deb Hows said, “it has been an exceptional year for the club, with many high profile wins for the girls at national and International level and to finish the team events of the year so strongly shows how well prepared they are. To stay so focussed after a long hard year is testament to all the gymnasts as well as the exceptional coaching team at Esprit”.
She concluded, “we just have a few more competitions before Christmas, in Scotland, Slovenia and the National Great Britain testing event, before the annual club Christmas Display at our home in Headlands Grove.
We can then look forward to a well-earned rest before the competition season begining in earnest, in January, with the National Grades, before a possible trip the America”. Then of course the year builds towards the London Olympics, which the whole club is very excited about.

British Team Championships 2011

More British Champions for Esprit.

Esprit went to the British Team Championships in Walsall recently.
As usual the girls didn’t disappoint, adding yet more impressive British titles to their growing collection.
Competing against the very best teams from across the UK these elite Swindon athletes worked as a team in individual, Duet, Trio and Group routines, with the scores being combined to ascertain the overall British Team Champions.
Esprit’s youngest gymnasts started proceedings with a wonderful third place for their Group routine and impressive individual third for Katy Coleman. These combined with two other very impressive performances in Duet and Trio ensured a well-deserved 4th overall for team Esprit.
Next up were the clubs successful Juniors, who were led by Esprit’s very own British Champion, Laura Halford. Laura led the impressive charge and her first place in the individual section along with two brilliant firsts for her team in Trio and Group, ensured the overall Team Gold and title of British Junior Team Champions.
In the Seniors, scores were exceptionally tight between the top 3 teams, Birmingham, Esprit and Bath. Esprit’s Gemma Rand won very well deserved second place for her individual routine and these along with second in Duet, second in Trio and first in Group saw a two-way tie between City of Birmingham and Esprit. A countback was required, which saw City of Birmingham’s execution score on the top three results marginally ahead of Esprit’s and they secured the Senior title by the very narrowest of margins.
Esprit coach Deb Hows said, “this was a fantastic competition which showed the girls the value of teamwork and proved what can be achieved when you all work together for the good of the team.
To have the British, English and Welsh National Champion at the club and now the British Junior Team Champions is brilliant, I am very proud of them all, as well as the exceptional coaching team that make results like this possible”.

Top of the North!

Esprit in fantastic '67' medal hall
We really must get a bigger trophy cabinet
This event saw our girls surpass even their own high standards at the North West Open Team Championships in Mancester.
The three teams comprising of 21 Esprit gymnasts, ranging from 8-years (Espoir) to 21 (Senior) quite literally ran away with spoils and an unassailable sixty-seven medals and five team trophies, on an incredible day of success for the Swindon girls. 
Highlights of the day included: 
Espoirs, Katy Coleman, Jess Steele, Alyssa Weymouth, Erin Robinson, Stephanie Vitalie-Richardson, Neve Prowting, Emily Cole, Martha Strange, Madison Kennely and Jolie Ryan-Dawes, started off proceedings by winning Gold in the overall team event and Gold in the Ball Group final.
Katy Coleman won Silver with her hoop, Katy, Steph and Erin Gold in the Free Trio and Alyssa & Jess Gold in the Rope Duet.
Juniors, comprising of British Champion Laura Halford, along with Ellie Morse, Gabriela Caruso, Hannah Curtis, Maya Lucas, Ashleigh West and Lauren Hoard, matched the youngsters performances and claimed the second overall team Gold of the day.
Laura won Gold with her Ribbon, Ashleigh, Charlotte and Ellie, Silver with their Hoop Trio, then Hannah and Maya Gold with their Clubs Duet, before the team also claimed yet another Gold with their Rope Group.
The clubs Senior’s comprising of 21 year-old veteran competitor, Elise Gilbert, along with Clarice Saloyadoff, April Coombs and Gemma Rand, did a great job and didn’t let the Espoirs and Juniors down.
They produced some outstanding performances to win the the clubs third overall team Championship Gold medal of the day,
They then went on to produce three further Gold medal winning performances, with Gemma winning Gold in Clubs, Clarice and Elise Gold in their Duet and Elise, April and Gemma Gold for their Ribbon Trio.
Club coach Cherie Skeats was bouyant after the event saying she was amazed by the success, but not surprised. “57 Gold medals, 4 Silvers, 4 Bronze and 5 team trophies is an incredible achievement, by anyones standards, but they all work so incredibly hard, this is just reward for their efforts”.
“The Esprit girls performed magnificently and should be very proud of themselves. But congratulations should not just go our girls. Everyone at the Stockport Club here in Manchester put on a fantastic competiton, featuring some of the best gymnasts in the country, they must be congratulated on their efforts”.
“As for Esprit, well it looks as if we’ll have to buy a bigger trophy cabinet”.

More National Champions!

Esprit continues to rack up the titles with yet more British Champions.

Following on from recent successes including the English, Welsh and British Champion, Swindon’s premier gymnastics club could be forgiven for taking things easy recently.
But that’s not how it works at an Elite club like Esprit and success at one competition is simply a stepping-stone to the next high-level encounter.
This was the case recently when the clubs elite rhythmic gymnasts made the trip to Bradford for the 2011 Open Individual Apparaus Finals.
Katy Coleman was first up in the Espoirs section and kicked off with a top 10 finish in all her apparatus. She was followed by Esprit’s very impressive Juniors, most of whom again finished in the top 10 of a very strong field.
Leading the way, as was the case at the recent British Championships, were the Country’s number 1 & 2 Laura Halford & Stephanie Sherlock.
Laura impressed yet again, with three fabulous Gold medal winning performances and one Silver, whilst Stephanie pipped Laura for Gold in the Ribbon final but was behind her in two other events, claiming Silver medals.
Esprit’s other girls made it a memorable weekend for the Juniors with Gabriela Caruso, Hannah Curtis, Maya Lucas and Ellie Morse all finishing in the top 10 with most of their apparatus and Maya claiming a great 5th place in Hoop.
But it still wasn’t over and Esprit’s Senior gymnast Gemma Rand was outstanding with two Bronze medals and a well deserved Silver for her Hoop routine.
Coach, Deb Hows commented, “our girls really are true professionals, this is an extremely busy time of year and to keep putting in the consistent performances they are is testament to their hard work and dedication, especially when you consider most are also working towards school exams as well”.
The clubs excellent results, also prove’s just why Deb Hows has recently won Performance Coach of the Year at the Swindon & Wiltshire Sports Awards, for the second year running.
She has also been made a Games maker at the London 2012 Olympics, nominated as a torch-bearer and already appointed as English Coach for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Sports People of the Year

Our coaches and gymnasts were recognised for their outstanding contribution to Gymnastics, picking up some very impressive awards in 2011.


The clubs head coach, Deb Hows, was awarded ‘High Performance Coach of the Year 2011’, for the second year running. Whilst Junior British Champion, Laura Halford (15), picked up ‘Junior Sports person of the Year’, for her exceptional achievements. 

Athletes, sports clubs, volunteers and coaches across Wiltshire and Swindon were recognised at the Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Awards on September 22, and the sport of rhythmic gymnastics came out on top on the night with another Rhythmic Gymnast, Bath’s Frankie Fox being awarded Senior Sports Person of the Year.

The 2011 Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Awards was jointly hosted by Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Health Improvement Partnership, NHS Wiltshire, Wiltshire and Swindon Activity and Sports Partnership, Swindon Borough Council and Liquid Media Group. 

The prestigious event, hosted by former England rugby captain Phil de Glanville, saw performances from rhythmic gymnast Francesca Fox and Judo Champion and last year’s Young Sports Personality of the Year Jemima Duxberry, before the winners were announced.

Held at the City Hall in Salisbury, the event was also attended by 2004 Paralympics gold medallist in the 800 metres Danny Crates who presented the awards and said,  “Being an athlete takes so much commitment and hard work but you also need a strong network of coaches and clubs to help you reach your goals. This evening was a great way to recognise the hard work of so many people involved in sport in Wiltshire.”

Deb said of the achievements, “Of course I’m delighted and surprised to have won, especially as I won last year as well, I never imagined it could happen two years running.
However I’m even more pleased for Laura who fully deserves her award, for the hard and work and dedication she brings to the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. 
The icing on the cake is for the sport though, with me winning coach of the year, Laura Young Sports Person and Frankie winning the senior award, rhythmic gymnastics picked up three of the top awards on the night, so that’s the real winner.
By winning awards like this it helps raise the profile of the rhythmic discipline and in Swindon and Wiltshire the sport is now at an all time high, with more and more people beginning to realise what a beautiful and exciting sport it is. 
I’m very proud to be part of a club like Esprit, which has a great coaching team and really does help young people achieve their full potential. None more so than Laura, who is an exceptional athlete and wonderful roll model for aspiring young gymnasts”.

Esprit Gymnastics – Welsh, English, British Champions!

Even considering the high standards set by Esprit, July was an exceptional month for the club.

First, Stephanie Sherlock claimed the English National title, before Esprit’s, Welsh Squad Gymnast, Laura Halford returned from injury to claim the overall Welsh National Championship and all 4 apparatus Golds.
But it still wasn’t over for the talented duo and expectations were high as they went head to head in the British Championships at Fenton Manor, Stoke on Trent.
Competing in the exceptionally strong Junior section the top two, who are already ranked number 1 & 2 in the UK produced some truly outstanding gymnastics throughout the 3 day event.
On day one it was the first two apparatus in the all around title race and Laura eged into a slight lead over Stephanie by scoring 41.2 to Stephanies 40.475.
Day two saw an incredible finish as the two continued their duel to the end with Stephanie scoring a brilliant 37.925 for her final two apparatus.
It was however Laura who came out on top with a magnificant 38.8 to give her a total score of 80 to Stephanies 78.4, making her British Junior Champion, with Stephanie second and overall Silver medalist.
The final day then saw the girls fight it out for the individual apparatus finals and again it was Laura who took the majority of the spoils winning three Golds and one Silver to Stephanies one Gold and three Silvers.
Cricklade schoolgirl Laura has now won the British title at every age group and looks forward to moving up to senior level next year, before beginning her preparations towards selection for a 2014 debut at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Deb Hows, head of coaching at Esprit said, “I am delighted for Laura, she was so disappointed to miss last years British through injury, to make such an impressive comeback is outstanding.
Having Steph perform so strongly as well is amazing, but we really musn’t overlook our other competitors; we actually had six in the Junior section, all of them in the top 15.
Maya Lucas was 9th overall and made a great weekend really special with a well-deserved Bronze, behind Laura and Steph in the Hoop final, as well as also qualifying for the ball finals. To see a one, two, three all from Esprit, on the podium together, was a very proud moment for me as their coach”.
Maya was followed up by Hannah Curtis in 11th, Ellie Morse in 12th and Gabriela Caruso in 13th, to prove just what strength in depth Esprit has at the club, with 6 of the top 15 Juniors in the UK.
However, the juniors weren’t alone and youngster Katy Coleman was a very creditable 8th in the under 11 overall championship and finished off a great weekend for Esprit, by also qualifying for the ball final.
Deb Hows concluded, “Esprit has a really strong base and lots of gymnastic potential, the entire rhythmic coaching team has worked very hard preparing the girls for this years championship. I am delighted for them, as well as the gymnasts, as these successes have been a real team effort”.

Esprit’s Welsh Wizards are Magic!

After the English Championships our girls made the trip to Wales for the Welsh National Champs, with some memorable results.
Katy, Maya, Gemma, Hannah, Gabriela and Laura

Following Swindon based gymnastic clubs triumph at the English Championships, where the clubs medal haul included newly crowned English Junior Champion, Stephanie Sherlock. 
The clubs other outstanding Junior, Laura Halford showed her own impressive credentials by becoming Welsh National Champion.

Laura just back to competition form in 2011 is now ranked as one of Great Britain’s top Junior gymnasts, after missing the 2010 British Championships through injury.

But that setback didn’t stop the Cricklade youngster from working hard whilst she was out of action, on her body conditioning and fitness, or being determined to get back to full fitness, ready for this year’s British Championships.

As soon as she was able to return to full training she proved exactly why she is a long-standing member of the Welsh and Great Britain teams and vowed to get back to the very top of British gymnastics.

This she did with an emphatic victory over her rivals at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff, claiming Gold in all 4 of her apparatus finals, Hoop, Ball, Clubs & Ribbon, as well as being crowned Welsh National Champion for an impressive Fifth time.

Laura however, didn’t have everything her own way, with the clubs other bright young stars, Maya Lucas, Gemma Rand, Katy Coleman, Hannah Curtis and Gabriela Caruso all competing in the open section, for non Welsh born gymnasts.

All were using the Welsh Championships as preparation for the upcoming British Championships and all competed very solid and impressive routines.

Maya and Gemma put down some very solid performances, both taking a Bronze medal apiece, Maya with her Hoop and Gemma the Ball.

Esprit’s Head Coach Deb Hows said, “these results are excellent preparation for the British and all the girls showed very encouraging performances. As long as they all continue to work hard I expect them to do very well at the British Championships in a few weeks time”.

“It is testament to the excellent rhythmic coaching team at Esprit, who have all worked very hard to produce these fantastic results”.

Esprit now has several top gymnasts, improving all the time, as well as Stephanie Sherlock, English National Champion and Laura Halford, Welsh National Champion. With 10 of the clubs gymnasts qualified for the British Championships and the country’s top two Junior gymnasts going head to head, things are looking really exciting in the build up to the premier event of the year.

Esprit brings English glory to Swindon

The next story from 2011 was about our girls at the English Championships!

Swindon’s Commonwealth and World training venue, Esprit Gymnastics, has further boosted the town’s reputation as a centre of excellence for gymnastics, with outstanding results at this years English Rhythmic Gymnastic Championships held at the impressive GMAC Centre in Birmingham.

The Stratton based club had eight gymnasts qualify for the event and returned with a hat full of medals as well as the overall English Junior Champion, in Stephanie Sherlock.

The English Championships is only open to British Championship qualifiers and Esprit’s seven qualifiers were – Maya Lucas, Gemma Rand, Katy Coleman, Ellie Morse, Tayshan Dowe, Gabriela Caruso and Stephanie Sherlock.

They were joined by team-mate Fleur Randall who made qualification via the National grades finals, where she won Gold with her Hoop routine and was third overall.

Just to qualify for the English Championships, puts a gymnast at the very top of the sport in the UK and the Esprit girls showed their true spirit, determination and attention to detail, by turning in some memorable performances.

All girls performed spectacularly well, with Maya earning 4th place overall in the Junior section. She was then followed up by Gemma Rand who herself won very impressive Bronze medals with her Hoop and Clubs in the Senior section.

It was then left to Stephanie to show why she is ranked as one of the top junior gymnasts in Great Britain, with 4 Gold medals in all her apparatus, Hoop, Clubs, Ball & Ribbon, as well as the overall title of English Junior Champion.

It is also testament to her character that Stephanie, who lives in Moscow, only flew into England 2 days before the competition and then had to return immediately after.

Stephanie, who’s father is English, splits her time between Moscow and Swindon and Esprit’s head coach, Deb Hows, regularly makes the trip to help with her training when she is in Russia.

Deb said, “having Stephanie as a part of Esprit is a joy, she is an exceptional young athlete. We have formed very close links with her club in Russia and between us hope to see her achieve great things. The link between our clubs can only help to improve gymnastics in the UK and we regularly take our own gymnasts to Russia to see how our training compares to that in Stephanies Russian club”.

“It’s a great way of getting our gymnasts to appreciate how other cultures live and train, we have all learnt a great deal from one another.”

Esprit has already produced some of GB’s leading gymnasts. With the clubs senior gymnast, Jade Faulkner now training at Bath University with one of the Rhythmic Groups, vying for a spot in the 2012 London Olympics. And Laura Halford, who will be competing in the Welsh National Championships as she is not eligible for the English, because she competes Internationally as a Welsh born gymnast.

Why I just can't quit!

In November 2011, Esprit coach Hannah Wickens became British Veterans Tumbling Champion and Trampoline Silver medalist. Here is an interview with Hannah, conducted earlier in 2011 after she had just qualified for the National finals...

Hannah with her Gold and Silver medals
How addictive can a sport be? When you’ve been at the top, competed at the very highest level, been a champion and then fallen out of love with your sport, what is it that keeps you coming back?
We ask Ex Great Britain team member and British Vault Champion, Hannah Wickens (21), why she has come out of retirement and qualified, at the very first attempt, for this year’s National Finals in Double Mini Tramp (DMT).
Q: So Hannah, the first question has to be WHY the come back?
A: I honestly don’t know, it certainly wasn’t planned, I just sort of fell into it really. I started by playing on the trampoline and my clubs coach told me I should give DMT a go. The rest just sort of happened.
Q: So tell us about your early years, where did you start gymnastics?
A: I started at 5 in the Lime Kilns Leisure Centre’s after school club and then moved to Greendown where I met my then coach Katy Smith. She’s now my boss at Esprit Gymnastics, at the old Headlands School site, where I work as a gymnastics coach.
Q: And when did you get spotted as being a talented gymnast and who spotted you?
A: It was Katy really, she took me through my early years until she recommended I move to a proper training facility, as there was no facilities in Swindon at the time and that meant nowhere could support the level of training I needed.
Q: Why did you move to Melksham?
A: Katy recommended them and they were the best and closest club really. It also meant my mum could take me there every day. Luckily, at the time, they also had one of the best coaches in the Country, Tracey Skirton as their head coach and she took me on, with my best friend and team-mate, Jessica Coombes. Together we travelled to Melksham every day and in 2001 aged 11, I was asked to join the Great Britain squad. In 2002 I came second in the Vault finals at the British Championships and I went on to become a full time member of the Great Britain squad until I retired in 2005 at the age of 15.
Q: What did making the Great Britain team mean to you?
A: For any gymnast it has to be the best feeling ever. It’s what every young gymnast dreams of, but the reality is very few ever make it into a GB squad, the sport is just so hard to excel at. I realise that even more now I’m a coach myself and see how hard all the young girls and boys work.
Q: And what was your proudest moment?
A: After my first year at the British Championships, where I won Silver, I returned in 2003 to win the title outright and become British Vault Champion. Apart from my team medals, that was probably my proudest moment and is something that will stay with me forever. I’m still very proud of what I achieved in gymnastics, even though I cut my own career short.
Q: Did you get to compete abroad? Where?
A: I did but nothing like they do today, the sport in this country has moved on a great deal and gets a lot more funding than in my day. I visited training camps in Romania and should have gone to Russia, but the trip was canceled at the last minute because of some terrorist bombings in the country.
Q: So at 14 you were riding high, one of the best in the Country, why quit so suddenly?
A: To be honest I just stopped enjoying it when my coach got a new job as the head of the Welsh National Team and left me, which is hard for a young girl to take. But it also coincided with me reaching 15, so I suppose hormons may have played their part. But at the end of the day it just wasn’t fun any more, I wanted a bit of normailty in my life, which I had never had before, I was tired of being away from home and working hard, 7 days a week, with no guarantees of a place in a World or Olympic team and just thought, is it worth it?
Q: What drew you back to the sport?
FUN, I love my job, the people I work with and just enjoy working with all the young gymnasts, most of whom have no idea I was a Great Britain team member and British Champion. They just think I’m Hannah the coach. There is also some real talent in Swindon, that is only just starting to come out, since Esprit opened and the enthusiasm of the youngsters is infectious, they are a joy to teach.
Q: So getting job at Esprit Gymnastics at Headlands changed your mind?
I’ve not changed my mind about giving up, I still think it was right for me at the time. But when I got a job at Esprit Gymnastics I did fall back in love with the sport, it’s been such a big part of my life I don’t think I’ll ever be able to walk away completely. Even if I were to someday leave my job, I’d still want to be involved at some level. I also think I’d like to perform in Cirque Du Soleil one day, but we’ll see how it goes, one step at a time.
Q: What’s so great about Esprit?
The people, I’ve made some great friends and everyone here loves gymnastics. Helping children learn new skills is very rewarding and we’ve got some real talent at the club. We also don’t just do Artistic gymnastics, which is what you see most of on TV. We do Team and Display gymnastics, which is great for older teenage gymnasts and we have some of the very best Rhythmic Gymnasts in the country. Several Esprit girls have won British and International medals, a few are in the Welsh, Scottish and GB squads and I’m sure you’ll be hearing lot about one or two of them in the future.
Q: And what’s DMT?
Double mini tramp (DMT) is like a long thin trampoline, which you run up to, similar to vaulting, you then jump on do a series of twist’s and turns, like tumbling, before dismounting with as difficult a move as possible. It’s spectacular to watch and the closest thing to flying without an airplane.
Q: How did you get involved in it?
I just started playing on the trampoline at Esprit and found I actually enjoyed it, so I started training, just to enjoy myself and keep fit. Then the clubs coach suggested I give DMT a go as it would suit my talents for tumbling and vault and I loved it. I also realised very quickly, I can’t do things, ’just for fun’, I’m far too competitive for that. I just had to see if I was any good, so I entered a few competitions medalled a few times and have now qualified for the National finals.
Q: And you’ve qualified for the National finals, how does that feel?
A: I’m amazed actually, it feels really good and something I didn’t ever think I’d ever experience again. Gymnastics really is addictive and you get such a buzz when a routine goes well, I love it.
Q: And what are your prospects, do you think you’ll do well?
A: To be honest it doesn’t really matter how well I do, I know I’ll be nervous, mainly because I hate embarrassing myself and I really am competitive, but winning isn’t ever something I expect, I never have.
Gymnastics is such a complex sport one tiny mistake can send you from Gold medal position to well down the field. I always think your biggest rival is yourself, so my philosophy has always been, do gymnastics just to have fun and improve yourself, then whatever the outcome, you’re a winner!
And that’s what I do now, I have fun and enjoy my gymnastics.
Q: What about the future, are you back to stay, what does the future hold for a Gymnastics Champion from Swindon?
A: As long I still enjoy it and the body holds out, I’ll be involved in gymnastics, but who knows what the future holds. I love my job at Esprit and I’d love to coach one of my own young gymnasts to a British title, but then again there’s always Cirque Du Soleil?

New year, old news!

To start off our new blog we'll begin by re-running a few stories that made the press during 2011, we'll then start with all the new stuff. 

Hope you enjoy the read...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Sorry for the break in transmission everyone, we've been having a new website built and that's taken all our time.

Why not visit the new site and let us have your comments/feedback and we will take any that improve it on board and try to make sure we give you the best, up to date information at all times.

As for what we've been up to, keep coming back and all the results, news etc will be appearing regularly, starting with a review of the last year, that will be posted soon.
Thanks for your patience - The Esprit news team.