Competition Reports 2013
Regional Championships 9th Nov 2013
7 Gold, 2 Silver and a Bronze at
the Southern Region Championships!
9 November, 11 partnerships form the Club took part in the Southern Region Championships in Southampton. By the end of the
day they had won a fantastic 7 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze medal and a hard fought 4th place. Congratulations to everyone - you
looked absolutely amazing and really deserved your success! The first photos from the event are now up on the Oxford photo site;
a report and more pictures will follow shortly. http://richevansphotography.zenfolio.com/p379377139
click here to download Regional Championship Results 2013
Watch some of the action from Turin 2013 - You Tube Montage. Click here to go directly to the site.
Acrobatics Cup - 2 Golds and Silver at Italian International!
On 5 July, an excited
team of 25 gymnasts and staff flew out to Italy to take part in the 1st
Turin Acrobatics Cup, an International competition attended by 11 countries and
over 220 gymnasts. For many of the girls, this would also be their first
International and for some, the first time they had been away from home.
A lunch time training
slot on the first day allowed a relaxed and leisurely start, which was
particularly welcome as we had arrived at the Hotel at midnight. Seeing
Harefield and Hendon, the other 2 British clubs taking part, arrive bleary eyed
at the venue direct from the airport confirmed that we had made a good decision
to fly in the night before! Having passed the first test which was to try and
find our way into the venue, the Palazzo
dello Sport Ruffini, the
main talking point was not the impressive surroundings or the potential
opposition, but the ladies loos! Never have so many photographs been taken of a
public convenience, If you want to know why – ask the girls!
Once the shock
of the loos had subsided, it was down to the more serious business of podium
training. Everyone had a good session and even though the arena was still being
prepared for the competition, there was already an air of anticipation among
the girls as they completed their routines and soaked up the international
A late lunch
was next and this was to be our first taste (literally) of a daily comedy
ritual that came to characterise all our meal times. A short bus ride away was
the restaurant Osteria
Zucchero e Sale, with its very own Italian Gordon Ramsay, Signor
Massimo. As he
spoke no English an interpreter had been provided, however, as the proceedings
were taking far too long for our impatient host, he decided to take over. The
helpless interpreter was sidelined as he bellowed out his interpretation of the
choices being served, (White-a Rice! White-a Pasta! Meat-a Sauce-a!) followed
by wild gesturing to encourage a show of hands for each dish. The comedy
continued as the bemused gymnasts received their food, only to have it snatched
away and given to someone else, then returned to them as the beleaguered
waitresses attempted to follow the instructions being fired at them by their increasingly
animated boss, who could see the next batch of hungry gymnasts peering through
the door. After all the entertainment it was a relief to return to the hotel
and relax for a short while before having to go through it all again for
dawned and with it, the start of the competition. The team benches in the arena
were soon festooned with flags as the girls made sure that the GB contingent
would be both visible and vocal. Behind the scenes a huge amount of thought had
gone into the planning of the daily schedule for each partnership, particularly
the timing of individual physio sessions, which had to be tailored to each
gymnasts needs as well as the competition timings. This latter point would be
an ongoing challenge throughout the 3 days, requiring constant adjustments to
our timings to ensure that each partnerships plan stayed on track. The
introduction of our team physios, specific warm up schedules for each gymnast
as well as each partnership and peer-choreography coaching, undoubtedly made a huge
difference in the days to come, both in terms of confidence and performance.
of carrying the GB Flag at the Opening Ceremony fell to Grace who
had been forced to withdraw from
the competition at short notice due to an injury to her thumb. Disappointed,
but upbeat, Grace was determined to be a part of the Team even though she
couldn’t perform and enthusiastically made the most of every minute of every
day. The huge smile as she marched on showed just how much being chosen as the
flag bearer meant to her.
11-16 Trio's were
competing in a large group of 16, with the top 8 qualifying for the Finals. Abi,
Eve and Lucy were relieved to get their Dynamic routine out of the way first and
were delighted to find themselves in 4th place at the end of the round. They
were followed onto the floor by Molly, Xenia and Victoria who produced a great
routine to finish the day in 2nd place. Finally it was the turn of Emily, Freya
and Fiona. These 3 were highly relieved to have made it to the competition as
the injury to Graces thumb a few weeks earlier would normally have forced the entire
Trio to withdraw. However, Fiona stepped into the breach and following an
intensive period of training the girls were able to stay in the competition. Despite
the pressure on them, they produced a really
solid routine and secured a very creditable 5th place at the end of
and Seniors competed next, with Becca and Sophie opening with a strong dynamic
routine that put them into 1st place. Gabby, Cossi and Nina had a nervous start
and made a miraculous 'save' during their first balance move, but they kept it
together and went on to achieve strong technical and artistry marks, finishing
the day in 3rd place. The Senior Trio of Bex, Sophie and Siobhan were
simply grateful to be in Italy at
all, having had their build-up badly disrupted by a painful ankle injury to
Siobhan. The previous day’s podium training was the first time they had worked
together for 10 days, so nerves were clearly evident as
they marched onto the floor. However, they produced a good routine and by the
end of the performance were visibly more at ease and delighted to finish the
day in 3rd place.
Day 2 of the competition
allowed a leisurely start as everyone was competing in the afternoon. However,
physio’s Dav’ and Emily were hard at work well before we left the hotel to make
sure everyone was seen at the right time. The lunch time logistics had become a
frustration for everyone, so a popular decision was taken to do our own thing.
Toni, our welfare officer, tracked down a local supermarket and with Rich doing
a passable pack-horse impression, provided a picnic lunch for everyone – much
The 11-16 Trio’s were
again on first, performing their Balance routines in the knowledge that their
scores would determine whether or not they would go through to the Final. Abi,
Eve and Lucy managed to disguise a shaky exit from their ‘stack’ to finish
strongly with a score of 26.45 and qualified in 5th place. Molly,
Xenia and Victoria finished the round just behind their team mates having
picked up a time fault in an otherwise sharp routine, but qualified comfortably
in second place. Emily, Freya and Fiona gave a great performance, gaining high
execution marks and scoring 26.75 to qualify in third place; a fantastic result
as they had only been working together for 3 weeks!
In the 12-18 Junior
category, Becca and Sophie had to work hard in their Balance routine to hold
onto first place and did so, though the gap between them and their immediate
rivals from the USA narrowed to just 0.15. This was significant because for
this competition, the medals at Junior and Senior would be decided by the accumulated
scores of all 3 routines; there would be no reset to zero for the Final. Next Gabby,
Cossi and Nina stepped out to give a powerful Dynamic performance and were
delighted to find that they had moved up into 1st place. Finally, it
was the turn of Becky Sophie and Siobhan. Competing a Dynamic routine with a
Top recovering from an ankle injury is a daunting prospect, but despite the
pain, Siobhan didn’t waver and the girls were both pleased and relieved to
finish the Round in second place and to qualify in 3rd. It had been another
great day of competition and with everyone through to the Finals, there was a
real buzz amongst the whole Team. While we waited for the coach, Carrie
challenged Dav and Emily to do some moves – which they duly did! Rich didn’t
escape either and was bullied into doing a front angel on feet with Carrie, who
insisted on being the Base; possilby the most improbable mixed pair ever!
Finals Day began with a
surprise Birthday breakfast for Dav’ who walked into the restaurant to find it festooned
with balloons and banners, along with a table full of cards and presents. The
occasion was rounded off by an enthusiastic if not particularly tuneful (sorry
Emma) rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ by the entire team. There was little time
to linger however, as the need to focus on the Finals was foremost in
everyone’s mind. Arriving at the venue, the coach was cheered into the car park
by a very enthusiastic flag waving group of supporters, much to the
embarrassment of their individual daughters – and the clear delight of their
First to compete were
Becca and Sophie. Their Combined Routine demands considerable expression as
well as technical skill and the girls did not disappoint. They produced the
highest scoring routine of their Final, which when added to their previous
scores confirmed that they had won the Gold Medal! It was a great start to the
day. Next came Gabby, Cossi and Nina who stepped out confidently knowing they
had a good margin between themselves and their nearest competitors. However, a significant wobble in their first
balance had the adrenaline pumping, though the girls recovered impressively and
went on to produce some great dynamic moves to finish strongly - and comfortably
– in first place. Two Routines, two Gold’s!
Becky Sophie and Siobhan
were up against the World champions who had already built a commanding lead, so
their goal was first and foremost to hold onto 3rd place. Their self
belief had grown with each routine and they began confidently, tucking away
their most difficult balance with ease. However, in the last 30 seconds, disaster
almost struck when their ‘straight back to platform’ went awry, requiring a huge
‘save’ to prevent a fall. Clearly disappointed and fearing the worst, they were
relieved and delighted to find that they were actually in second place and with
only one Trio left to compete, were assured of a medal; dare they hope for
Silver? The next few minutes were agonizing as they watched their rivals
compete and waited for their score. As it flashed on to the screen, their faces
lit up - It was Silver! In a great show
of sportsmanship, the first people to congratulate them were the Italian Trio
and their coach.
For the 11-16 Age Group, normal competition
convention was followed with the medals being decided on the Final routine
alone. For Abi, Eve and Lucy, this would be their last performance together, so
the occasion was especially poignant. From the first beat of the music, it was
clear that the girls were pushing themselves as never before; the routine was
their best ever, clean and sharp from beginning to end. Their efforts were
rewarded with a personal best; 27.05. Emily Freya and Fiona were next and having
defied the odds just to get to Turin, were also determined to put on a show –
and did so, producing a lovely routine which earned them a well deserved 27.00.
it was the turn of Molly, Xenia and Victoria. Looking confident, sharp and with
lots of expression, the girls were going well but unfortunately incurred a time
fault and struggled to control their stack, which ultimately pegged their score
back to a still respectable 26.45. It had been an incredibly tight final with
just 0.35 separating 2nd and 5th place. Sadly, despite
their amazing efforts, there would be no medals. Abi, Eve and Lucy missed out
by 0.15 to take a brilliant 4th place. Emily Freya and Fiona were
just 0.05 behind them in 5th and Molly, Xenia and Victoria took a
very creditable 6th. The Gold
Medal went to Harefield, adding to the overall success of the UK clubs.
That evening, everyone
dressed up for the post-event party, an opportunity to relax with the other
nations, swap souvenirs and look back on a great 3 days of acrobatics. The late
night proved just a bit too much for Lucy and Victoria, who fell asleep,
sprawled across their team-mates. They were subsequently carried to the bus,
into the hotel and put to bed by their friends; neither of them even stirred!
On the last day there
was time for some R&R before travelling to Milan to catch our flight home. The
morning was spent looking around a very hot and sticky Turin and in the
afternoon, the girls enjoyed a few hours at a nearby water park. The coach
journey back to Milan was a riotous affair, with Dav and Emily enthusiastically
encouraging a ‘conditioning on the Bus’ competition, which saw some amazing
feats of endurance. The bus driver had never seen anything like it, but took it
very well! And the excitement was not over, as the flight home proved to be
somewhat more ‘eventful’’ than expected. Happily, everything ended positively
and suffice to say, Easy Jet is now our very favourite airline; seriously!
Looking back, It really was a fabulous week
characterised by a great team, amazing spirit and some terrific results. A huge
thank you goes to our amazing physios, ' Dav’ and Emily who made such a
difference to the girls preparation both on and off the floor and to Toni our
brilliant welfare officer who was always there for everyone, whatever they
needed. Just one
question remains – where are we going next?
Gold Medal: Junior Women's
Groups. Gabrielle Jackson, Cosette Jackson, Nina Ferber.
Gold Medal: Junior Women's
Pairs. Rebecca Brookes, Sophie Newell.
Silver Medal: Senior
Women's Groups. Becky Evans, Sophie Everett, Siobhan Mahdoo.
11-16 Women’s Groups. Abi Woodliffe-Thomas, Eve Pilley, Lucy Kavanagh.
5th Place: 11-16
Women’s Groups. Emily Allen, Freya Clempson, Fiona Cox.
6th Place: 11-16
Women’s Groups. Xenia Parry, Molly Kavanagh, Victoria Traff.
Oxford Gymnasts Scoop 2
Golds and Silver at Italian International
Gymnasts from the Oxford
School of Gymnastics, based at Lord Williams School in Thame, are celebrating
this week having achieved outstanding results at the Turin Acrobatics International
Cup, a prestigious competition attended by 11 countries and over 220 gymnasts.
The girls who compete in the exciting discipline of acrobatic gymnastics proved
themselves to be up among the best, returning home from Italy with 2 Gold
Medals, a Silver and a 4th, 5th and 6th place.
There was also emotion and excitement of a different kind for Grace Johnson,
who was chosen to carry the GB Banner at the Opening Ceremony having been
forced to withdraw from the competition at short notice due to an injury to her
thumb. An excited Grace said “I can’t believe it!’ I was so disappointed that I
couldn’t compete, but being able to carry the GB flag made me feel really
proud, I’m so glad I was able to come as part of the team.”
Head Coaches Carrie Day
and Emma Parr commented: “Grace really typifies the sentiment of the whole
squad, they have all worked so hard together to prepare for this competition and
we really proud of them, they really share a special bond. We are absolutely
delighted with the results, particularly as this was the very first
International for most of girls. We have had a fabulous 3 days, it’s a
fantastic experience to compete abroad and something they will always remember.
We are so proud of everyone.
Silver Medal and 4th Place
Finish at National Finals – 18 & 19 May
The NDP (National Development Plan) National Finals took place over the
weekend of 18 & 19 May, with
2 Oxford Trio’s vying for honors in a competition that is always tough, as it
is only open to the winners of the 13 UK regional preliminary competitions
which precede the Final. As such, all of the competitors are already Regional
champions, which makes the Event particularly intense.
Eve and Lucy had to
perform two routines in the Grade 3 Women’s Groups, leading off with their
Dynamic routine, which they freely admit had tested them severely, both
individually and as a Trio during their build up. The girls have worked
incredibly hard and come a long way since winning the Prelims, but they knew
that their Nationals competition result would be determined by their Dynamic
performance. A rollercoaster of a day began when an inexplicable 0.5 penalty in
their Dynamic Routine left them in a disappointing 9th place. However,
a request for clarification resulted in the penalty being removed (a computer
error), lifting them into joint 5th place; a far more accurate reflection
of their performance. Buoyed up by their change in fortunes, but knowing there
was still a mountain to climb if they were to challenge the leaders, it was a determined
and positive Trio that took to the floor to perform a confident routine, albeit
with a couple of wobbles. Sadly, there was no fairy-tale ending, but their persistence
was rewarded as they climbed to take 4th place overall; a really fantastic
result which was only achieved because of their positive attitude and resolve.
Xenia, Molly and
Victoria, this was their first National Finals as a Grade 2 Trio. This was also
one of the most competitive grades with a number of well known and respected
clubs competing for their regions. The girls had an excellent draw, competing
last, so there would be no agonising wait to find out how they had performed.
Looking confident and assured, the girls performed a terrific routine, marred
only by an uncharacteristic error with their signature move. As they came off
the floor, they were struggling to hide their disappointment, not quite
believing what had happened. However, to their obvious relief and that of the nervous
Oxford supporters, the wait for the marks was mercifully short and frowns were
replaced with big smiles, revealing that they had won the Silver Medal!
done to both Trio’s, we are really proud of your achievements and in
particular, by your professional attitude, continuing unfazed when things don’t
quite go according to plan!
GB Team Trials – 5 May
At the same
time as the Inter-Regional Championships was taking place, Our Junior Trio of
Gabby, Cossi and Nina were at the home of British Gymnastics at Lillieshall,
competing in the first of two trial events, from which the GB Team for the
European Championships will be selected. The girls were required to perform 3 routines,
each one having to achieve a bench-mark score in order to secure a place at the
second trial. We are really delighted to announce that the girls achieved the bench-mark score achieving personal bests
in all 3 of their routines. They will now begin preparations for the 2nd trial which is in June; whatever the final
result of both selection events just being invited to trial for Team GB is
both an honour and an incredible achievement and something which is only
experienced by those at the very top of the sport. Well done girls, we are very
proud of you!
Inter-Regional Championships – 5 May
Silver for Elspeth, Kirsten
Inter-Regional Championships, hosted by the South, attracted entries from 10
regions including Scotland, Wales and N Ireland, making it a truly national
event. This competition is only open to gymnasts who finish 2nd, 3rd
or 4th in their Regional Prelim competitions (held earlier in the
year) and is a very tough event, with up to 20 partnerships in each category fighting
it out for the medals. Oxford had 2 entries as part of the Southern Regional Team
and Georgia and Esme competed first. Looking fabulous in their competition
leotards, the girls gave a sparkling performance, to the delight of their
coaches and received the 4th highest technical mark out of the 20
partnerships in their category, a fantastic achievement. In the Grade 1 Womens
Groups, Elspeth, Kirsten and Charlotte had worked hard on their artistry in the
build-up to the event and it showed. The girls performed a great routine with
confidence, accuracy and expression and were rewarded with a thoroughly
deserved Silver medal! Congratulations to both partnerships – you were fantastic!
Southern Region Tournament – 28 April
3 Gold, 3 Silver, 2 Bronze!
The club was
very strongly represented at the Southern Region Tournament, with possibly our
biggest ever competition entry. 11
partnerships, from Grade 1 to Junior level took part with only our Senior Trio
and Grade 3 Women’s Pair missing out due to injury. In the Grade 1, Tier 2 Women’s
Pairs (Gymnasts that train up to 6 hours
per week), there was an Oxford One-Two, with April and Lana taking the Gold and
Ella and Bryony the Silver. In the Grade 1 Women’s Pairs, the success continued
with Silver for Katie and Anna and a Bronze for Aysha and Elsa, who just edged
Georgia and Esme into 4th place.
The Grade 1 competition was rounded off by Elspeth, Kirsten and
Charlotte winning the Silver in the Womens Groups category. Our 11-16 Womens
Group of Freya, Emily and Grace gave a classy performance to take the Gold and
Becca and Sophie took the Silver in the Junior Pairs competition, which
unusually saw Mens and Womens Pairs across both Junior age groupings, pitted
against each other. Finally, Gabby, Cossi and Nina took the Gold in the Junior
Groups and while no one had been entered against them, the experience was
extremely worthwhile as the event formed part of the build-up to their
forthcoming GB Team Trial. Last but not least, our National Finalist Grade 2
and 3 Trio’s also performed routines as part of their preparations for their
big weekend in the middle of May (as finalists, they were ineligible to compete
for medals in the Tournament). Many congratulations and a big well-done to
everyone who took part!
P.S. We need
some photographs from the competition for the website, particularly of our
Grade 1 competitors, so if anyone has any that they would like to offer, please
contact Rich. Thank you!
Two Silver and a Bronze at the British Championships!
2013 Acrobatic Gymnastics British Championships was held at Fenton Manor on 13 and 14 April, with 4 partnerships taking part
over the course of the weekend. All of the gymnasts were competing in new partnerships and/or at a higher level of competition
than previously, so it was a hugely significant weekend for everyone and not just because it is the biggest event in theUK calendar.
By Sunday evening, we had won 2 Silver medals and a Bronze, a fantastic achievement. The full results were:
- Senior Women's Groups: Silver
Medal - Bex, Sophie and Siobhan.
- Junior (13-19) Women's Groups: Silver Medal - Gabby, Cossi and Nina.
- Junior (12-18) Womens Pairs: Bronze Medal - ‘Becca
Our 11-16 Age Group Trio of Emily, Freya and Grace, just missed out on a place
in the finals, but did themselves proud and gained valuable experience for the future.
A full report
and photos of the week end will be available soon; follow the link to the photo site here.http://richevansphotography.zenfolio.com/p885727347
Gold and 2 Bronze at
King Edmund International - March 2013
The King Edmund International is a respected, high quality
competition attracting entries from the top acro clubs in the UK and entries
from Europe and beyond. It was also the first event for 9 months for the clubs FIG
squad, all of whom were in new partnerships, many also competing at their
particular level for the first time. In addition, for this event, expectations
were tempered by the fact that its close proximity to the British Championships
meant that the squad were still in build-up for the latter competition and had
not yet ‘peaked.’
It was clear from the start that the standard was going to
be high. In the large and very competitive 11-16 Age Group, all 3 Oxford Trio’s
quickly realised what it means to compete amongst the best in the country.
First Routine performances that, on the whole, would have set them up for
podium finishes regionally, were only good enough to secure middle order
position. Nerves had undoubtedly played a part in the first round and all 3 Trio’s
subsequently ‘dug deep’ for their second routine (Balance). To their credit,
everyone improved their standings and Emily, Freya and Grace were able to secure
a place in the Final. The girls went on to give a strong performance,
ultimately finishing a very commendable 6th. To put this into
context, just 0.85 separated them from the 1st place Trio.
In the Junior (13-19) WG category, Gabby, Cossi and Nina had
a tough start to the day with a disappointing Balance Routine, but impressively,
shut the disappointment out of their minds to perform strongly in their Dynamic
and Combined routines, more than holding their own against the other competitors
to finish with the Bronze medal.
In the Junior (12-18) Pairs, Becca and Sophie had a great
competition and despite some wobbles in the warm-up area and some inexplicably
harsh marks for their Combined Routine, led their group throughout both days,
deservedly finishing in first place to take the Gold medal!
Nerves were also self
evident as Oxfords first Senior Trio of Bex, Sophie and Siobhan performed their
3 routines against the current World Cup winning Trio from Heathrow and a seasoned
South Tyneside partnership. Highlight of the competition for them was their
strong Dynamic routine, which delighted everyone. Satisfactory, if wobbly,
Balance and Combined performances rounded off a good first competition for
them, with the added bonus of a Bronze medal.
Well done to all of the squad and particularly our medal
winners! Everyone learned a lot from this high quality competition and gained
valuable experience, which will stand them in good stead as we approach the
3 Gold and 3 Silver
at the Southern Region Prelims!
first event of 2013 saw a large Oxford
entry competing in the Southern Region Preliminaries for a place in the
National Finals. Only the winners of each group go through to the Finals, so the
stakes for this event are always high. In addition, a large number of our girls
were competing for the first time ever, or were performing in a new
partnership, so there was considerable excitement as well as the usual nerves as they gathered in the warm-up
Tier 2 competition, which is for gymnasts who train less than 6 hours a week
opened the event and provided immediate success for Oxford.
April and Lana produced a very
confident routine to take the Gold in the Grade 1 Pairs category, closely
followed by Ella and Hattie who took the Silver; an Oxford One-Two was a great
way to start!
the Grade 1 Pairs category, 3 new partnerships (Katie and Anna, Beth and Elsa,
and Esme) were competing for the first time. For many of them, this was also
their first competition. With 2 of the 3 partnerships being ‘out of age,’ this
was all about gaining experience from performing at a big regional event and
every partnership did themselves proud, controlling their nerves and giving
solid performances that bode well for the future.
Kirsten and Charlotte performed in the Grade 1 Groups category and scored an
excellent 27.65, frustratingly missing out on first place by just 0.05 of a
mark. A similar fate befell Aysha and Bryony in the Grade 2 Pairs, who despite
being on a much lower Difficulty Tarrif than the eventual winners, only just
missed out on the Gold by the same 0.05 margin.
such frustrations affected our Grade 2 Trio of Xenia, Molly and Victoria, who
produced a classy performance, really looking the part and comprehensively
beating the opposition to take the Gold medal and with it, a place in the
Abi, Eve and Lucy, the build-up to the event had been difficult; all of them
having to ‘dig deep,’ both mentally and physically to get themselves to the
point from which they could be real contenders for the National Finals. At
Grade 3, two Routines are required and performing their stronger Balance
Routine first, the girls finished the morning with a clear lead. However, a
shaky warm-up had everyone’s heart pounding as they stepped onto the floor for
their Dynamic Routine. They would be the first to admit that it wasn’t a
‘vintage’ performance, but when it mattered most they delivered, controlling
their nerves and showing real courage to win the Gold medal! It was a great end
to an ‘emotional’ day.
huge well-done to the whole team and particularly our National Finalists - and
a big thank you to the ever vocal Oxford supporters, our floor marshallers,
Cossie and Laura - and to Gabbie, our newly qualified level 2 coach.
click here to download results for floor