Early Friday morning, twenty four excited gymnasts gathered at SSV and departed for Stamford, England. The entire bus journey was Christmas themed, with the students singing a variety of Christmas songs at the top of their lungs. We arrived safe and sound at the hotel, introduced the gymnasts to their room buddies for the trip and they all had a hearty English meal at the Harvester.
Saturday was an early start as the U9 team were on in the first round. The U9 team gave the performance of their lives and placed 3rd overall in the team finals with two U9 gymnasts receiving a medal for their individual overall performance. Romy gained a 6th place medal followed by Amelie who placed an amazing 2nd out of 34! The girls were over the moon with their achievements.
Next up on Saturday was the U10 & U11 teams. Both teams overcame their nerves and gave an excellent performance and hats off to the U11’s who had the added pressure of needing to qualify. Unfortunately, neither team medaled but the girls qualified for Nationals in March! A few highlights from the competition; Sofia (U11) came a respectable 8th place out of 85 gymnasts! Faith (U10) performed an excellent 2nd vault following a fall on her first attempt at the apparatus, demonstrating enormous courage and perseverance as well as Kate (U11) and Lara (U10) competing a handspring for the first time.
It’s safe to say that the gymnasts made memoires for life and learnt valuable gymnastics lessons which will aid their performance come Nationals.
Sunday was easily the most eagerly anticipated day for everyone… Tesco! The students gathered up their pennies and had the opportunity to buy a selection of English treats.
Sunday afternoon, the seniors had their moment. The U15 team went up first and Anna (a first time ISGA U15) set the bar high with her best set floor performance yet – talk about performing well under pressure! The team all got through their set floor rotation with minimal mistakes and were beaming ear to ear. The vault was also a success and the team medaled 6th overall with Sara and Atha medaling joint 4th overall in the individual competition. What an achievement! The team qualified with flying colours and are buzzing for Nationals in March!
Finally, the U13 team’s time to shine. The team started on set floor where there were a few minor hiccups but the team overcame their mistakes and fought hard to win back some bonus marks. The team gave their all on vault to fight for a spot on the podium with Florence performing the best vault she has ever done, getting a massive grin from the judges… always a good sign if they crack a rare smile! By the time the presentation ceremony came around, the team were wracked with nerves, crossing their fingers hoping that they had done enough! 6th place was announced, 5th place… and then – BSN! The girls leaped with joy to be presented their 4th place overall team medal and made their way to the podium.
Sunday evening, the teams had a Christmas themed games night with singing, dancing, balloons and cake! All the gymnasts should be incredibly proud of their achievements. The commitment and hard work of the gymnasts shows that they are outstanding athletes. It’s safe to say that the students had a fantastic trip and made life long memories. The team bond and spirit between the students throughout the trip was inspiring!