Great result for Pipers Vale

PIPERS Vale Gymnastics Club will make up half of the East Region squad that travels to the National Age Group Championships after a storming performance at the regional qualifiers.

Stuart Watson

PIPERS Vale Gymnastics Club will make up half of the East Region squad that travels to the National Age Group Championships after a storming performance at the regional qualifiers.

Competing at their own south east Ipswich-based club, all six of Pipers Vale's representatives secured the top four placings they required to make the 12 gymnast squad that will compete at prestigious National Finals.

“This is a result to be savoured,” said Head Coach Andy Wood. “This is our best result at this level and shows that the club is going from strength to strength as we rebuild after the senior girls all retired last year.”

The regional qualifiers - known in full as the Regional Age Group Championships and Regional Voluntary Championships - are contested by those that qualified from the County Age Group Championships earlier in the season.

In Level Four (nine-years-old), Pipers Vale had three gymnasts competing in the form of Georgia Conway, India Goodman and Kaycee Child.

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All three gymnasts had to get into the top four to go through to the National Finals which was a tall order considering that there were 14 gymnasts taking part.

All three girls competed beyond expectation and went clean over the four pieces. As a result, Conway took silver, Child claimed bronze, while Goodman finished in fourth spot, meaning that three quarters of the East Region's Level Four team at the National Finals will be made up of Ipswich gymnasts.

In Level Three (10-years-old) Molly Taylor and Charlotte Mwayi were Pipers Vale's representatives.

This was the strongest age group, with 18 gymnasts of the highest standard from Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, many of whom had made National Finals before, providing strong opposition.

Mwayi and Taylor both enjoyed very good days, with Taylor in particular looking head and shoulders above the rest.

The results reflected this and Taylor won by a clear 2.5 marks, while Mwayi beat off strong competition from Norfolk for the all-important fourth place.

In Level Two (11-years-old), Alice Foster was the club's only competitor. As this level is just one below the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG), the standard of gymnastics required for this competition is extremely high.

At 11-years-old girls are expected to include multiple somersaults and twisting movements in their routines, the type of which are only really seen at the highest level. Consequently only five gymnasts were able to compete.

Foster's first two pieces were good and, although there were two falls on the beam, she recovered with a good performance on the floor. This meant that, not only did Foster win the overall title, but she also won every individual piece - even with the two falls on the beam.

The FIG Championships and FIG Challenge was the next competition and, with the National Finals for this competition having been held back in June this year, this competition acted as a qualifier for next year's event.

Pipers Vale had no entries in the Regional FIG Championships, which is the highest level, but they did have one competitor in The FIG Challenge in the form of Chloe Wood.

Competing in the 11-13 age group, Wood started well with a reasonable vault and bars, and although there was a fall on the beam, her floor routine was superb.

Earlier this year Wood had been beaten by most of the field so was not expected to medal, however, her performance had given her a personal best score at this level meaning she beat five other gymnasts to take the bronze medal.

Results

Level 4: 1st Freya Ansell-Jones (Carousel, Essex), 2nd Georgia Conway (Pipers Vale), 3rd Kaycee Child (Pipers Vale), 4th India Goodman (Pipers Vale)

Level 3: 1st Molly Taylor (Pipers Vale), 2nd Emily Rose-Bowyer (DGA, Essex), 3rd Emily Crowe (TNAG, Norfolk), 4th Charlotte Mwayi (Pipers Vale).

Level 2: 1st Alice Foster (Pipers Vale), 2nd Eleanor Clifford (Colchester, Essex), 3rd Amelia Morris (South Essex), 4th Jodie Clarke-Rivers (South Essex).

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