Gymnasts scoop national awards

GYMNASTICS: A team from Ipswich's Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club is celebrating after scooping silver medals at the national club team championships. The six-strong line-up – Emma Grisdale, Nicky Bruce, Pascal Craymer, Rosalie Hutton, Jessica Walker and Amber Russell – travelled to Newcastle to take part in the event.

GYMNASTICS

A TEAM from Ipswich's Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club is celebrating after scooping silver medals at the national club team championships.

The six-strong line-up – Emma Grisdale, Nicky Bruce, Pascal Craymer, Rosalie Hutton, Jessica Walker and Amber Russell – travelled to Newcastle to take part in the event.

They were delighted after finishing as runners-up to Liverpool, who successfully defended the crown they won 12 months ago.


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The Pipers Vale team were ranked in the top four in Great Britain going in to the competition, based on last year's fourth place in the same event.

The girls were up against the top teams in the country including Liverpool, last year's runners-up Park Wrekkin, Bristol; Newcastle and South Durham.

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They knew it was going to be tough to improve on the club's 2001 performance.

Pipers Vale's prospects had been severely weakened by the loss of two of the original team members through illness and their replacements were very inexperienced.

The girls started on floor and Pascal, Nicky and Rosalie performed fantastic routines to score the highest floor scores of the weekend and put the Suffolk hopefuls in a fantastic position.

The vault was next and the girls went clean on that discipline.

There were two mistakes on bars and then four mistakes on the beam and at that point the Pipers Vale girls felt they had blown their chances of a medal.

But their efforts were ultimately rewarded with a second place finish behind Liverpool.

"We never imagined in our wildest dreams that in just two years we could go from complete obscurity to being ranked number two in Great Britain," said Pipers Vale head coach Andy Wood.

"The girls have worked their socks off over the last three months preparing and the hard work has paid off. I am so proud of them."

Pascal, Rosalie and Emma now go on to compete in this month's British Championships.

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