Wednesday 26 March 2014


Junior British Championships 2014

This coming weekend not only sees a battle for the title of British Champion 2014, but also an equally anticipated fight for the crown of Junior British Champion. There are many up and coming young gymnasts who are making their mark on the sport in Britain and this competition is sure to be a nail biting one. So who can we expect to see?

Tyesha Mattis
The reigning Junior Champion, Tyesha will be hoping to power ahead of the rest of the field and reclaim her title. A gymnast who seems to be going from strength to strength, she has already taken the title of English Junior Champion. (Incidentally, she posted a score of 55.300, almost 1 whole point higher than the top score in the Senior competition.) Tyesha will definitely be aiming for the top of the podium this weekend.

Catherine Lyons
Catherine has had an amazing career as an Espoir gymnast and is now facing her first year as a Junior. Having won many titles as an Espoir, she recently had to settle for second place behind Tyesha at the recent English Championships. I have no doubt that she will be aiming for the top spot this weekend.

Georgia-Mae Fenton
Georgia-Mae is another gymnast making her debut as a Junior, having won the Espoir title last year. Will she be able to repeat her success from 2013 and take the crown as the Junior British Champion in 2014? Only working two pieces in the English Championships (bars and beam), Georgia-Mae is nevertheless one to watch.

Amy Tinkler
Amy has been one to watch for some time now and this will be no exception this weekend. She took the Silver medal in the all around competition last year and recently took the Bronze medal at the English Championships. She has some interesting and difficult work and will definitely be aiming for the medal podium.

Ellie Downie
Proving the saying 'it runs in the family', Ellie is firmly following in big sister Becky's footsteps. Ellie has a great deal to offer as an all around gymnast, finishing 4th at the recent English Championships. She will definitely be one to keep an eye out for this weekend.

Teal Grindle
Teal has been making her mark on British gymnastics for some time and will be hoping to impress once again this weekend. A first year Junior, she has been used to being on the medal podium as an Espoir and will no doubt be hoping to make it there as a Junior this year.

This is of course just a handful of the fabulous gymnasts who will be competing for the title this weekend and it looks set to be a fantastic competition.

Good luck to all the girls competing this weekend!


British Championships 2014

This coming weekend sees the battle of the Brits with the 2014 British Championships. British Gymnastics is asking you to 'Choose your champ', but with such a wide field of gymnasts competing this is surely going to be a tough decision, especially with reigning champion Gabby Jupp being out of the running due to her recovery from an ACL tear last year. So who are the possible champions of 2014?

Ruby Harrold
After her fourth place finish at the British Championships last year, Ruby has been going from strength to strength, not just on her signature piece, uneven bars, but also in the all around competitions. This was reinforced recently by her all around win at the English Championships. She will definitely be hoping to turn English Gold into the British title this weekend.

Hannah Whelan
After a disappointing 8th place finish all around in the 2014 British Championships, Hannah will be hoping to be back to her winning ways this year. She recently took the Welsh Open title by more than 2.500 ahead of Welsh Champion Raer Theaker with routines that included a grasp on beam and simple, single somersault dismounts on both bars and beam. With full routines by this weekend, Hannah will have the title in her sights.

Rebecca Tunney
The British Champion in 2012 and Team GBs youngest Olympian, Rebecca was unable to defend her title in 2013 due to injury. Although we do not seem to have seen much of Rebecca in the last couple of years, recent performances have been showing that she has been working on upgrades which we will hopefully see this weekend. Always one to perform well on the big occasion, she cannot be counted out.

Kelly Simm
Kelly is a gymnast who seems to have made a great improvement throughout the year. She was selected to compete for Great Britain at the 2013 Austrian Open, where she took the All Around title. At the 2013 British Teams competition she took the silver medal, second only to Ruby Harrold. I am sure we will see much of Kelly this coming weekend.

Raer Theaker
Current Welsh Champion, Raer was beaten in the Welsh Open only by Hannah Whelan. After finishing in 6th place at the British Championships last year, I am sure Raer will be hoping to improve on that and will have the medal rostrum firmly in her sights.

Charlie Fellows
A first year senior in 2013, Charlie impressed at last year's British Championships by taking the Silver medal in the all around. She is another gymnast we do not seem to have seen much of recently. She placed 4th at the recent English Championships but she will no doubt be hoping to repeat last year's British success this coming weekend.

Lisa Mason
Although still an outsider for an all around medal, it cannot be denied that Lisa has proved her doubters wrong. Having made a comeback last year at the age of 31 and after 13 years of retirement, Lisa initially only competed on vault and beam. This year however, she has not only tackled all four apparatus but finished a very creditable 7th place all around at the recent English Championships. Definitely still one to watch.

These are just a handful of the gymnasts that I cannot wait to see compete at the weekend. Others to watch out for include Claudia Fragapane, Jade Armstrong, Georgina Hockenhull and, of course, Becky Downie who is now competing on three apparatus. It certainly looks like it is shaping up to be a great competition.

Good luck to everyone competing this weekend!