Last weekend six gymnasts from local clubs Manx Gymnastics and Ellan Vannin competed in the 2011 Scottish Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the Bells Sports Centre in Perth. All the girls were attending for the first time and were looking to continue their ongoing performance development and as part of their Commonwealth Youth Games 2011 preparation.
The competition was a very high level event with most of the recent female Commonwealth squad competing in the Seniors and over in the men’s, World medallist and current British Champion Daniel Purvis, along with Olympian, World and European medallist Daniel Keatings provided some extraordinary company for our gymnasts to compete in. The Bells Sports Centre was a fantastic arena for this National Championship and the Scottish officials, gymnasts and even the crowd provided a very warm and welcoming reception for everyone who travelled.
From the start, the girls were broken down into their respective ages with Rebecca Johnson, Aoife Donnelly and Holly Black competing in the Junior age group (13-15 years) and Kaitlin Kneen, Emily Dale-Beeton and Ciara Goddard competing in the Espoir (Under 13 years).
Rebecca Johnson was the best girl all around in the Junior Class and on Vault. Having landed a double back tumble on floor for the first time in a competition, with only some minor deductions on this piece and on beam, she had a virtual clear run.
Holly Black put in a good steady performance on all four pieces with no big deductions other than one uncharacteristic fall on beam. Holly chased all the way to finish one point behind Rebecca.
Aoife Donnelly in her first competition back since breaking her elbow delivered a great start to lead out her peers on three pieces. With bars being the final piece and her coach advising her to come back slowly, she only competed a short bar routine, leaving out her more difficult elements, which dropped her back in the final stage. All in all, a great effort and a promising start back at competitive level.
In the Espoirs, Kaitlin Kneen was in great form and the leading local girl all around and on the apparatus. Competing with handgrips for the first time did not even seem to affect her and she really was enjoying herself.
Emily Dale-Beeton delivered a flawless floor routine, looked very confident throughout the day and finished with a great score, finishing in second place overall .
Ciara Goddard put in a very steady performance all round and chased Kaitlin hard on the vault and bars.
Although some great performances throughout the day, the girls were unable to log any consideration scores.
The girls would like to thank their respective coaches Andrew Buckley from Manx Gymnastics and Amanda Keating from Ellan Vannin who without their hard work and support, all this would not be possible.