10 young gymnasts and their coaches, Nick Workman and Corina Ungureanu, attended the British Gymnastics Club Grades National Finals in Birmingham at the weekend. The Isle of Man fielded 3 teams in grades 8, 7 & 6, against 12 other regions and countries from the whole of the British Isles.
The Island’s representatives in Grade 8 were Tara Ferguson, Amy Whiteway, Emelie Haddock and Radha Patel. The team scored well on vault, coming third as a team and Amy Whiteway scoring 12.750 for individual third place on vault. Unfortunately the team had to carry two falls from beam to their total, keeping them to 10th overall, ahead of Scotland and the West Midlands teams.
Highest placed individually was Tara Ferguson, who had an excellent competition and was heading for a podium finish until her last move of the competition, the dismount form beam. An uncharacteristic mistake dropped Tara from first on beam and third overall to tenth place overall from the 49 competitors. Still an excellent result in strong company.
In the Grade 7 competition Tara Donnelly, Ciara Goddard and Emily Dale-Beeton represented the Island. The girls put in a solid team performance with all scores having to count, due to the lack of a fourth team member. Against 12 other teams with four members they finished an excellent 8th position ahead of the West Midlands, Yorkshire, South, Scotland and the East Midlands. Again it was a story of what might have been with another uncharacteristic mistake by Tara Donnelly, this time on bars. Tara quickly regained her composure and with an excellent fifth on bars and beam, finished a tremendous 4th place overall. Without the fall Tara would have taken the silver medal.
On to Grade 6, and the Isle of Man representatives Aoife Donnelly, Nicole Burns and Holly Black took to the apparatus. The girls worked really well as a team, again without the benefit of a fourth team member. After disappointment on bars the girls focused extremely well to perform their beam routines without any falls. The team finished 9th ahead of the east Midlands, Scotland, Yorkshire and the West Midlands.
All in all it was a good weekend’s performance with proof that the Island’s gymnasts can hold their own with the best in Britain.