GYMNASTICS: Record numbers of young gymnasts spring into competition

 GYMNASTICS: Record numbers of young gymnasts spring into competition

MORE than 250 children from 21 schools across the district had their first taste of competitive gymnastics at the annual South Somerset Key Step Gymnastics Championships held in Yeovil.

The competition – which was supported by South Somerset District Council and Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership - was held at Orchard Gymnastics in Yeovil with teams from Charlton Mackrell, Norton Sub Hamdon, Huish Primary School in Yeovil, High Ham, Swanmead in Ilminster, Hambridge, Ilton, Shepton Beauchamp, St Michaels Academy and Milford infants in Yeovil, West Chinnock, Greenfylde First School in Ilminster, Haselbury Plucknett, Long Sutton, Evercreech, Merriott and Pen Mill Infants School from Yeovil competing in routines on the floor and vault.

Steve Gass, school games organiser, said: “This is our sixth year of this successful competition and this year has been the best attended with over 250 children attending from 42 teams.

“The children competing in such a fantastic gymnastics facility provided a fitting climax for the competition and I would like to thank Orchard Gymnastics and their coaches for hosting the three competitions.”

The young gymnasts took part in a closely fought competition, which finished with West Chinnock being crowned champions, Evercreech taking silver and Greenfylde First School taking bronze in the Key Step One Competition (School Years Reception and Year 1).

In the Key Step Two Competition (Years 2 and 3), Norton Sub Hamdon were the champions, Greenfylde First School taking silver and Evercreech bronze.  In the Key Step Three Competition (Year 5 and 6) Evercreech took first place, with Swanmead in second place and Norton Sub Hamdon in third place.

The top two teams from each competition will progress to a County Final taking place in Yeovil at Orchard Gymnastics in late April and again in early May.

Barry Phelan, who is director of coaching at Orchard Gymnastics, said: “The three competitions this year, have seen over 250 children participate within competitive sport for the first time and it acts as an excellent introduction to gymnastics.”

The district council’s leisure and culture spokesman, Cllr Sylvia Seal, said: “It is fantastic to see so many young children involved in the competitions.

“Following the Rio Olympics, gymnastics has never been more popular and we hope that these young people will be inspired to take up the opportunities on offer at their local gymnastics clubs.”