SEVEN gymnasts from the elite squad at Arun competed at the south east regional women’s artistic grades competition at Guildford.
Competitions which follow the British Gymnastics development programmes for regional and national grades and compulsory levels are attended by the best gymnasts from top clubs across Surrey, Sussex and Kent.
All the Arun gymnasts were competing at regional grade level, and with four of the girls competing in their first grading, they did the club proud with all seven girls passing their grading and four of them achieving distinctions.
Connie Styles was entered into grade 13 for 2003 births. She produced two good vaults and had a very respectable range but saved her best performance for her floor where seventh place gave her an overall total of 51.25 and a good grade pass.
Arun’s four newcomers to the grades competed in the grade 14 competitions.
Club newcomer Gabriella Noviello was competing in the grading for 2003 births where her consistent performances and a superb fifth gave her a fantastic distinction pass.
Grace Markey, Libby Morton and Ellie Haxton were competing in the 2004 births competition and all three girls put in some wonderful top-ten performances.
Ellie Haxton had the two highest positions with a third on the vault and fourth on bars combining with her other scores to give her an excellent total of 55.6 and a very good grade pass.
Libby Morton had four top-ten finishes with sixth on vault, seventh on beam, ninth on floor and tenth on bars all combining for a total of 57.95 to give her an excellent grade pass and 11th place. Grace Markey was Arun’s best performer at this level and her superb consistency including fifth on both bars and range and conditioning, plus eighth on floor, put her ninth overall with her total score of 58.35 giving her a distinction pass.
Arun’s final two competitors were Olivia Kirkwood competing at grade 11 for 2001-02 births and veteran of the grades Lucy Stephenson-Gill competing at grade ten for 2000 and earlier births.
Both girls acquitted themselves admirably. Olivia was ninth on floor and her steady bars and vault helped her to a final total of 44, which gave her overall 11th and a distinction pass.
Lucy was Arun’s highest finisher of the day. She started with eighth place on vault then improved to record sixth on bars and fifth on beam but it was her polished floor routine that saw her pull off difficult tumbles and finish second - and overall fourth, narrowly missing the bronze but earning a coveted flower and a distinction pass.
The results once again prove Arun’s gymnasts can compete with some of the best gymnasts in the three counties, and their floor performances are even more remarkable given that the club don’t have their own sprung floor for practice.
But they’ve just been given funds for a sprung tumble track by the Friends of Arun Gymnastics Committee, who hope it will be a springboard for new success.