VIDEO: Honiton gymnasts bring home the gold at national championships held before lockdown

Honiton Gymnastics Club scored gold just before the Coronavirus outbreak, fielding 18 gymnasts from eight partnerships at the recent Pat Wade Classic national championships.

The competition included gold-medal-winning performances from mixed pair Sky Shute and Reece Cutler and women’s pair Hallie Bennett and Catie Lee. There were additional first place positions from mixed pair Buster Tutcher and Abi Sandford and men’s pair Josh Jackson and Alfie Westerman.

Helen Reddy, board member and high-performance coach at the club, said: “We’ve seen huge improvements in the performance of our gymnasts since moving into our new centre and it’s great to be competing again on a national stage.”

She said Hallie and Catie scored more than 25.00 in both their routines and were well-rewarded for the artistic merit of their performances. Reece and Sky also scored highly.

“To be successful it’s become increasingly important to show a complete performance – demonstrating high levels of artistry, execution and difficulty,” Helen said.

The Honiton gymnasts performed two acrobatic routines – balance and dynamic.

The balance routine included static elements, such as one-handed handstands, which should be held without movement for three seconds.

The dynamic routine has double somersaults and partner-to-partner catches. Both routines include individual elements and tumbles to show off personal gymnastic skills.

Routines are choreographed to music, and gymnasts are judged on the technical execution, artistic content and difficulty of moves.

Hallie and Catie competed in the International Development Plan 1 (IDP1) women’s pair competition, finishing more than three marks ahead of their nearest rivals from Newport.

Reece and Sky, who feature in the video, won gold in the IDP1 mixed pairs event, more than a mark ahead of second-placed gymnasts from the Wigan Seagulls club.

In addition to the gold medals, other gymnasts from Honiton Gymnastics Club who competed at the Pat Wade Classic were:

· Buster Tutcher and Abigail Sandford – 1st in IDP2 Mixed Pairs
· Josh Jackson and Alfie Westerman – 1st in IDP2 Men’s Pairs
· Matthew Beviss and Oscar Felice – 1st in balance routine in IDP1 Men’s Pair
· Hollie Moulton and Ella Lane – 7th in 11-16 women’s pairs
· Kira Wotton, Sophie Stinchon and Natalya Pushkerev – 16th in 12-18 Women’s trio
· Maicey Bennet, Chloe Hutsby and Ava Collins – 14th in Youth Women’s Groups

Despite being in lockdown for the past few weeks, Honiton gymnasts have been keeping up with their training commitments, completing home programmes, taking part in daily challenges and being guided by their coaches during regular live Zoom training sessions.

Helen said: “Honiton Gymnastics Club is a strong community with more than 600 children and adults normally benefitting from our services each week, so we are trying to keep everyone motivated.

“Our gymnasts are still working extremely hard and maintaining their enthusiasm for their sport and looking forward to getting back in the gym when it is safe to do so.”

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