By Simon Parkinson
THE South West Championships Preliminaries at Taunton proved a rewarding experience for King Eddies’ young aces!
Our exuberant competitors struck gold in every event entered bar one, when even then silver and bronze medals were attained by the club.
Among the successful performers were Anna Campbell, Rhian Streeter and Megan Streeter, who won gold in the grade 4 trios with the highest marks of the day.
One of the club’s biggest stars of recent years, Jake Underdown, helped form a new men’s group with new recruit Toby Sawyer and the already-established Harry Hole and Marcus Flint, the foursome clinching gold in the grade 6 men’s category with a crowd-pleasing performance.
The South West Preliminaries at Sherborne for younger competitors produced gold for Bethany Orchard and Bethan Williams in the grade 2 women’s pair, and Henry Skidmore and Dillon Bruce in the grade 2 men’s event.
King Edmund also staged their annual international competition which attracted teams from throughout Great Britain as well as Ireland, Switzerland and Russia.
The fast-emerging duo of Dove-Strachan-Wills and Millie Battensby, performing in the 12-18 age bracket for the first time, turned in great displays to emerge gold medallists, while Christopher Child and Robert Bates, a new partnership, won the 13-19 men’s pairs section.
Shannon McClurg, Tiana McClurg and Jess Howard did well to claim a bronze in the 12-18 women’s group.
In the meantime King Edmund GC have been busy preparing for their Spring Spectacular over the weekend of Friday, March 7 to Sunday 9, the second to be held at their new Yate International Gymnastics Centre home.
Around 2,000 spectators were expected to watch the annual displays at various stages over the three show days, which saw the majority of the club’s 1,000 or so young stars of all ages performing a full and exciting repertoire of acrobatic gymnastics.
Just as they did 12 months ago, the internationally-acclaimed club installed tiered seating in their state-of-the-art arena at Yate Leisure Centre to help accommodate for audiences of up to 400 people for each show.
Members of King Eddies’ satellite clubs at Thornbury, Bradley Stoke and Pomphrey Hill were scheduled to take part, as were local dance and cheerleading groups.
Club manager Mark Thorne said: “This really is our annual showpiece and it’s one that the young kids in particular seem to really look forward to. For all our success in world gymnastics it’s a great opportunity to showcase the talents of our up-and-coming members.”