By Simon Parkinson

KING Edmund Gym Club’s young starlets will hit the floor running heading into this year’s British Gymnastics Acrobatic NDP Finals at Stoke in May thanks to some sparkling performances in the South West Prelims.

Yate-based King Eddies, who now have a burgeoning membership of some 1,400 signed-up gymnasts of all ages and abilities, took enthusiastic parties to Sherborne and Taunton for lower and higher-grade competitions respectively, with a view to gaining qualification for as many of their medal-chasing performers as possible.

It was a case of mission accomplished as the young Sherborne hopefuls reaped ten gold, five silver and two bronze medals from their exploits at the Dorset town’s Gryphon Sports Centre, while their more senior compatriots, competing at Taunton’s Wellsprings Leisure Centre, produced 11 gold, three silver and a bronze medal between them in another magnificent club showing.

The upshot of that is the King Eddies team, representing themselves and the South West region, will now take a contingent of 13 partnerships to Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke for the NDP (National Development Plan) finals on May 14 and 15, where all will be aiming to return to South Gloucestershire proudly proclaiming the distinction of being a British champion.

King Eddies manager Mark Thorne said: “As a club we have performed admirably at the South West Prelims down the years but these results at Sherborne and Taunton were by far the best we’ve produced at them.

“For these young gymnasts this is the top national tournament they can take part in, and King Eddies will be making up around half the South West team as they all look to be crowned British champions at their various age and grade levels.

“If they continue to perform as they have been then there’s no reason why many of them cannot achieve those ambitions.”