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1 Gold and 3 Bronze Medals for Heathrow Girls
at the Alex Strachan Cup on 24th and 25th June 2006

at Bracknell Sports and Leisure Centre

Four great performances at the weekend were rewarded with medals; others missed out by the merest tenths of a mark – the results from this first event in the annual national aerobics calendar marked a promising start to the year for Heathrow Aerobic Gymnastics Club.

Tyler Ansel and Siana Williams, both in their first ever national event, were also in the first round of the NAC competition on the Saturday. Both girls looked smart and confident, whilst performing their good clean routines. Tyler was unfortunately given a difficulty deduction, otherwise she would have finished in a medal position, but she still took 7th place with 13.050. Shana wasn’t far behind scoring 12.700 to take 9th place out of 22 – both were top 10 finishers!

The second round was the biggest group of the day with 37 competitors, including 7 from Heathrow.Evelyn de Caro proved to be Heathrow’s star – she stormed through the crowd with a good clean routine, smiling amazingly to take the gold medal with a score of 15.100, which was over a mark clear of her nearest rivals.

The battle for the silver and bronze medals in this round was so closely fought that two decisions were made on the count-back rules. Emily Keane performed a really good routine, smiling beautifully throughout so her artistic score was good but having come in joint second with 14.050 she lost out on the execution score. Delighted with her bronze medal, Emily has improved three places since the British championships last year. Ella Rigg, in her first competition, finished in joint 4th position with 13.950 and a tied execution score, then was pushed back into 5th by her artistic score which was 0.5 lower – however an excellent result and a very promising start to her aerobics career.

This was Eden Rigg’s third national event - she came 13th performing a new routine to new music, which she will be able to improve upon for the British. Ella de Cruz, Francesca Sargood and Abbey Tweddle did well, especially as they have just come up from the recreational level. For the British, they now need to learn some more artistic tricks and work hard to improve their technical ability.

The second day of competition brought the FIG gymnasts to the floor. Natalie Green’s existing routine had been tweaked recently, with the result that she had the highest difficulty in the 12-14’s age group – executing it well, she looked very relaxed and confident and was justly rewarded with a bronze medal and a score just 0.45 behind the winner. Natalie’s performance was all the more notable because unlike many of the girls she beat she isn’t currently a member of the National Squad and the two girls ahead of her recently represented GB at the World Age group Championships in China. Sophie Lewis managed a good routine, which included a new element, to take fourth place with 15.950, just 0.1 off a medal. Jenna Nola, smiling well, performed a clean routine with a good back spin to vertical.

Rosie Webster was the first up in the 15-17’s for Heathrow. New to this age category with the longer time requirement, she had a new routine to show off. Rosie attacked the first half well producing a graceful and flowing performance but couldn’t keep up the pace losing her straddle turn (which is normally one of the best in the club). Rosie still finished in the top ten with 15.700 – unlike Rosie, all eight competitors above Rosie in the results table are National Squad members, which shows how well she did. Kirsty Banfield was next up, again with a new routine – she made a good confident start, executing the difficult A-frame well, but it was not her best performance, possibly because she was in borrowed trainers half a size too small! Kirsty finished 8th. Sian Hill had the challenge of going up from NAC to FIG this season and coping with the extra 15 seconds on routine length – having started well, she managed to keep going after a poor straddle turn but although her coaches were pleased, she was probably disappointed with her score of 15.300 and 13th place. Stephanie Fois did a cracking first half but didn’t seem to recover from a momentary loss of concentration – she actually scored exactly the same as Sian but edged ahead with a fractionally better execution score. Last up was Jacqui Bamforth, looking relaxed, she performed a good clean routine, including a double L. She scored 16.65 and came fourth, a marvellous achievement but sadly Jacqui was the third Heathrow girl to miss out on a medal – this time by just 0.05, not even a pointed toe’s worth!

The senior round was without Katie Cannon, who is currently resting after the French Open and the World Championships in China. Chelsey Dixon was looking forward to putting up a good fight for one of the medals in Katie’s absence but a previous injury prevented her from competing after the warm-up. It was left to Christina Fossheim, competing in her very first aerobics competition, to carry the Heathrow banner. She did the club proud: a very graceful, elegant and neat routine, demonstrating her able gymnastic background, secured her the bronze medal with 16.800. Several judges were heard to comment on her obvious talent.

In a competition which saw other gymnasts receive silly deductions, the girls from Heathrow can be thankful for the meticulousness of their coaches, Gary and Natalia Jarvis, who ensure they

have the best possible chance of doing well and to Ria Cousins for all her coaching support. As a team the girls can be rightfully proud of themselves, not least for the way they behaved and their overall turn-out but also for the support they gave each other.

Next stop - our very own Heathrow Open, which for the first time this year is transferring to Bracknell Leisure Centre to host Britain’s first ever International Aerobics Club Meeting. Watch this space for further news!

Alex Strachan Cup Results

Code Athlete Age Category Score Position
FIG Christina Fossheim Senior 16.800 3rd
FIG Jacqui Bamforth Group 2 16.650 4th
FIG Kirsty Banfield Group 2 16.050 8th
FIG Rosie Webster Group 2 15.700 9th
FIG Stephanie Fois Group 2 15.300 12th
FIG Sian Hill Group 2 15.300 13th
FIG Natalie Green Group 1 16.050 3rd
FIG Sophie Lewis Group 1 15.950 4th
FIG Jenna Nola Group 1 14.800 21st
NAC Evelyn de Caro Group 1 15.100 1st
NAC Emily Keane Group 1 14.050 3rd
NAC Ella Rigg Group 1 13.950 5th
NAC Eden Rigg Group 1 13.500 13th
NAC Abbey Tweddle Group 1 13.000 18th
NAC Francesca Sargood Group 1 11.950 33rd
NAC Ella de Cruz Group 1 11.750 35th
NAC Tyler Ansel Nat-Dev 13.050 7th
NAC Siana Williams Nat-Dev 12.700 9th

Repot By Val Lewis

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