British Championships 2002

From 1st -3rd November 2002 all the Sports Aerobics clubs converged in Birmingham for the annual British Championships. Once again Cocks Moors Woods leisure centre played host to the event which is growing bigger every year. With the introduction this year of qualifying rounds in the FIG categories the competition proved to be the toughest yet for Britain’s Sports Aerobics athletes. Here is how Heathrow fared.


Heathrow entered three athletes in the U12 categories with two of those athletes also competing as a pair. The competition was the biggest that the girls had ever taken part in so with this in mind the results they achieved are all the more commendable.

U12 Female Individual
There were a total of 19 athletes in this category and Heathrow’s Katie Smith took the gold and was crowned British Champion. She scored 10.73 to take the title. Kayla Gabriel scored 8.10 to take 14th position. Only the top two athletes scored over 10.00 points and the scores after those were very close.

U12 Pairs

Here Isabel Garratt joined Katie in this category and they performed their Mickey Mouse routine to thunderous applause. The final scores were very close as the Heathrow pair were just knocked into the silver medal position by a mere 0.2 of a mark! They scored 9.27 to the winners 9.47. A slightly lower execution score had put them into second place. However this was still a great result for the girls and they were very happy with their silver medal.


As previously mentioned most of the FIG categories, with the exception of some trio and pair categories where there were not a high number of entries, had a qualification and finals round this year. This meant that there was extra pressure on the top athletes to perform two good routines over two days of competition.

U12 Female Individual

Heathrow had four athletes in this twenty strong field but despite some good performances none went through to the final. We did come very close as we had the 9th and 10th place athletes with Vicky Chagger and Michelle Faircloth both scoring 10.90. The athlete in 8th position also scored 10.90 but had a higher artistic score than Vicky and Michelle taking that last place in the final. The scoring for this category was extremely close with there only being one mark difference in the scores between 16th and 6th place. Kerry Dixon took 15th place with 10.10 closely followed by Rosie Webster with 10.00.

U12 Pairs

Here Michelle and Rosie joined forces to successfully take the silver medal in this pair category. They worked really hard but missed out on the gold by the narrowest of margins scoring 10.41 to the winners 10.46. A mere 0.05 between them and the gold.

U14 Female Individual

Heathrow had 7 athletes in this category containing 16 athletes and got four through to the final. Top of the pile in qualifying was Rachel Murphy who has only recently returned from injury. She performed a new routine to The Ketchup Song, which proved to be a hit with the crowd and the judges. She scored 11.65, which placed her 2nd. In 5th, 6th and 7th position were Meghan Davies (11.00), Stephanie Fois (10.95) and Christine Adams (10.90). Jacqui Bamforth narrowly missed out on the finals by placing 9th with 10.55. Also representing Heathrow in this category were Kirsty Banfield in 14th with 9.95 and Sarah Muggeridge in 15th with 9.80.

The next day hopes were high for Heathrow to take a medal in this category. Rachel made a small mistake on one of her moves, which saw her score 11.55 that meant she finished up with the bronze medal. Meghan performed one of her best routine’s to score 11.70 and take the silver medal! She had improved on her qualifying score by 0.70 and was delighted with the result. Christine scored 9.90 for 7th place and Stephanie had a disappointing difficulty score of 0.00 as she repeated a move. She took 8th place with an overall score of 9.50. This was a great shame as Stephanie had the highest execution score of the whole group and had her difficulty score been the same as the previous day she would have been up with the leaders with a chance of taking a medal. Still a great result for Heathrow showing there strength in this category taking 2nd and 3rd place and boasting four out of the top eight athletes in this category in Great Britain.

U14 Pairs

No qualifying in this category but still a tough group with some talented pairs. Vicky Chagger and Rachel Murphy were determined to repeat their success of the Welsh Championships. They performed a good routine to the Addams Family theme to score 11.19 and run away with the gold medal finishing one mark ahead of their silver medal rivals! Heathrow earned their second British Title with this talented pair.


Here we saw 6 of the u14 Heathrow athlete’s join together to present their 6-team routine to the audience. Their lively routine to Ghostbusters scored 10.74 winning them the silver medal. As there are no other junior 6 teams they had to compete against a senior team so they did really well especially to beat the eventual winners on their difficulty score. Well done to Meghan, Stephanie, Christine, Sarah, Jacqui and Kirsty.

U16 Female Individual/trio

Here Heathrow entered three athletes who also compete together as a trio where they have gained international success taking a bronze medal at the French Championships earlier this year. In qualifying Lauren Barton and Chelsey Dixon were successful winning their way through to the finals. Lauren went through in 2nd place with a score of 12.25 and Chelsey was 5th with 12.00. As you can see the scores were very close so anything could happen the next day. Sarah Yusufu scored 10.85 to take 10th missing out on a finals place by just 0.25.

So to the finals. Lauren performed well but not as well as the previous day and scored 11.60 to take the bronze medal missing out on the silver by just 0.2. Chelsea scored 11.15 to come 7th.

The girls fared better in the trio category where Sarah joined them for a gold medal performance where they scored 11.50. With their funky routine they ran away with the gold medal becoming British champions by a margin of one whole mark. Here was Heathrow’s fourth title of 2002.

U17yrs Full FIG

As the athletes in this category will form the basis of future national squads they were required to perform a qualifying and finals routine even though there were not eight athletes in the category. This is to prepare them for the format of future international competitions. Overall the qualifying scores gave the same medal results as the final podium placings in the final. For one Heathrow athlete the gold medal was agonisingly close. Katie Cannon scored 13.45 on the first day finishing a little way behind the first place athlete. She worked hard on the second day performing a good routine beating the first place athlete in difficulty and execution and scoring the same overall score of 13.25. In the event of a tie the athlete with the higher artistic score wins so Katie missed out on the gold. Still the silver medal was a great achievement and Katie will be looking to take that gold in the future. Charlotte Murray remained consistent scoring 12.70 on the first day and 12.75 in the finals to take the bronze medal. Two out of three medals for Heathrow was not bad. Ria Cousins finished just behind Charlotte scoring 12.50 and then improving in the finals to score 12.70 for 4th place.

17yrs Trio

Here Charlotte, Ria and Katie continued their trio’s successes in a year that has seen them win international medals. They performed two routines over the two days scoring 13.24 and 13.67 respectively. They were happy with the resulting gold medals and Heathrow’s 5th British Title of the championships!

Level 1 Female Individual

Here Laura Hayter took another medal for Heathrow scoring 10.60 for the bronze medal. Laura has consistently won medals at the last British and Welsh championships and kept up her winning ways here.

Senior Female Individual

Two athletes in this category Selina John and Joanna Griffin represented Heathrow. Joanna has only moved up to the senior rank this year and Selina found these championships only her second competition since returning to the sport from retirement. Again these athletes were required to perform a qualifying and final routine. The positions stayed the same from one day to the next with Heathrow taking one of the overall medals on offer. Selina scored 12.80 and 12.85 in the finals to take a well deserved silver medal. Selina only returned to training a few months ago and this was only her second competition. She will be looking to train hard and represent Great Britain next year in this category. Joanna performed two consistent routines scoring 11.05 and 11.00 but did not break into the medals with her new routine to Shakira. She placed fourth overall. But again Heathrow have two athletes at the top of their sport in Great Britain and 2003 promises to be good for the club and its athletes.

Overall Heathrow walked away with 5 BRITISH TITLES and 27 medals from these championships building on the successes of the rest of the years competitions. Congratulations to Head coaches Gary Jarvis and Natalia Ilienko-Jarvis and the rest of the coaching team for all their hard work.

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