Aerobics Gymnastics British Championships & NAC cup

30th September – 2nd October 2005

The weekend got off to a fairly leisurely start on the Saturday. There was a long wait between the initial run on of all competitors and the first Heathrow gymnast to perform but with two judging panels the competition moved swiftly. Emily Keane was last on before lunch, in the huge NAC National Development category. Proudly sporting her new leotard, Emily performed a well executed routine coming 6th out of 34, with a personal best score of 13.65.

After lunch were the FIG qualifying rounds. The Group 1 trios were, as always, a close match – Sophie Lewis, Vicki Chagger and Rosie Webster were edged into 3rd for the first time this year. The girls felt their routine was good but watching parents thought it lacked their usual synchronisation. It would be all to fight for on the Sunday….

The Group 1 individual competition brought disappointing results overall for Heathrow. Sophie had very little time after the trio before competing again – masking well the fact that she’d managed to start in the wrong corner she scored 16.275, but it wasn’t enough for the final. Natalie Green and Jenna Nola followed quickly after. Jenna worked hard producing her best score of the season, 15.9 to give her 15th with Natalie in 20th. Last up for the club was Vicki, who flew the flag well, gaining her best score for the season, taking her into 6th position and a place in the final.

Both Heathrow trios in Group 2 scored well with Chelsey Dixon, Stephanie Fois and Rachel Murphy going into the final in 1st place and Jacqui Bamforth, Siana Shipley and Kirsty Banfield in 3rd. In the Group 2 individual qualifying round, Heathrow dominated - out of the nineteen competitors, only eight were eligible for the final and five of those (over half) were from Heathrow. Jacqui sadly just missed out in 11th place, despite a personal best score of 17.3.

In the seniors, Katie Cannon went through in first place, continuing her unique grip on a score over 20.

Sunday by contrast proved to be a nerve-wracking and emotional affair!

The day started again with the NAC, this time Group 1. Sian Hill produced an amazing routine which took her straight into 1st place with a score of 15.7, which compares well to those in the equivalent FIG section. Lauren Sargood improved on her previous best by nearly a whole mark to put her in 3rd place, until it was cruelly snatched from her by the merest 0.05 by the penultimate competitor!

In Group 2 NAC, Fran Murphy came 11th out of 22 with 14.7.

The FIG Finals finally started at 16.45pm. The Heathrow Group 1 trio (Sophie, Vicki and Rosie) were first in their section – their routine looked tidier and the girls’ smiles said they thought so too…they did enough to pull past Bulmershe once again, claiming silver, and were only .3 behind the winners.

The individual round was tense – Ep, official photographer, had to leave his post whilst daughter Vicki performed. She pulled out all the stops, improving her performance yet again but Bulmershe snatched the medals. Vicki can be proud of moving up from 6th to 4th place.

Group 2 was no less exhilarating. In the trios, Saturday’s results were completely overturned. Jacqui, Siana and Kirsty improved their score only a fraction but it was enough to give them 2nd over team mates Chelsey, Stephanie and Rachel, whose loss of an element proved costly, pushing them back into 3rd.

The individual round also brought some surprise results. In a round which demanded performances to be stepped up a gear, Chelsey took up the challenge and moved from 3rd to 1st, Rachel fought back to hold onto 2nd and Siana dramatically improved her execution to steal 3rd . Kirsty was only .15 behind in fourth, with a score which took her over 18 for the first time. Stephanie dropped back to 8th.

The senior competition was electrifying, Katie Cannon looked stunning and with 20.2, we thought unbeatable, but Katie Richards of Bulmershe chose this moment to turn the tables, winning with 20.525. We were devastated, none more so than Katie who’s worked so hard all year and has always looked the better gymnast.

The medal ceremony concluded the weekend. It was a proud moment when Heathrow took all three podium positions in the Group 2 individual section. However more was to come, first Sian Hill won the NAC Cup for highest score of all the NAC routines, of which there were over 135 across all the age groups! Then, following the announcement that the Club of the Year award has been withdrawn and replaced by two new awards, was the news that Katie Cannon and Katie Richards will share the new title of BG Gymnast of the Year, in it’s inaugural year, for the outstanding example they’ve set to the sport. That brought tears mingled with smiles and cheers on very tired faces!

Well done to Gary & Natalia, who have worked hard all year with their gymnasts to produce such good results. Natalia, the highest qualified and most experienced International Brevet Judge in the country, put on her judge’s hat to chair the Judges’ Panel and to judge “Difficulty” on both days of the competition. Heathrow’s other International Brevet Judge, Jacqui Murphy, was also on the judging panel. Thanks must go to all concerned.

Thanks also go to Joanne Evens and Ria Cousins, who assisted Gary to coach on both days, and to parents, family and other supporters.

Heathrow Results.

Code Athlete Age Category Score Position
FIG Katie Cannon Seniors 20.200 2nd

FIG Chelsey Dixon Group 2 18.600 British Champion
Rachel Murphy Group 2 18.450 2nd
Siana Shipley Group 2 18.300 3rd
Kirsty Banfield Group 2 18.150 4th
Stephanie Fois Group 2 17.775 8th
Jacqui Bamforth Group 2 17.300 11th

Jacqui, Siana & Kirsty Group 2-Trio 16.500 2nd
Chelsey, Stephanie & Rachel Group 2-Trio 16.150 3rd

FIG Vicki Chagger Group 1 17.350 4th
Sophie Lewis Group 1 16.275 13th
Jenna Nola Group 1 15.900 15th
Natalie Green Group 1 15.500 20th
Rosie Webster Group 1 15.450 22nd

Sophie, Rosie & Vicki Group 1-Trio 16.800 2nd

NAC Fran Murphy Group 2 14.700 11th

Sian Hill Group 1 15.700 NAC Champion
Lauren Sargood Group 1 15.050 4th

NAC Emily Keane Nat-Dev 13.650 6th

Additional awards:

Katie Cannon
British Gymnastics’ Gymnast of the Year
(shared with Katie Richards) for consistent high performance and being a positive role model.

Sian Hill
NAC Cup for best NAC score

Report By Val Lewis


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