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This was the second time that the Heathrow Team had visited the small town of Eisenberg in Germany, this time for the 3rd International Club Invitational Aerobic Gymnastics Meeting.
Last year this competition was very successful for the Heathrow Team and the gymnasts were really looking forward to it. This year the event was even bigger, with gymnasts from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Check Republic, Great Britain and Sweden competing against each other. 160 competitors in total from 23 different clubs took part in this year’s competition. The Heathrow Team had 11 gymnasts competing in 3 different age groups.

In the Group1 Competition (12-14 years of age) 32 gymnasts were entered. Competing for Heathrow were Emily Keane, Tyler Ansel, Emma Bevan, Siana Williams and Ella De Cruz. In Great Britain Siana, Emma and Ella would normally compete in the National Aerobic Competition which does not require compulsory elements in their routines. However in this event the girls had to be entered into the FIG Level (International Code of Points). The girls had to make some changes to their routines prior to this competition and had to include the required 4 compulsory elements. First it was Siana Williams to show her routine. She performed a good routine scoring all of her elements but was understandably nervous and slightly lacking confidence. Siana received a total score of 14.350 (23rd place). Second on the floor was Emma Bevan. Emma was really exited before this competition and worked very hard on her routine. Emma is still very new to the sport and had only competed once before but was very determined to accomplish a good result in this competition. She performed a solid routine scoring all of her difficulty elements and had good showmanship throughout the routine. Emma scored a total score of 14.60 (21st place). Next up was Ella Decruz. She performed her routine with very good presentation and tried very hard on all of her technical skills, however Ella did not receive value for one of the compulsory elements which affected her final score. She had a total score of 14.15 (25th place). Next on the competition floor was Tyler Ansel. All last year Tyler was competing in the NAC and only just moved in to the FIG in January, so this was also her first FIG competition. She had a completely new routine made for this year and worked hard on perfecting it. Tyler looked very confident on the competition stage and had very good presentation. She had scored 7 out of 8 difficulty elements but was not precise enough on her execution, scoring a total score of 14.25 (24th place). The next competitor from Heathrow was Emily Keane. Like Tyler, Emily had just moved in to the FIG at the beginning of this year and had a new routine made for this competition season. Emily was much exited to compete in this event and worked very hard on all aspects of her routine. She performed very confidently with good charisma and lots of enthusiasm. She had scored all of her difficulty elements and we feel was little bit underscored on her artistic. Emily received a total score of 15.05 and took 14th place.
Later on it was time for the Group 2 competitors to take the stage. Heathrow Aerobic Team had entered 4 gymnasts in this event. First up was Kirsty Banfield. Kirsty was much exited about performing her new routine and she worked very hard on making her routine as polished as possible. She had received the second highest difficulty score in this age group and managed to perform a very solid routine with a total score of 16.15. Next up was Siana Shipley again with a new routine. Siana’s routine was only just finished about 10 days ago and understandably she was slightly nervous but still very keen to please the crowd with her performance. She delivered an exiting routine with brilliant presentation scoring the highest difficulty score in this age group. Siana received score of 7.6 on artistic and 7.55 on execution. A very good result for Siana considering how little time she had to work on this routine. She received a total score of 16.9 and took home a well deserved bronze medal. The next competitor from Heathrow was Natalie Green. This was her very first competition in this age group and Natalie had to work very hard on the new compulsory elements in her routine. Natalie did her best to impress the judges with her performance but unfortunately still recovering from a shoulder injury did not look very confident and was not sharp enough. Natalie had a total score of 15.65 (10th place). Next up was Sian Hill. Sian had found the transition from NAC into the FIG last year and coming to grips with new compulsory elements quite tough. But with a new routine and a lot of hard work throughout last year she now looked very confident. Sian entertained the crowd with her exiting performance. She received second highest artistic score of 7.6 and a well deserved total score of 16.5 and 5th position. A good result for Sian.
Finally it was time for the senior athletes to take the stage. 10 gymnasts competed in this category from 5 different countries. After the recent retirement of Heathrow’s top gymnast Katie Cannon the Heathrow team was relying on Christina Fossheim and Stephanie Fois to deliver good performances. First it was Christina, who entertained the judges with her new and very exiting routine. She looked very confident and focused and managed to perform a very well executed and elegant routine. Christina shared the second highest score of 7.55 on artistic with Stephanie Fois and had the highest difficulty score of the day! Scoring the total of 16.95. Later on it was Stephanie Fois who had to show everyone what she can do. Stephanie is a very well established competitor with a lot of experience of competing internationally for GB at major events like The World Age Group Championships and the European Championships. Stephanie had taken some time off last year and this event was her very first competition after coming back. She performed a very solid routine with lovely presentation and had the second highest score in artistic and difficulty. Stephanie received the total score of 16.5. After the competition ended, the Heathrow Team was able to celebrate two more medals in the senior section: Gold for Christina Fossheim and a well deserved Silver medal for Stephanie Fois.

Comments: This type of competition is very important to clubs. They have a good atmosphere and promote long term friendships between different clubs around the world, as well as allowing competitors to see the progress of the sport and the improvement in their performances. Next weekend we have Britain’s first National competition this year, the Alex Strachan Cup, and so the international club meeting was a good chance for us to compete in preparation for this event. We are very pleased with the results of all our gymnasts and would like to congratulate everyone on their success. Also a special thank you to our parents and supporters who traveled with us to this competition.

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