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Saturday 2nd June, NAC Competition

Cardiff once again was the centre of attention for the aerobic gymnastics community. Gymnasts and coaches from 13 different clubs around the country gather together for the Welsh Open Championships.
122 routines had been performed by NAC Gymnasts from National Development (10-11), Group 1 (12-14), Group 2 (15-17), and senior categories.
Heathrow Aerobic Gymnastics Team selected 8 gymnasts to represent the club in the NAC Competition.
In the National Development category, 32 gymnasts competed against each other. Heathrow was represented by Helen Turner, Rhian Thomas, Chloe Byne, Hiba Omer, and Hayley Keattch.
Helen Turner performed her routine with very good execution all the way but had made a mistake in the supports family and lost 0.5 marks from her difficulty score. However, this time she looked more confident and managed to improve on her artistic. Helen scored 13.7 and was 16th, improving on her previous score by 0.8 and moving up 5 places from her last competition.
Rhian Thomas worked very hard prior to this competition, and her hard work did not go unnoticed. She presented a solid routine improving on her last result by 1.0 mark, moving from 28th place to 20th, scoring 13.350.
Chloe Byne is one of the youngest Heathrow competitors and still very new to the sport. However, she is already showing great improvement from her last competition two months ago. During the routine, Chloe had trouble with her support family and received a difficulty deduction of 0.5 but still managed to score higher than last time. With a total score of 13.15, Chloe was 22nd.
Hiba Omer also performed a much better routine and looked more confident this time. She earned a total score of 12.9 and was 27th.
Heyley Keattch represented Heathrow for the first time, performing a new routine and improving on her artistic and execution scores from her last competition, making a mistake in her support family which resulted in a difficulty deduction of 0.5. Heyley scored 12.9 and was 28th.
Later that day, competitors from Group 1 presented their routines. This was the biggest category out of the whole competition. 40 gymnasts competed. Heathrow aerobic gymnastics club was represented by Ella Decruz, Emma Bevan, and Siana Williams.
Ella Decruz presented a well-executed routine with lovely presentation and scored all her difficulty elements receiving a total score of 14.525. Ella was 6th, closely followed by Emma Bevan. Emma worked very hard prior to this competition on all the aspects of her routine. This time she was much sharper in her artistic and also increased her difficulty score. Emma received a total score of 14.5 and was 7th. Siana Williams also scored all her difficulty elements and performed a clean routine, receiving a total score of 14.1.

Comments: Once again, we see improvement in the performances of our gymnasts, and we commend them for their hard work. Of course our gymnasts still have a lot to learn, but this is a very good start, and the coaching team is very proud of them.
(Natalia Ilienko-Jarvis, High-Performance Coach, Brevet Judge)

Sunday 3rd June, FIG Competition

Sunday`s competition, as always, promised to be very exiting. Most of the National Squad members were representing their clubs throughout the day in different categories. The competition standards, as expected, have risen once again. 86 routines were displayed by gymnasts from 11 different clubs in front of the judges and excited crowds.
Heathrow aerobic gymnastics team was represented by Sophie Lewis, Tyler Ansell, and Emily Keane competing in Group 1, Rosie Webster, Sian Hill, and Natalie Green in Group 2, and Christina Fosshiem and Stephanie Fois in the senior category. Heathrow gymnasts worked diligently prior to this event and were looking forward to some good results.
In group 1 competition, 18 gymnasts performed their routines.
8 national squad members made this competition even more interesting. Heathrow`s Sophie Lewis surprised everyone with her strong comeback after a long time off due to her back injury. Sophie performed a very clean and solid routine. She looked very sharp and was in control during her performance.
Sophie received a total score of 16.3, scoring the highest difficulty score in her age group and receiving a well-deserved gold medal! What a great comeback for Sophie!
Tyler Ansell performed her routine and received a total score of 14.950 and came in 13th. Considering that this was Tyler`s second competition ever in FIG, we think it is a good result for her. Like Tyler, Emile Keane had competed in FIG for the second time. She scored 14.85 and was 15th. Of course both Tyler and Emily would benefit from this experience and hopefully feel inspired to work even harder for their next competition.
In the group 2 competition with two of its most experienced competitors absent (Siana Shipley, due to her injury, and Kirsty Banfield, due to her school exams), Heathrow Team was expecting some good performances from Rosie Webster, Sian Hill, and Natalie Green. 15 gymnasts competed in this age group, and 11 of them are national squad members. This competition proved to be very tough, but Heathrow gymnasts made their coaches proud. Rosie Webster was the highest scorer from Heathrow Team. She performed her routine beautifully, with a lot of flair and charisma, and was rewarded by judges with a score of 17.3 and a well-deserved bronze medal. But that was not the only good performance from the Heathrow team. Rosie was very closely followed by Sian Hill, who had being working so hard on her routine prior to this competition that she made a tremendous improvement on her routing. She presented a very clean and exciting performance and looked very confident during the competition. Sian received a total score of 17.1, narrowly missing out on a bronze medal position and coming in 4th. What a fantastic result for Sian! It was also great to see Natalie Green on the competition stage. Natalie had a back injury two weeks before the competition, and it was not clear if she would be able to compete at this event. However, she managed to find the courage to perform a good routine and received a total score of 15.75, coming in 15th.
Later on, all three girls teamed up together to entertain their supporters with a delightful trio performance. The routine looked very clean and confident and their synchronisation was very good. A truly good team performance! The girls received a total score of 16.800 and a gold medal. This result should give them a good boost of energy for further pursuing perfection.
The last, but not least, category of the day was the senior category. All of the girls in this competition were Senior National squad members, and the competition was expected to be very exciting and tense. Christina Fosshiem was first to take the stage, and she managed to perform a very well-executed routine.
After her recent trip to France with the GB National squad for the French Open Championships, Christina had made a brilliant progress on her artistic performance and worked really hard on technical skills, increasing her difficulty score. Christina received a total score of 18.100, which was the highest score of the day, and was rewarded with her first ever gold medal in aerobic gymnastics. That was a fantastic achievement for Christina. Unfortunately, Stephanie Fois had a problem during her performance. She had started very well and performed her first couple of skills without any problems but then lost her way in some new part of her choreography and had an interruption of performance for more than 10 seconds. However, she did manage to recover and was cheered by the crowd to the end of her routine. It was not easy to continue performing after an incident like this, but Stephanie is a very experienced competitor and very strong-minded. It was great to see her finding the courage to carry on her performance and she is a very good example to the younger athletes of how not to give up! We are all very proud of Stephanie and her achievements and wish her better luck for the next event.

Comments: We are overwhelmed with the success of our gymnasts at this most recent event. We could have not asked for more, and this will give everyone lots of inspiration to work even harder for more future success.

(Gary Jarvis, Natalia Ilienko-Jarvis)

Report By Natalia Ilienko-Jarvis.

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