In Autumn last year we introduced “Lieutenant Weller and his gang” in a Gymnast feature showcasing the Royal Navy Gymnastic Association’s debut experiences at the 2016 Adult Gymnastics British Championships.
We’re happy to report that since then the Association have gone from strength to strength and recently held their first ever gymnastics competition
The event saw personnel from eight different naval establishments competing in the event from Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood to the Royal Navy Air station in Yeovilton. Many of the personnel were competing for the very first time. The event was fully inclusive and saw gymnasts from the age of 19 competing with 39 year olds, males and females, sailors and marines were all participating together and enjoying the sport of gymnastics.
The competition was held at Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre as a floor and vault event only so all personnel had access to the equipment within their establishments with a team event and an individual competition The event was lucky enough to have International judge Adam Paterson and some of his team judging the event. The Associations sponsors the ‘Greenwich Hospital’ also had their director there to oversee proceedings as a VIP and award the medals.
Hugh Player the Director Greenwich Hospital said ‘It was a new experience for me to see gymnastics close-up and as an observer, it was great to see the very new gymnasts competing alongside personnel with greater experience and higher performance levels, and who are such fine examples to the newcomers.’ He went on to say ‘Everybody has worked hard to get to the event. It was evident that everyone was clearly very proud to be representing their establishments in the championships, and all were hugely encouraged. The whole competition was very impressive, and exactly what service sport should be. ‘
LPT Hayley Saunders from RNAS Yeovilton said ‘I was really nervous about the competition as I have never done anything like this before; we all trained so hard for it. I really enjoyed the whole experience and I won my first ever medal – in fact I won two! A bronze for the team event and a bronze for the individual competition.’
ET(WE) Alex Anderson from HMS Collingwood said ‘It was good to get back into the sport after years of not having the facilities to train and was great to have the opportunity to start competing again, I had an amazing time.’
The 2017 Adult Gymnastics British Championships will take place at Lilleshall National Sports Centre on the 5th and 6th of August. The code of points for the various competitions can be found here along with entry details and contact information.