There’s less than three weeks to go until the 2019 British Gymnastics Championship Series, where the disciplines of TeamGym, acrobatic, aerobic and rhythmic gymnastics will be showcased at M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool.
One of the gymnasts competing that weekend will be aerobic star Niamh Keane. Niamh is the defending champion, and having just returned from a successful European Games in Minsk, she’s excited to be back to defend her crown. We caught up with her for a quick chat about all things aerobic.
How was it winning the British title last year?
"It has been my goal for a number of years to win a British title in the individual category and achieving this last year was one of the proudest moments of my career. We all work very hard so to have a senior British title to show this is amazing."
Was it something you expected?
"Although it was my goal I didn’t expect to win. The other girls in the category are really talented and had recently returned from the World Championships so I knew the competition would be tough."
What are your hopes for this year’s competition?
"My hope for this year is to do a clean routine, improve on my execution score and put myself in contention again for a British title. There are more of us this year so I know I will need to bring my best to the floor."
Does it feel different going back as the defending champion?
"I try not to think of it any differently going back as the defending champion, however I know that there is a certain level of performance expected when you hold the title. I want to thoroughly enjoy my performance and show to the younger gymnasts that although there are expectations on you, if you enjoy what you’re doing and give it your all, nobody can ask for more."
What should people in the crowd look out for in your routine?
"My strong point of my routine would probably be my artistry. I love performing and this comes across when I am on the floor. My favourite element family is my jumps, so I have a few landings on my hands which the audience tend to appreciate!"