Rhythmic gymnasts head to Lilleshall for latest training camp - British Gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnasts head to Lilleshall for latest training camp

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Some of Britain’s senior rhythmic gymnasts have recently attended a training camp at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, ahead of the hopeful return of competitions in the new year. 

With current Covid-19 restrictions in place, several gymnasts and personal coaches were unfortunately unable to attend, but could do virtually, with each of the training sessions streamed live to the coaches back home.

Talking during the week, Alida Bogdanova, the current British silver medallist, said: “It’s been a great training camp. It’s been challenging as we haven’t been here in nearly nine months, but I think all of us are making progress.

“I’m really happy to be here, as I understand there a lot of athletes and gymnasts that aren’t preparing for a major championship in 2021, who are not allowed this opportunity right now.”

Through two lockdowns this year, gymnasts across the country have had several hurdles to overcome, with home workouts becoming the norm. 

For some of Britain’s best rhythmic gymnasts, the training camp provided an opportunity to get back doing what they love. 

Saffron Severn, who became British junior champion last year, has now stepped up to senior level and was glad to be back training: “This camp has been really beneficial. With lockdown coming back recently, I haven’t been able to be in the gym much, so coming here was a really good opportunity to train. 

“I always like to have my own personal coach here so that we can learn together, but she has been online and able to watch. After the week, I’ll report back to her and the coaches that are here will be able to give feedback too.”

Leyla Yilmaz is another gymnast that’s moved up to the senior ranks this year, having had success as a junior. 

Despite there being few competitions this year, she’s enjoyed the training camp and is looking ahead to 2021: “It’s been a great week and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been good to get back performing on the carpet again in front of the coaches.”

The European Championships, due to take place from 9th-13th June, is the focus for many of the senior gymnasts, with places in the GB team up for grabs. 

Speaking about what it would be like to go to the Championships, Alida said: “It would mean the world to me (to be selected). It’s a real dream of mine. I’ve been to the junior Europeans, so I’d love to go to the senior event, to show my improvements and to show what I’ve been working on.”

Alice Leaper is another senior gymnast targeting the Europeans next year after a solid week of training: “It’s been a challenging week, but it’s been good to be back. It’s been different (without the personal coaches being there), but it has given us the chance to practice independently. 

“It would be such a great experience to go the European Championships, which is definitely the goal at the moment.”

The next rhythmic training camp at Lilleshall is due to take place in the new year.