One to watch: aerobic gymnast Felix Smith - British Gymnastics

One to watch: aerobic gymnast Felix Smith

Felix Smith 750x500
At 12 years old, Felix Smith from Basingstoke Gymnastics Club is already part of the GB junior elite aerobic squad. Despite 2020 being a frustrating year with few events, he’s ready to go in the new year when competitions hopefully return. 

We caught up with Felix to talk all things gymnastics, including how his journey into the sport began, why he loves aerobic gymnastics and his big plans for the new year. 

Felix, how did you first get involved in gymnastics?
“I first started gymnastic at eight years old. My friend had joined a local club and I thought it sounded fun. I joined a recreation group at Basingstoke Gymnastics Club, and really enjoyed it. At the time I was also really interested in dance. I happened to see the aerobic squads training during one of my gym sessions and thought it looked like a perfect mix of gymnastics and dance combined. I had a trial for the squad and loved it! 

“I joined at RAC level and started to learn the basics and had my first competition after just five months. I remember watching all the other incredible gymnasts in amazement. They were so fast and their skills looked very complex. From then I was hooked and determined to work as hard as I could to progress in the sport. Eighteen months on and I was so pleased to be recognised as an FIG gymnast and extremely proud to then be selected for the Great British team.”

What is your favourite part about aerobic gymnastics?
“The thing I enjoy most about aerobic gymnastics is the thrill it gives you being on the competition floor, getting to perform my routines that I've worked so hard to perfect. The team support and everyone cheering makes it so exhilarating.

“The sport is very challenging and can take a long time to master each skill, but the feeling of accomplishment when you do, is something that you can be very proud of.”

How have you found training during lockdown?
“During lockdown it can be tricky to keep motivated but I've found trying to focus on your personal goals can help to keep you on track. I write mine down in my journal. Watching routines of senior gymnasts also inspires me to keep working hard to one day be like them.”

What has been your best achievement in gymnastics so far?
“One of my biggest achievements was my first international competition in Bulgaria with the Great British team. I was so surprised and happy to place third there.”

Finally, what are your aims for the future?
“At the start of the year I was selected, along with my partner Amelia Thynne, to go to the World Age Championships in Baku, but unfortunately, due to Covid-19, all competitions have been suspended this year. My biggest goal is to retrial and hopefully be selected to compete there in May 2021.

“I love aerobic gymnastics and would really recommend it for all to try!”

To learn more about aerobic gymnastics, or to find a club near you, visit Discover Gymnastics