Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Superb Floor Shows as Club's Tumblers and Acrobats Shine; TWO-PAGE Grassroots Sport Picture Special Looking Back on a Memorable 2015 for Durham's Deerness Gym Academy

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Superb Floor Shows as Club's Tumblers and Acrobats Shine; TWO-PAGE Grassroots Sport Picture Special Looking Back on a Memorable 2015 for Durham's Deerness Gym Academy

Article excerpt

Byline: Gym Academy

2015 was yet another amazing year for the Durham-based Deerness Gym Academy, which has been developing gymnasts for more than 25 years.

Throughout the year gymnasts from all levels at the volunteer-led club competed in regional, national and international competitions -with winning performances for club and country.

The aim of the Academy is to offer children of all ages and abilities the opportunity to participate in gymnastics at a recreational or a competitive level in a supportive and friendly environment.

More than 800 people use it every week -from the ever-popular baby-gym sessions to daily recreational sessions. Many then progress to the development groups -the most talented becoming elite gymnasts when many of them represent Great Britain in international competitions.

The year began with success for both acrobatic and tumbling development gymnasts. Eight acrobatic gymnasts won silver medals while representing the northern region in the final of the NDP competition.

The gymnasts were among 10 from Deerness who qualified earlier this year after winning gold in the regional final.

Two tumblers became champions at the National NDP Tumbling Championships.

Kate Marshall struck gold, as did Solomon Cornwell -for the second consecutive year. There was also silver success for Tia Barrett and Daniel Wilkinson and a bronze medal for Lorna McAllister after 10 tumblers qualified for the national finals.

Later in the year at the British Championships, the club's acrobatic gymnasts returned triumphant with three bronze and two gold medals.

Six of the 16 gymnasts competing in the nationals are now British champions -Abbi Greaves, Chelsea Fisher, Nathan Brady, Ryan Dury, Michael Gill and Finn Gavin.

Eight others won their very first medals at this level competing against the very best in the country.

In the equivalent tumbling championships, Deerness returned with another national champion and a further four silvers and a bronze medal.

Georgia Clayton continued her success in the British Championships with gold for the third consecutive year in the 17-18 year category.

Head of tumbling Glen Wharton said: "This has been a great time for our tumblers and the whole club.

"I am really proud of all of our gymnasts who competed this year.

"Deerness had the most participating gymnasts of any club in the country at the national finals and that is such a great achievement."

At the end of the summer Abbi Greaves and Chelsea Fisher became the club's first female gymnasts to win a senior all-round competition medal at the European Acro-batic Championships in Germany. Stuart Thompson, head of acrobatics, said: "It was a fantastic achievement in their first year competing as seniors.

"It just shows the hard work and commitment the pair put in. …

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