Honiton gymnasts prove they are among the region’s best

19:29 19 March 2014

Emily Peck and Jennifer Patchet

Emily Peck and Jennifer Patchet


Three partnerships from Honiton Gymnastics Club returned from last the South West prelims as regional gold medallists, securing their places in the team that will represent the region at the national development plan finals.

Emily Lee and Piper Leisk took gold in the grade 2 women’s pair event – finishing almost 1.5 marks ahead of their nearest rivals; Morgan Johnson and Aimee Deam finished first in the grade four mixed pairs event; and William Counsell and Ava Collins finished first in the grade one mixed pairs event.

“To say I’m proud is an understatement,” said Pam Burns, who coaches two of the partnerships with fellow coach Melissa Ilsley, “and it’s a great honour for them to represent the south west at the national finals. Piper and Emily blew the competition away, performing the most difficult routine, recording the highest artistry mark and being awarded the highest marks for technical execution. They’re already preparing moves for the next grade up. Morgan and Aimee are proving themselves to be formidable competitors too,” added Pam, “and they’re gaining quite a reputation, having won their ‘out of age’ grade in 2013. We’re also delighted for Will and Ava, who were competing in their first big acrobatic gymnastics competition.”

Will and Ava are members of the Recreational Competition group, headed up by Antony Beviss.

The victories marked an outstanding regional prelims competition for Honiton Gym Club, which brought home 10 medals from a group of satisfied gymnasts, including three silvers and four bronzes. All the gymnasts train at Honiton Gymnastics Club, which runs sessions at Honiton Leisure Centre four times per week, with more than 180 gymnasts now regularly attending.

“We are seeing increasingly high levels of performance from gymnasts of all ages at the club,” said Helen Reddy,” high performance coach at the club, “and we have grown so much in recent years that we have – for the first time in the club’s history – had to introduce a waiting list. This has been achieved thanks to our tremendous pool of dedicated coaches who are helping gymnasts learn everything from fundamental gymnastics skills to complex acrobatics tricks, giving opportunities for children of all levels of ability.”

The three gold-medal-winning partnerships will now go on to compete in the national finals in Stoke-on-Trent on 31 May, where they will represent the south west against the other UK regions.


Grade 1 Women’s Pairs: 2, Violet Schine and Courtney Richards; 3, Maeve Garnsworthy and Ellie Monro-Higgs.

Grade 1 Mixed Pairs - Out of Age: 1, William Counsell and Ava Collins.

Grade 2 Women’s Pairs: 1, Emily Lee and Piper Leisk, 8, Harvie Pugh and Daisy Spiller.

Grade 2 Women’s Pairs - Out of Age: 7, Ilana Cousiers and Evie Roberts.

Grade 2 Mixed Pairs: 3, Harry Counsell and Nell Diacono.

Grade 3 Women’s Pairs - Out of Age: 5, Emily Peck and Jennifer Patchet; 11, Jade Jarczynski and Millie Oldroyd -11th

Grade 3 Women’s Pairs: 2, Emily Bristol and Olivia Wotton; 3, Megan Quick and Scarlet Livingstone; 7, Angelica Hellinikakis and Tyla Stringer, 19, Grace Zimbler and Skye Symons.


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