From tots to gold medals

One hundred and twenty five gymnasts competed at Honiton Leisure Centre this weekend, entertaining friends, parents and members of the public in four hours of non-stop gymnastics performances.

The gymnasts, aged four to 21, were all taking part in Honiton Gymnastics Club’s annual club competition, which included well-practiced routines from international gymnasts alongside many other youngsters competing in front of judges for the first time.

The day began with performances from the club’s Gym-Crazy Kids floor and vault competition, where gymnasts as young as four presented their routines. Twenty two newcomers taking their first steps into competition. The event was won by Phoebe Wakely, with a score of 15.3. Zach Wilkinson took second with 14.65 and Kelci Lee was third with 14.55.

In the recreational floor and vault competition, Chloe Mae Outram took the gold with 16.6, followed by Johnny Long with 16.66 and Nia Collins with 16.1. Gary Daru took the Rec competition group title with a score of 17.00, followed by silver medallist Catie Lee (16.75) and bronze medallist Aimee Deam (16.65).

?The day then moved onto acrobatic gymnastics – where gymnasts work in partnerships to perform balances, dynamic elements and traditional gymnastics moves on the floor square. Gold from the Recreational Group was taken by Harvie Pugh and Piper Leisk with a score of 6.9, followed by Mary Elleynn and Catherine Lee in silver, and Jude Fairburn and Gary Daru in bronze.

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?The acrobatic gymnastics moves increased in difficulty as the club Acro Group took to the floor, with the new trio of Lois Norman, Tyla Stringer and Emily Peck taking the title with a score of 7.25. They were followed in silver medal position by Felicity Marx and Katie Studley (7.1), and bronze medalists Isla Cloke and Megan Quick (6.3).

?The Squad Acro 2 group saw South West champions Kaisha Dessalines-Wright and Alice Hewstone taking the title (8.07), followed by joint silver for Corinna Challis and Sophie Patmore and Jasmine Waterfield and Phoebe Simeons (7.2).

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The final performances of the day were performed by the 13 partnerships in Squad Acro 1. The gold medal was taken by Ashley Wallis and Buster Tutcher – who earlier this year took a silver medal at the British Championships – with a score of 8.15. Charlotte Bowen, Valentine Tutcher and Jes Kennaway were placed second with 7.65 and Adam Fullick and Megan Jones took third with 7.5.

Following the gymnastics event, 150 gymnasts, parents and friends then went across the sports field to Honiton Rugby Club for an afternoon barbecue, disco, award presentations, rounders match and night-time lazer show, supported by sponsors Otter Windows and the Devon Freewheelers.

"This year’s annual competition wasn’t just a gymnastics event," said James Reddy, one of the club’s high performance coaches, "it was a celebration of acrobatics in Honiton. We’ve grown hugely over the past few years, and it was great to see so many people coming together to enjoy the competition, see the development of the gymnasts, and socialise afterwards.

"It was an uplifting day, and it was particularly pleasing to see the 65 beginner-level gymnasts benefiting so much from their early experiences of a competition."

Honiton Gymnastics Club would like to thank all the individuals and organisations, particularly sponsors Otter Windows and A1 Print and Stitch and those that helped set up and pack away, who helped make the day so successful.

The club runs a variety of gymnastics sessions for all ages and abilities on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays at Honiton Leisure Centre. For more information visit or contact Helen Reddy on, 07825 181693.

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