Honiton gymnasts enjoy golden glory at the 2020 national championships

PUBLISHED: 12:01 27 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:01 27 April 2020

Honiton gymnasts at the 2020 national championships. Picture HGC

Honiton gymnasts at the 2020 national championships. Picture HGC


Honiton Gymnastics Club showed its strength in depth just before the Coronavirus outbreak, fielding 18 gymnasts from eight partnerships at the recent Pat Wade Classic national championships.

The competition, held at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke-on-Trent, saw gold-medal-winning performances from mixed pair Sky Shute and Reece Cutler and women’s pair Hallie Bennett and Catie Lee.

There were additional first place positions from Mixed Pair Buster Tutcher and Abi Sandford and men’s pair Josh Jackson and Alfie Westerman.

Helen Reddy, a board member and also head performance coach at the Honiton club said: “We’ve seen huge improvements in the performance of our gymnasts since moving into our new centre and it’s great to be competing again on a national stage.

“Hallie and Catie scored more than 25.00 in both of their routines and were well rewarded for the artistic merit of their performances and Reece and Sky also scored highly.

“To be successful it’s become increasingly important to show a complete performance – demonstrating high levels of artistry, execution and difficulty.”

The Honiton gymnasts performed two acrobatic gymnastics routines: a balance routine and a dynamic routine. The balance routine includes static elements, such as one-handed handstands, which should be held without movement for three seconds. The dynamic routine includes elements of flight, such as double somersaults and partner-to-partner catches. Both routines include individual elements and tumbles that show off their personal gymnastics skills. Routines are also choreographed to music, and gymnasts are judged on the technical execution, artistic content and difficulty of moves.

Hallie and Catie competed in the International Development Plan 1 (IDP1) women’s pair competition, finishing more than three full marks ahead of their nearest rivals from Newport. Reece and Sky won gold in the IDP1 mixed pairs event, more than a mark ahead of second-placed gymnasts from the Wigan Seagulls club.

In addition to the gold medals, other gymnasts from Honiton Gymnastics Club who competed at the Pat Wade Classic were:

Buster Tutcher and Abigail Sandford, who were first in the IDP2 Mixed Pairs; Josh Jackson and Alfie Westerman, who took first place in the IDP2 Men’s Pairs; Matthew Beviss and Oscar Felice took top spot in the balance routine in IDP1 Men’s Pair; Hollie Moulton and Ella Lane were placed seventh in the 11-16 women’s pairs; Kira Wotton, Sophie Stinchon and Natalya Pushkerev secured a 16th place finish in the 12-18 Women’s trio and, last, but certainly not least, Maicey Bennet, Chloe Hutsby and Ava Collins took 14th place in the Youth Women’s Groups.

Despite being in lockdown for the past few weeks, Honiton gymnasts have been keeping up with their training commitments, completing home programmes, taking part in daily challenges and being guided by their coaches during regular live Zoom training sessions.

Helen [Reddy] says: “Honiton Gymnastics Club is a strong community with more than 600 children and adults normally benefitting from our services each week, so we are trying to keep everyone motivated.

“Our gymnasts are still working extremely hard and maintaining their enthusiasm for their sport and looking forward to getting back in the gym when it is safe to do so.”

You can find out more about all things Honiton Gymnastics Club by visiting their website at www.honitongymclub.org and you can contact them via email at honitongymclub@gmail.com

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