Honiton gymnasts excel at South West Prelims competition

The Honiton gymansts and their coaches who were on duty at Sherborne

The Honiton gymansts and their coaches who were on duty at Sherborne - Credit: Archant

Honiton’s crop of young gymnasts made their mark at the South West Prelims competition in Sherborne securing no fewer than 10 partnership medals and five regional titles.

The successes mean that five of the club’s top partnerships have now qualified to compete at the National Development Plan Finals in Stoke-on-Trent in May.

All Honiton partnerships that qualified for national finals were competing in novice Grades 1 and 2. In addition, some ‘open age’ partnerships competed in intermediate Grade 3.

“The regional prelims kick off the acrobatic gymnastics season, so it is promising to start off the year with such a high level of success,” said Honiton Gymnastics Club coach Melissa Pendrick.

“Only one partnership from each category is selected to represent the south west at the national finals - it’s an honour to have so many of our gymnasts make the cut.”

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The Honiton gold medal winners were; In the Grade One Girls’ Pair section - Katherine Wilson and Abigail Wilson (Recreational Competition Group); In the Grade One Men’s Pair - Thomas Merrick and Joe Shackleton (Potential Group); in the Grade Two Mixed Pair - Joshua Cambridge and Esme Shackleton (Squad Acro 2); in the Grade Two Girls’ Trio - Maeve Garnsworth, Harriet Wigham and Isabel Sullivan (Club Acro 1) and in the Grade Two Open Age Girls’ Trio - Maddie Nicholls, Paige Ingledew & Jaime-Lee Ayres (Club Acro 2).

Thomas Merrick and Joe Shackleton particularly impressed the judges with 8.80 for artistry and the second highest total score of the whole day.

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Grade 1 Mixed Pair, William Counsell and Emily Mungovan – members of the club’s Potential Group – have also been given the opportunity to attend the National Development Plan finals after taking silver in their category. All gymnasts will perform against top performers from across the UK on May 14 and 15 at Fenton Manor in Stoke-on-Trent.

In all, 44 gymnasts from Honiton Gymnastics Club competed in Sherborne and others to return with medals were; Elyse Hinde and Daisy Spiller with silver in the Grade 1 Girls’ Pairs; Kian Thomas and Hallie Bennett, who secured bronze in the Grade 1 Open Age Mixed Pairs; Josh Rolinson and Phoebe Wakley landed silver in the Grade 2 Mixed Pairs and Max Sharland and Ellis Cousens netted silver in the Grade 2 Men’s Pairs

Melissa added: “It’s wonderful to have so many medal winners, but we’re also very proud of all the other Honiton gymnasts who competed. We had gymnasts as young as five-years-old performing in their first ever regional competition, all of whom have many years of competitions ahead of them.”

Honiton Gymnastics Club has enjoyed considerable success in recent years. It currently has more than 200 members and classes are proving so popular that it has waiting lists for all of its recreational groups.

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