Honiton gymnasts return from NDP finals with another medal haul

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:00 28 May 2018

Honiton gymnasts (left to right) Ellis Cousens, Jo Shackleton, Thomas Merrick and Max Sharland, who medalled at the top championships hedl at Stoke-on-Trent

Honiton gymnasts (left to right) Ellis Cousens, Jo Shackleton, Thomas Merrick and Max Sharland, who medalled at the top championships hedl at Stoke-on-Trent

Archant

Eight gymnasts from Honiton Gymnastics Club represented the south west region at the National Development Plan (NDP) Finals at the weekend, and each one of the returned with medals after finishing in podium places.

Honiton gymnasts (left to right) Matthew Beviss, Oscar Felice, Olivia Wootton and Josh Jackson who medalled at the top championships hedl at Stoke-on-Trent .Honiton gymnasts (left to right) Matthew Beviss, Oscar Felice, Olivia Wootton and Josh Jackson who medalled at the top championships hedl at Stoke-on-Trent .

The NDP Finals saw area champions from 13 UK regions meeting at Fenton Manor in Stoke-on-Trent to battle it out for top honours.

All three partnerships from Honiton Gymnastics Club qualified for the finals after winning their categories at the South West Acrobatic Prelims in Bristol in February.

The first medals of the weekend were won by the club’s Grade Three men’s four comprising Ellis Cousens, Jo Shackleton, Max Sharland and Thomas Merrick.

The talented group – who were competing in their last competition together as a partnership – performed their best routine to date, taking silver medals.

Aimee Deam, Erin Blackmore, Hollie Moulton and Megan Jones, who all represented Honiton Community College at the National School Gymnastics competition in Stoke-on-TrentAimee Deam, Erin Blackmore, Hollie Moulton and Megan Jones, who all represented Honiton Community College at the National School Gymnastics competition in Stoke-on-Trent

They scored 23.4, which was more than a mark ahead of the group in third place. They were pipped to the gold medal by the group from Deerness Valley in Durham.

In the Grade Four men’s pair competition, Matthew Beviss and Oscar Felice took bronze after producing a crisp routine with high technical and artistry marks. The partnership – in their first competitive year as a men’s pair – finished with an excellent score of 26.05 against gymnasts from some of the UK’s top clubs.

Josh Jackson and Olivia Wootton returned with the final medals of the weekend for Honiton, taking bronze in the International Development Plan (IDP) competition.

Unlike the other two Honiton partnerships, Josh and Olivia competed two routines – one dynamic and one balance – which are added together to give an overall score.

Aimee Deam and Erin Blackmore, who represented HCC at the National School Gymnastics competition in Stoke-on-Trent.Aimee Deam and Erin Blackmore, who represented HCC at the National School Gymnastics competition in Stoke-on-Trent.

Choosing ‘optional’ moves, Josh and Olivia built up a high tariff due to their impressive level of difficult in the balance routine, and were in third position going into the second stage. They produced a consistent dynamic routine too, scoring a high technical score and maintaining their bronze medal position.

“We are extremely proud of all eight gymnasts,” said Helen Reddy, high performance coach at Honiton Gymnastics Club, “and they’re continuing the tradition of successful partnerships from Honiton Gymnastics Club in men’s pairs, men’s 4s and mixed pairs.

“All of our gymnasts performed their routines with exceptional style and passion and represented both the club and the south west region admirably.”

Acrobatic gymnasts receive three scores for each routine they perform.

Aimee Deam and Erin Blackmore at the National School Gymnastics Competition in Stoke-on-Trent.Aimee Deam and Erin Blackmore at the National School Gymnastics Competition in Stoke-on-Trent.

They’re awarded a maximum of 20 marks for technical execution, 10 marks for artistry, and a tariff of between zero and 1.5 depending on the difficulty of their routine.

The gymnasts who competed at the NDP Finals train together at Honiton Gymnastics Centre for between nine and 13.5 hours per week in the Squad Acrobatics Groups.

Honiton Gymnastics Club now has almost 500 gymnasts taking part in sessions every week at its centre on Ottery Moor Lane.

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