GYMNASTICS: SSG enjoyed seven national titles

SWINDON School of Gymnastics are celebrating an astonishing seven national champions following a memorable British Veterans Artistic Gymnastics Championship.

The Stratton-based club entered eight members into the competition, held in Newcastle recently, and returned an extraordinary haul of 15 medals as well as their impressive lot of titles.

Eighty-seven competitors from 37 different clubs from up and down the country entered the event, but SSG proved to be too much for the rest of the field.

Coach John Hall was delighted with the achievement, saying: ”We couldn’t ask for a nicer group of people to work with.

“Everyone is so supportive of each other and I’m so proud of them all. I would also like to thank the travelling supporters who were by far the loudest during the competition. It’s just a shame we have no sponsor and have to fund everything ourselves”

Gary Burton led the way for SSG, obtaining the highest marks on the pommel horse, rings and high bar to earn gold in the men’s recreational six-piece over-19 competition.

In the men’s recreational six-piece over-50 competition Hall, at the ripe old age of 51, grabbed silver thanks to a high floor score.

On debut, Ashley Russell won the men’s formers six-piece over-30 section.

The women’s recreational four-piece over-19 competition was won by Kelly Newton. Making her first appearance in the event, Newton achieved highest marks on both the vault and the asymmetric bars.

SSG had two of the top four finishers in the women’s intermediates four-piece category, as Beth Birmingham came home third and Lauren Cordingley fourth.

There was another bronze for the Swindon club in the women’s formers four-piece over-19 section, as Laurissa Hyner-Anderson picked up third place.

In the women’s formers four-piece over-30 competition, Christine Bishop’s excellent beam routine helped her to second place overall and the silver medal.

SSG topped off the meeting with a one-two finish in the team competition, ensuring that every gymnast came home with at least one medal.

Mixed team one, consisting of Lauren Cordingley, Gary Burton, John Hall and Laurissa Hyner-Anderson took gold and mixed team two, consisting of Beth Birmingham, Ashley Russell, Kelly Newton and Christine Bishop silver.

SSG are still on the lookout for a club partner. Any interested parties should contact the club administrator on 01793 480846 or email ssginfo@tiscali.co.uk.

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