Arun gymnasts make the grade in Guildford

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Gymnasts from Arun competed at the annual south-east regional artistic grades competition at Guildford.

It was split into regional grades, national grades and compulsory-levels competitions and involved the top women’s artistic gym clubs from Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

It consists of gymnasts competing over a series of increasingly-difficult set elements within each grade or level.

Arun doubled their number of gymnasts grading to ten and it was great to see the five younger girls who were competing at grades for the first time acquit themselves admirably.

Four were competing at the regional starting grade 14, with Megan Tanswell and Amelia Rishman competing among the 2002 births and Imogen Latter and Connie Styles in the 2003 competition.

Megan’s consistency, including sixth place on bars and sixth in range and conditioning, gave her Arun’s top placing - a wonderful seventh place with an overall score of 56.6 and a distinction pass. The three others passed their grading, Connie scoring 54.3, Amelia 53.05 and Imogen 52.55.

The other newcomer to grades was Molly Evans, who competed in the prestigious national compulsory level five for 2003 births.

Molly, who had started training for this high level only four months ago, did remarkably well in a high standard of competition. She finished with an overall score of 53.850 and passed.

Competing for Arun at regional grade 12 for 2001 births were Olivia Kirkwood and Ellie Pacey.

Olivia maintained her composure over all four pieces and was Arun’s highest finisher, ending with a grade pass score of 43.5 and overall seventh place.

Ellie started her competition with a superb fifth place on vault, followed by a high-scoring second place on bars, leaving her in fourth place. She had an unfortunate beam that meant she finished 14th with a score of 42.6 but she still achieved a grade pass.

Arun’s other competitor at regional grades was Lucy Stephenson-Gill, competing at grade 11 for year 2000 births. In a high-class field, Lucy put in steady performances on vault, floor and beam but it was a fantastic fourth place on bars that lifted her to seventh overall with an excellent total of 44.9, giving her a distinction pass.

The final competitors for Arun, Catherine O’Neill and Hannah Broad, were both competing in the higher-standard national grade eight competition. Both finished with grade passes and Hannah, who managed a fifth-place floor routine, ended with an overall total of 44.3 just beating Catherine, who scored 44.2.

The fact all the girls passed their grades is testament to all the hours of hard training they put in at the gym. With more gymnasts set to grade next year, the future is bright for Arun’s elite gymnasts.