Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Spelbound cast their magic over the judges and viewers at home to win the first live semi-final.

The gymnasts from Middlesex created a Cirque-esque performance with a demonstration of skills from trios, pairs and the world-medalist mens four.

Remember to vote for them on Saturday and make sure acrobatic gymnastics gets the coverage it needs.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spelbound Put Acro In The Limelight

Spelbound, otherwise known as Spelthorne Elite Acrobatics put the sport in the limelight and wowed the judges and audience on epiosde two of this year's Britains Got Talent.

Simon Cowell said: "It was like watching a master race" and added: "I have never seen anything like that in my life.I thought that, once again, we were going to get some really boring gymnastics display but that was very clever - really, really smart."

It is an amazing advert for acrobatics gymnastics as a sport and the european and world medalists in the group illustrate the stregnth of GBR. Make sure you vote for them...

Watch them here...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Selection Policy for World Championships 2010

British Gymnastics have made the Selection Policy for the World Championships 2010, Poland availible for download on their website.

Click HERE to view and download them.

Watch this space for more information on the 22nd World Championships in Wroclaw (POL)

13th – 19th July 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

British Championships 2010: Report

This year’s Acrobatic Gymnastics British Championships saw over 250 gymnasts from 28 clubs across the country compete at Fenton Manor for the title of British Champion. The high standard of gymnastics on display in recent years, made the 15 titles even harder to gain in 2010.

For the first time ever, the competition didn’t include tumbling in the programme, and the new layout created a more intimate feel to the arena. However, many people missed the excitement of two disciplines in the arena, and will be looking forward to going to the Birmingham Indoor Arena in July to see the tumbling British Championships.

Following the European Championships in Portugal and ahead of this year’s World Championships in the summer lots of new routines were on display, from partnerships old and new. Spelthorne Gymnastics, from the South East, alone had over 27 new routines and four new partnerships on the floor. With so much change, it was always set to be an exciting weekend.

Since the introduction of the Age Group Events, this was the largest entry to date to take place in the British Championships. This competition alone had over 100 competitors, some of which stood out from the crowd, highlighting the talent coming through for the future.

The Womens Pair title was won by Spelthorne’s Georgia Lancaster and Megan Garraghan, despite them being in third place after the tempo routines, proving how close the two-day competition can be. Oxford trio of Groves, Brookes and Clempson fought off competition from 22 other 11-16 Womens Groups to take this year’s gold medal, closely followed by South Tyneside in silver and King Edmund in bronze, which demonstrates the spread of medals across the country, a sight which is becoming more common on the podiums every year.

Connor Bartlett and Millie Spalding, Age Group mixed pair from Harefield in the London region shone in their category, winning both routines and taking the gold overall by nearly two whole marks. As for the boys, the ever-growing popularity of mens groups in Great Britain meant the judges and audience were treated to a fantastic display of acrobatics from the young partnerships. The four from Spelthorne, Sewell, Cowler, Wood and Tognelli, coached by senior mens four base Adam McAssey, won the gold medal after two immaculate routines, polished and finished off with stunning leotards. These four are definitely ones to watch for the future. Their team mates (and one brother!), Sewell and Watts, had to settle for silver in the Age Group Mens Pairs, as Child and Underdown from King Edmund beat them in the final routine by 0.05, after being joint first after dynamic. One of the closest podiums from the entire weekend.

The junior (12-19) competition was smaller than in recent years, with partnerships either moving up to the senior competition or having to train out-of-age until they can move on. European medallists, Jasmine Danby and Chelsea Fisher from Deerness gave the audience a special treat with their energetic combined routine, winning them the National title and gold medal, with the new partnership of Baker and Bigmore from Spelthorne taking silver and the Wakefield pair in third. The second title up for grabs was for the highly-fought after Junior Womens Groups. After fantastic performances from a large proportion of the gymnasts, many of whom are now very experienced, was won by new partnership, Kristie Harrington, Louise Lee and Madeleine Gamblin from South Tyneside. The silver and bronze medals were taken by Spelthorne trios, jointly scoring 28.600, and split by their execution score alone. The Junior Mixed Pair title is now in the hands of Kim Hunter and her new partner, Christopher Cranfield from Spelthorne. A sign of another successful partnership for Kim who won gold with her previous mixed pair partner at the World Championships in 2008. The silver was taken by Wakefield and bronze by Hale and Davies from Oxford in the South. There were no Junior Mens Groups in this year’s competition, the final title of the day was given to Alex Houston and Timothy Pritchard from Deerness Valley, who beat the Spelthorne Men’s Pair, Rodgers and Wood, who had to settle for Silver.

The Senior British Championships have become a display of world class acrobatics over recent years, and this competition was no exception. The senior gymnasts competing at this year’s British have over 50 years experience between them and for many of these partnerships this was to be their last British, adding to the anticipation.

Senior Women’s Group, Blacklock, Thompson and Birch from Harefield Gymnastics Academy proved to be the strongest trio on the day, winning all three routines, taking the gold medal and the coveted national title for the first time. Only one Women’s Pair, newly formed partnership of Ashton Butler and Dannie Hailstone, from South Tyneside competed after the retirement of Thorne and Grehan, and with other partnerships ‘guesting’ until next year. Mixed Pair, Nicolas Illingworth and Katie Axten and Men’s Pair, Doug Fordyce and Edward Upcott, both from Spelthorne, demonstrated their experience and entertained the audience to take the titles in their respective disciplines. Three Senior Mens Groups battled it out for the British crown, with jaw-dropping skills across the board, the final result saw the seasoned four from Spelthorne, Adam McAssey, Adam Buckingham, Alex Uttley and Jonathan Stranks take the title, with the ever-improving groups from Wakefield and Deerness Valley, hot on their heels.

The veteran audience filled Fenton Manor all weekend, with VIP guests adding to the atmosphere. For the well respected Acrobatic Gymnastics Technical Director and National Coach, Matei Todorov, this was his final British Championships, and after 22 years in charge of Acrobatics in Great Britain, he has seen his fair share of stunning performances and this competition was no exception.

“My job is getting harder and harder every competition because of the very high standard across the board.” He added. “Selection for the World Championships is going to be really hard.”

“It’s been a wonderful 22-year adventure. A journey that’s been sometimes challenging, different but never ever dull, I am able to take so many great memories away.”

Adding to the memories of the last year, presentations were made to a selection of Great Britain squad gymnasts for their success internationally over the last twelve months. Those that brought medals back from World Games and European Championships, from clubs up and down the country were applauded and congratulated on their successes.

Overall, a fantastic weekend and a real show of the depth of talent in all disciplines, and the perfect end to a successful era of acrobatic gymnastics in Great Britain.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

First Day Medals from Euros

The Junior competition held it's first day of finals today.

Mens Four,Richard HURST,Dorian WALKER,Stephen RAINE, Jesse HESKETT from Deerness Valley are now European Balance Champions, taking the gold medal in the competition ahead of Russia and Ukraine in 3rd place.

The Womens Pair,Jasmine DANBY and Chelsea FISHER, also from Deerness Valley took the Bronze medal in the Balance finals, behind Russia in silver (the two pairs were tied and seperated on execution scores) and the new European Balance Champions, Belarus.

The extremly close womens group Dynamic competition, with all 8 scoring above 28.000 with the winners scoring 28.450. There were three ties in the final, and the close competition saw the junior womens group Leighanne COWLER, Lauren KEMP and Hollianne WOOD from Spelthorne finish in 5th place, with a score of 28.150.

Good luck to everyone in tomorrows qualification and finals.

Watch the European Championships

The Europeans are being streamed live on the Official Blog of the competition....

Watch them here http://www.euroacro2009.blogspot.com/

Good luck GB.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

European Championships 2009

The 11-16 Age Group competition has been completed and Great Britain have even more international success to shout about winning two gold and three silver medals in the European Age Games competition.

The mixed pair Christopher Longley and Alice Upcott of Spelthorne, and the Women’s Trio Maddy Gamblin, Kath Spence and Kirstie Harrington of South Tyneside took the Gold’s.

The Men’s four from Deerness Valley- Jack Pendlington, Conrad Dempsey, Liam Sneath, and Angus Martin, the Women's pair from South Tyneside - Ashton Butler and Contance Moscrop and the Men’s pair from Deerness- Alex Houston and Timothy Pritchard, all took Silver

Videos of the routines, along with the performances from Russia, and other countries can be veiwed on YouTube...


Lets hope the Juniors and Seniors can repeat the success as their competition gets underway tomorrow (Thursday)

Friday, April 24, 2009

British Championships 2009

This year’s British Championships were always going to be a fascinating one, following the retirement of some of the country’s top acrobats after the World Championships and the debuts of new partnerships from all corners of the country. Over 270 gymnasts representing 26 clubs took part over the course of the weekend, which also doubled up as a control event for selection to the Great Britain teams that will represent the country at the European Championships later in the year.

Spelthorne Elite Acrobatics won seven out of the 15 British titles in the Senior, Junior and Age group levels in Acrobatic Gymnastics at this year’s competition. Five of the Acrobatic titles went to Deerness Valley, two to South Tyneside and one to King Edmund. Harefield Gymnastics Academy, Saltney, Oxford, Wakefield, Horsham, Heathrow, Wigan and Norwich also celebrated medallists in the various categories, providing very tough challenges to the champions.
The event was the more polished and smoothly-run than ever before, with electronic scoring the same as at international events and the big screen updating scores instantly for the audience, with a live leader board. BGtv also had an increased presence at the competition and plasma screens in the warm-up area allowed competitors and coaches keep up-to-date on the competition from the backroom.

The city of Stoke-on-Trent also used the event to launch their ‘green paper’ for Sport and Physical Activities and the competition welcomed a whole host of VIP guests and speakers to promote it. Rumours were also whispered around the warm up room, hotels and audience about the current ‘Number 10’ petition circulating to promote Acrobatic Gymnasts and Tumbling as an Olympic Sport.

11-16 Age Group
The popularity and standard of this year’s Age Group competition demonstrated the ever-growing popularity of the discipline and the continuing high standard of acrobatic gymnastics in Great Britain. This year there was no final for the event, and both the Balance and Dynamic routine counted towards a combined score which would decide the medal positions. It was going to be tough.

In Womens Pairs, defending British Champions, Abigail Ralph and Amy McKenzie from Spelthorne had to fight of tough competition if they were to retain their title. After two routines they were pushed right out of the medal positions after South Tyneside pair Butler and Moscrop scored a combined 56.750 for their clean and impressive routines. Ralph and McKenzie’s team mates, Geogria Sturt and Megan Garraghan took the silver medal and Wakefield’s 11-16 pair, Sykes and Whitfield took the bronze with a score of 55.450. After such a close competition and with so many high-quality partnerships, the control competitions for international events are sure to be exciting.

The quality of the 11-16 Mixed pairs was extremely high, and with no defending champions it made for another tough competition. Spelthorne, continued their domination of mixed pairs through all age groups, with Christopher Longley and Alice Upcott taking the gold medal with a score of 56.250, way ahead of everyone else. Deerness Valley Gym Club partnership - Maxwell and Thomson took silver with 53.800 and the youngest competitors in the acrobatic competition, Connor Bartlett and Millie Spalding, aged just 11 and 10 years old, from Harefield Gymnastics Academy in the London region took the bronze medal.

It was Deerness Valley versus King Edmund in the Mens Pair competition, after two routines, defending British Champions GB squad members, Houston and Pritchard from Deerness took gold, with a score of 56.800 with May and Underdown from King Edmund taking Silver for their routines.

The record number of entries to this year’s 11-16 Womens Group categories, and the departure of the 2008 British Champions to Junior, made the competition all the more exciting. The competition ended with joint first and joint third places, and only 0.8 separating them, making it even closer than the Womens Pairs. The unusual podium places were shared between Deerness Valley and South Tyneside in gold and Oxford and Wakefield taking bronze. Spelthorne trio - Bigmore, Lancaster, Regan, were unable to match the success of their predecessors in the group, but are sure to challenge the top four in the future. Trios from local club, South Staffs Acrobatics and from King Edmund also looked like they could push for medals in the future.

Three 11-16 Mens groups battled it out and the final results saw Deerness Valley ahead of King Edmund in another men’s event, with Dempsey, Martin, Pendlington, Sneath taking gold. The bronze medal went to Saltney’s boys, Booth, Hanley, Scott, Yue. The increasing amount of boys involved in Acrobatic Gymnastics is great for the development of the sport in the country.

Junior 12-19
With over 30 partnerships taking part in the 12-19 Age Group, and amongst them World Champions, World medallists and defending British Champions, as well as champions from 11-16 moving up to junior, it was always going to be a strong competition in all categories.
Both new and returning partnerships made up the Womens pairs competition at this year’s British, with last year’s Champions Thorne and Grehan now at senior level, the title was anyone’s. Johnstone and Lee, from South Tyneside, who missed out on a World Championship finals place last October were back looking stronger and more polished, but had to settle for silver behind Deerness Valley’s Danby and Fisher who took gold with a score of 28.400. The bronze medal went to new partnership, Ely and Walduck from Heathrow in the London region.

With current World and British Champions, Joshua Simpson and Kim Hunter competing in the mixed pair category, they were certainly the ones to beat. However, with immaculate routines and a score of 28.530, for combined, they were able to retain their British title and show why they are World Champions with gorgeous choreography and an impressive variety of skills. Horsham Gymnastics Club’s partnership – Cranfield and Stewart-Croker were close behind in the silver medal position with a score of 28.010 and Oxford’s Hale and Davies took the bronze.
The ever-expanding force of Spelthorne was also felt in the junior trio’s with 11-16 trio World Silver medallists, Burgon, Matthews, Seabourne now joining team mates Cowler, Kemp, Wood in the junior age group. The two Spelthorne partnerships took the Gold and Silver medals after two very clean and excellently performed combined routines, with the older partnership eventually taking Gold. Deerness Valley scored 27.710 to win bronze in the popular trio competition. All three medallists can expect tough competition later in the year, when trios from Harefield, Wakefield and King Edmund are back on form after a few mistakes were made this weekend.

Robert Chambers and Gareth Wood, World 11-16 Age Group silver medallists from Spelthorne Elite Acrobatics made their impact on the junior mens pair competition by taking the gold medal with a score of 27.750 ahead of partnerships from Horsham in the South East and Wakefield.
Like in the 11-16 Age Group, the mens group competition was a battle between Deerness Valley and King Edmund. Defending British Champions, Bates, Llewellyn, Wilmott, Wright from King Edmund eventually had to settle for silver after a slightly refined version of the junior mens group who represented Great Britain at last year’s world championships, Heskett, Hurst, Raine, Walker, from Deerness Valley took the gold medal. Deerness Valley, now hold two of the three mens group British titles.

Senior Championships
The senior competition is always a highly anticipated one, with the high level of balance and dynamic skills impressing both the audience and the younger gymnasts. This year’s competition was awash with new faces, following the retirement of many and new partnerships being formed after the World Championships last autumn. Although Spelthorne continue to dominate the majority of the senior categories, including Mens Groups, Mixed and Men pairs, all their partnerships are new.

Last year’s Junior Women’s pair World Silver medallists and British Champions, from King Edmund in the South West, Maiken Thorne and Mollie Grehan, have moved to senior this year and showed an abundance of potential ahead of the coming internationals, with strong dynamic and balance skills in all their routines, taking the Gold medal with 26.920 awarded for their combined offering.

There has been a change of clubs and partnerships for the Mixed and Women’s pairs. After the World Championships, Sarah Cameron (former mixed pair top) and Elizabeth Oliver (former women’s pair base) retired leaving their partners, Katie Axten and Nicholas Illingworth free agents. Nicolas has now moved from Wakefield to Spelthorne and they have combined to form the only mixed pair in the senior competition. The two very experienced gymnasts are definitely one to watch out for at this year’s Europeans, already performing a difficult full-twist re-catch and double arabian to wrap, double tucked overhead sequence to open their combined routine.
World Mens Pair bronze medallist and British Champion, Edward Upcott also made his British debut with new base Doug Fordyce, a former Age Group mixed pair World Champion, after Mark Fyson retired earlier this year. Despite only being together ten weeks the men are beginning to look great together, gel as a partnership and are improving at a fast rate. They are sure to be strong competitors in Portugal later this year.

Following the retirement of the Emily Grove, Casey Morrison and Vicky Lamkin, the senior Womens Group from Spelthorne, and no senior trio from Spelthorne, the battle was really on between the six now in the group. Amongst them, experienced bases from Harefield Gymnastics Academy in the London Region, Grace Blacklock and Claire-Louise Thompson, who represented the country at the World Championships in 2006 and 2008, made their first outing with new top, Robyn Birch, and despite a few minor wobbles, show great potential ahead of the coming trials and international competitions. This year’s British title and gold medal however went to the well-polished trio from South Tyneside. Richardson, Slater, Young scored 27.250 to take the title and performed a clean routine with strong skills displayed throughout, including a three high column with top planche. Third place went to the women from Wigan Seaguls.

The ever-popular Mens Group from Spelthorne in the South East region, also debuted their new top, Jonathan Stranks, former junior mens pair British Champion. Despite only being together a couple of months, World bronze medallists and defending British Champions, (plus new top!) are already clocking up an impressive amount of difficulty, with Stranks showing why he was chosen as Sturt’s replacement, with his one-arm flag combination on stack and impressive range of dynamic skills. A notable score of 28.706 was awarded by the judges for Buckingham, McAssey, Stranks, Uttley’s near-perfect combined routine.

The event as a whole continued to demonstrate the strength and depth of talent in acrobatic gymnastics in the country and a full audience throughout the weekend highlighted the popularity on both Acrobatic and tumbling gymnastics. Another successful British Championships wrapped up, and the start of what could be the most exciting year ever in acrobatics.