THREE gymnasts have become the champions of their sport.
South Tyneside Gymnastics Club members Erin Mattinson, Lauren Emmerson and Lucy Atkinson came out on top in their category at the Acrobatic Gymnastic British Championships in Stoke-on-Trent.
The girls finished first in the 13 to 19 women’s group.
Member Lauren, 14, said: “It’s a fantastic feeling when you stand on the podium and they say your name. You know all the hard work and hours you have put into training have paid off.”
The girls, who are nominated for Sporting Excellence in the Pride of South Tyneside Awards, were among 10 members from their squad who made it to the annual contest.
Lauren Said and Vienna Ramsey competed in the 11 to 16 women’s pair and finished fifth.
Sofie Lincoln, Hannah Pilling and Kristie Harrington finished second in the 12 to 18 women’s group, bringing home silver medals.
Amy Cook and Lucy Weir also came home with silver medals after finishing second in the 13 to 19 women’s pair.
The gymnasts are all members of South Tyneside Gymnastics Club’s senior squad and train at South Tyneside Gymnastic Centre at Temple Park Centre, in John Reid Road, South Shields, under the guidance of coaches Debby and Ian Said and Victoria Pattison.
A spokesman for the club said: “Competition is tough, especially against some of the very large and financially opulent London clubs. Our coaches and gymnasts work tremendously hard 52 weeks of the year to make sure we always perform to our best, and it is a great reward to bring home British Championship titles.
“As you can see from the results this year, our gymnasts more than hold their own on the big stage and we are very proud of all of them.”
The results could see the gymnasts go on to the Acrobatic Gymnastic World Championships, in Paris, in July.
The club’s junior acro-gymnasts were also in action recently at the Regional National Development Plan (NDP) Championships.
Grade 3 men’s group – Sam Cain, Hugh Baker, Tyler Heley and Joe Henderson won gold, as did grade 4 men’s pair Aidan Baker and Leon Stoker.
The boys, who are coached by South Tyneside Gymnastic Club’s Oli Mattinson, will now travel to Stoke to represent the north region at the NDP national finals.
The club’s tumbling group also saw success at the Regional Tumbling Championships, with Tia Kelly winning Gold.