Gymnasts aim to show eastern promise in China

South Tyneside Gymnastics Club members Lauren Said, Erin Mattinson, Lauren 'Emmerson, Vienna Ramsay and Lucy Atkinson.
South Tyneside Gymnastics Club members Lauren Said, Erin Mattinson, Lauren 'Emmerson, Vienna Ramsay and Lucy Atkinson.

A group of gymnasts are hoping to show eastern promise as they prepare to compete in the Acrobatic Gymnastic World Championships in China.

Eight members of South Tyneside Gymnastics Club at Temple Park have been selected as part of Team GB to compete in the prestigious event, which begins on March 20.

The girls were selected after undergoing a series of trials in front of GB judges and national coach Toshko Pavlov at Lilleshall National Sports centre back in January.

Coach Ian Said will travel with the girls and the rest of Team GB when they fly from Heathrow to Beijing, then finally on to Putian, where the competition will be held.

In the Women’s Group Trio, for those aged 13 to 19, are Sofie Lincoln, Kristie Harrington and Gabrielle Evans.

In the Senior Women’s Group trio are Erin Mattinson, Lauren Emmerson and Lucy Atkinson.

In the Women’s Pairs, for those aged 12 to 18, are Lauren Said and Vienna Ramsay.

Mr Said, 43, from Whiteleas, said he is proud of the girls who will perform two routines.

“They train six days a week and it’s really paid off,” he said.

“They are really young, but some of them have represented Great Britain a few times already.

“When we arrive we have a couple of training days to acclimatise, then it will be the full competition before the top eight or 12 qualify, depending on the categories.

“One from each nation will go through before one finalist is chosen.

“The competition is tight as standards are really high to qualify first place.

“Each of the girls have to raise £2k to go, which covers travel, accommodation and kit so a lot of the parents will be holding fundraisers.”

Any businesses who are interested in sponsoring the group for the competition can call Mr Said on 07920 805800.