South Tyneside gymnasts chosen to represent Great Britain at world championships in Geneva
A team of South Tyneside gymnasts is preparing to represent the country in a world championship contest in Switzerland.
Members of South Tyneside Gymnastics Club, based at Temple Park Leisure Centre, are thrilled to be representing Great Britain at the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Age Group Championships in Geneva.
It comes after months of training and perseverance through lockdown training, as well as uncertainty over if and when competitions could go ahead.
The event will take place from June 23 to 29, with Britain represented in the men’s pair, mixed pair, women’s group and men’s group events in the Swiss city.
Georgie Scandle, 13, Laura Conlin, 19, and Olivia Parker, 17, will be competing as one trio, with Chloe Heley 18, Ruby Oliver 13, and Megan Neal, 14, another trio in the women’s group events.
The club said, in a sport that requires perfect coordination and intuition with fellow gymnasts, the clubmates are glad to be competing together.
All members at the club looking are forward to watching their peers compete internationally for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold.
Coach Ian Said added: “As always we’re very proud to have gymnasts selected for GB, but this year feels extra special given what everyone has gone through.
"The resilience, hard work, commitment and cohesion required from all involved has lead to this moment – these are the other skills that gymnastics develops.
"I am very much looking forward to seeing our gymnasts compete once again on the world stage.”
Those taking part are feeling honoured to be representing their country.
Ruby Oliver said: “I was very proud that my trio got selected as we have put a lot of hard work and dedication in and it has been a goal of mine since I started gymnastics.
"I have always loved the competing aspect and I’m grateful to be able to train and compete with a great team and get encouragement along the way.
"From gymnastics, I have been able to meet new people and make friends along the way and have been very lucky to travel to many different countries.”
Ahead of the championships in July, the gymnasts are extremely relieved to be back doing what they love and competing again.
Olivia Parker said: “After such a hard year with lockdowns and Zoom training in 2020, I’m so grateful and proud to be representing our country at the world championships.
" My club have been most important when developing my gymnastics career as they are extremely professional and an honour to work with.
"My coaches are extremely understanding of the year we had in 2020, as we were all in the same boat so coming into training is very relaxed and pressure-free.”
James Thomas, British Gymnastics derformance director, said: “This is another fantastic event to look forward to in the gymnastics calendar. It’s an exciting British team and one that will no doubt be glad to get back to competition.
“Having the opportunity to test themselves against the very best acrobatic gymnasts in the world is a great challenge. Congratulations to all of the gymnasts and coaches on their selection.”
For more information about the World Championships, or to find out how to get involved in gymnastics, visit www.british-gymnastics.org.