A trip which was planned to help young gymnasts gain experience on an international stage has ended with them bringing home an impressive medal haul.
The team from South Tyneside Gymnastic Club headed out to Turin, Italy to take part in the Turin International Acro Competition.
For a number of the pairings, it was the first time they had performed their routine against competitors from around the world.
Despite, their lack of experience the team secured three golds and two silver medals during the contest.
The club, based at the Temple Park Centre, in South Shields, has not competed in the event before due to clashes with other competitions and events.
Senior Coach Ian Said, who has trained a number of world champion gymnasts alongside his wife Debbie, said: ““It was something we have not competed in before. There were countries from around the world competing in the event.
“It was just an open invitation to take part, and this time it fitted in with our schedule.
“We just thought it was great way for our younger gymnasts to gain experience.”
He added: “They were really good results and is a testament to the hard work they have put in.
“A lot of the partnerships are quite new and this was the first time they have performed the routines in a competition.
“They went there, did the job and got the results they deserved.”
The gold medals were brought home by Morgan Nelson and Lily Gladman in the 11-16 women’s pair, Lucky Atkinson, Lauren Said and Georgie Scandle in the 12-18 Women’s group and Lauren Conlin, Olivia Parker and Hannah Smith in the 13-19 women’s group.
Silver medals were won by Hannah Pilling, Ellie McDonald and Holly Beard in the 11-16 women’s group and Sam Caine and Leighton Carr in the 11-16 men’s pair.
Gymnasts Gabrielle Evans, Megan Neal and Ruby Oliver were ranked 8th in the 11-16 women’s group.
South Tyneside Gymnastics Club has been creating region, national and world champions for more than five decades.
It is currently running a summer holiday programme for young people of all ages.
For more information on sessions and times, visit www.stgym.co.uk, call 424 6426 between 9am and 8pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org