Berwickshire gymnasts enjoy Newcastle experience

Mercedes practices above the watchful eye of coach Debbie Couch.
Mercedes practices above the watchful eye of coach Debbie Couch.

Seven local gymnasts travelled across the English border at the weekend as they represented Berwick’s DC Gymnastics in Newcastle.

On Saturday, October 6, Ava Burgon, Imogen Meakin, Inara Viaene and Tanya Seaton went to Newcastle to compete in the Women’s Artistic North Voluntary Levels 2018, at Level 5 in the 11 and under age group.

Saturday's four: Ava, Tanya, Imogen and Inara

Saturday's four: Ava, Tanya, Imogen and Inara

On Sunday, Mercedes Wilson, Milly Sykes, and Leonnie Kelly were in action in the north-east of England, performing in the 11 years group, level 6.

All gymnasts are based in Berwick/Northumberland, with the exception of Leonnie – who comes from Chirnside in the Scottish borders.

With 38 highly competitive gymnasts in the Saturday group, and some long-established big city clubs in attendance, this competition age and level grouping was always going to be a challenge for the girls competing.

Imogen’s performance on Beam was elegant and poised – strong enough to secure a sixth-place ribbon with a score of 10.75 and 13th placed overall position.

Sunday's trio: Mercedes, Leonnie, Milly

Sunday's trio: Mercedes, Leonnie, Milly

Tanya grabbed DC Gymnastics’ highest scoring Bars routine, with a score of 10.45. Her routine was so fast it was over in a blink of an eye.

Ava’s best performance was on vault, scoring 10.65 for a ‘half on’ to the vault.

Inara achieved the same score as Ava on vault, 10.65, doing a very nice ‘half on’ vault.

Then on Sunday, Mercedes Wilson, Milly Sykes, and Leonnie Kelly representing DC Gymnastics, again in Newcastle, in the under 11 years group, level 6.

Mercedes’ best piece on the Sunday was on vault with a massive score 11.00, securing her a fourth place ribbon. Her steady performance throughout the day achieving her a 10th place overall – a very impressive performance.

Milly’s best piece was on vault, doing handspring flat back and achieving a score of 10.60.

For Leonnie, this was her first Women’s Artistic competition, within a big group of 22 eight years and under girls.

However, in spite of that, the Chirnside-based youngster did well, especially on floor.

DC Gymnastics’ head coach Debbie Couch spoke about Leonnie’s performance.

“For me, Leonnie’s best performance was on floor, achieving a score of 10.10.

“It takes real courage to step forward and participate in these competitions. Well done to Leonnie for doing that.”

DC Gymnastics gave its thoughts on the weekend’s events.

“Our floor routines were lovely and, with the other three pieces in Women Artistic competitions, we know what we need to build on over the coming weeks in preparation for the Regional Team Competition in November.”