British Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships 2007
Fenton Manor, Stoke on Trent,
Saturday, 17 and Sunday 18 November
After having played host to the LG International in April, the sports complex at Fenton Manor in Stoke on Trent will, once again see in action the best British Rhythmic Gymnasts who will challenge the titles and medals of this year’s British Championships, on Saturday, 17 and Sunday 18 November.
Saturday will see the Overall competitions and the all-around title-holders, with the top eight gymnasts in each age group on each piece of apparatus going forward to Sunday’s Apparatus Finals.
Competition Organiser Nicky Richards: “This is the premier event in the domestic Rhythmic Gymnastics calendar and six of last year’s seven champions are back to defend their titles. Several of the gymnasts on show have represented Great Britain on the international stage and we are looking forward to a very spectacular event with tight competition in all age groups, for all the titles and medals”
Francesca Jones (Nene Valley) won her first Senior title and three of the four apparatus titles in 2006 following a very closely fought contest with Heather Mann (i-Star Academy), claiming the Ribbon crown. Both gymnasts represented Great Britain in the European Championships in Baku (Azerbaijan) in June, and Frankie also competed in the World Championships in Patras (Greece) in September. Sadly, Heather is recovering from injury and will not be competing this weekend.
Frankie is joined by three other medallists from 2006 - Magalie Mackay (Beacon), who took the Bronze medal in last year’s Senior Rope competition, Becky Izzard (Stockport), who is making her first appearance as a Senior having been runner-up in the Juniors in both 2005 and 2006, and Kirstie Jarvis (i-Star Academy), who was Junior Bronze medallist with Hoop and Clubs last year.
With Juniors staying in the same age group for two years, the 2006 Champion – Francesca Fox (City of Bath) is back to defend not only the Overall title but also all four apparatus Gold’s that she won last year. Just one of last year’s overall medallists from the Under 13 section, Rachel Smith (City of Coventry), also the 2006 Under 13 Ribbon Champion, returns this year to compete as a Junior and will be looking to challenge Francesca’s dominance this time round. Rachel was the Under 10 Champion in 2003 and the Under 12 Champion in 2005. Other very strong challengers for the Junior titles are Jade Faulkner (Esprit), a medallist in last year’s Under 13 competition and Rebecca Earl (i-Star Academy, known as Southview at the time) who claimed her first British Championships medal when finishing third in the Junior Ribbon competition. Special mention in this age group must go Brydie Young (Spelthorne) who makes her British Championships debut at a relatively advanced age!
Five gymnasts are making their British Championships debut in the Under 13 age group – Rebecca Bee (Beacon), Louise Clarke (South Essex), Megan Fairhead (Spelthorne), Rosie Higgins (South Essex) and Gemma Rand (Esprit). The 2006 Champion Kezi Gore (City of Canterbury) is the only one of last year’s medallists who competes this year. Kezi swept all before her last year, winning all three apparatus titles as well as the Overall crown and along with sister Jael, became the first siblings to hold British titles simultaneously.
Three of the Under 12s are new at this level, Abigayle Blacowe (City of Coventry), Mimi-Isabelle Cesar (City of Birmingham) and Imogen Pike (City of Canterbury). Last year’s Under 11 Champion, Rachel Maguire (Llanelli), is back and looking for three British titles in a row, having also been the Under 10 Champion in 2005. Runner-up in the overall competition, Aimee Marsh (St Helens) and third placed Marnie Calwell (City of Bath) also return. Rachel was the 2006 Under 11 Ball Champion and was runner-up to Marnie in the Rope section. Marnie placed third in the Ball competition behind Rachel and Amy Stewart (Beacon).
By comparison, the Under 11s are old hands, with just one debutant – Jade Farrell (Hillingdon) - in the field. Laura Halford (Esprit) was the 2006 Under 10 Champion not only in the all-around event but with both Rope and Hoop as well, with Catherine Holness (City of Canterbury) runner-up overall and with Rope and Bronze medallist with Hoop. Jordan Croucher (City of Canterbury) was runner-up to Laura in the Hoop competition.
The majority of the Under 10s are also new to the British Championships, with only last years medallists, Champion Jael Gore (City of Canterbury), runner-up Alicia Veveris (Esprit) and Bronze medallist Nikara Jenkins (Llanelli) having competed last year. These three shared all the medals at last year’s competition, with Jael winning the Free title and Nikara triumphing with Hoop.
They are making their first appearance at this level. We wish Gabriella Caruso (Esprit), Kira Kadwill (South Essex), Madeline Mourlino (Nene Valley), Helena Stiles (Stockport) and Casey Williams (Llanelli) all the very best for their British Championship debut.
Saturday, 17 November 2007 – All-around competition:
10:00 - U9, U10, U11, U12
13:45 - U13, Juniors and Seniors
Sunday, 18 November 2007 – Apparatus Finals
10:00- U9, U10, U11, U12
13:50- U13, Juniors and Seniors
1 day ticket: Adults £8.50. Concessions £5.00
2 day ticket: Adults £12.50. Concessions £7.50
For more information, please, contact:
Tel: 01 952 822 338; Mob: 077 395 12186 Vera.A@british-gymnastics.org
Or Tim Peake
0845 1297129 (ext 2533), Mob: 07825 980 335 Tim.Peake@britsih-gymnastiics.org
photos Janos Schmidt