Huge jump forward for Portsmouth talents

Portsmouth High School trampolining under-15s: Left to right; Beth Van Laar, Holly Hunt, Louisa Harris and Danielle Georges.  Picture: Sarah Standing (114114-5652)

Portsmouth High School trampolining under-15s: Left to right; Beth Van Laar, Holly Hunt, Louisa Harris and Danielle Georges. Picture: Sarah Standing (114114-5652)

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Rising stars from Portsmouth Schools Trampolining club are preparing to take to the national stage tomorrow.

It’s a huge jump forward for the youngsters who booked their place with some sparkling displays in the regional round.

Teams from Portsmouth High, Priory and Craneswater all have their sights set on leaping into the national finals.

They travel to Bromley, Kent, for the semi-final stage against rivals from the east, west and central regions.

Portsmouth High School under-15s will be represented by Beth van Laar, Holly Hunt, Louisa Harris and Danielle Georges.

They will be joined by Priory School under-15s trio Caitlin Holmes, Nia Amos and Miki Ginns.

And in the under-11s, Craneswater Junior School are represented by Holly Linford, Hollie Eeles and Clara Duncan.

Also making the trip are Kristy Claeys, from South Downs College, and Leila Critchett, from Northern Parade Junior School, who qualified for the individual competitions.

To have so many representatives achieve qualification from the intense regional round, held on the Isle of Wight, is a big high point for Portsmouth Schools Trampolining head coach Michael Whitelock.

He’s now setting his sights on masterminding the route to the final.

Whitelock said: ‘It’s a huge achievement even to get this far.

‘This is the most that I have ever taken to this stage.

‘I had one team qualify last year. We’ve never got further than the semi-finals, so hopefully this year.

‘They have a really good chance. The aim is for all of them to qualify – but if just one team gets there it would be great, for that experience.’

The top eight from across the regions, in each category, are gunning for just two spots in the finals.

Contestants must perform two routines, one set and one voluntary.

Portsmouth assistant coach Claeys, who competes in the under-19s, has realised her ambition by reaching this stage.

Critchett is at the other end of her schools trampolining career as she goes in the under-11s.

Whitelock reckons the duo can impress the judges.

He said: ‘Kristy finished second out of a group of 46 to qualify and Leila came second out of a group of 50.

‘They have done really well. They are confident in what they do. They bounce high and have good posture.

‘They do stand out – that’s what the judges are looking for.

‘Leila has a lot of years ahead of her.

‘For Kristy, it has been her goal every year to get to this stage.

‘Now she has done it, in her last year in the competition. She’s come through since she was about 11.

‘She set this standard for herself and she has made it.’

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