Hunt for medals is over for Jocelyn

Jocelyn Hunt. Picture: Steve Reid
Jocelyn Hunt. Picture: Steve Reid
The talented City of Portsmouth boys' squad. Picture: Matthew Reeds

Southern region joy for Portsmouth boys

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Former European and Commonwealth silver medallist Jocelyn Hunt has quit gymnastics.

The 18-year-old from Stubbington took part in her last competition at the British Championships in Liverpool last weekend where she claimed 15th place overall.

Her best result was fourth place in the beam final but she was well down the field in the uneven bars and the floor routines.

Now, after her success for Great Britain and England, Hunt has decided she’s simply had enough of gymnastics as she prepares to go to university later this year.

She said: ‘There isn’t really one reason behind it but I just felt I needed a new challenge.

‘I’ve been doing it for 12 years and the British Championship was my last competition.

‘There are a lot of good, younger gymnasts coming through.

‘I’m nearly 19 and I’m getting old for a gymnast.

‘I’ve been thinking about it for a while but I wasn’t ready to quit.

‘I was still enjoying the sport but I woke up one day and just knew the British Championship was going to be my last competition.

‘It was sad to say goodbye to everyone but I’ve just had enough of the sport at the moment. I need a break.’

Some will find it hard to understand how a teenager can be too old for a sport.

But Hunt – who narrowly missed out on selection for Team GB at the London Olympics – hinted the remarkable dedication to her sport, with upwards of 30 hours of training every week, had taken its toll.

She said: ‘Maybe some don’t understand how hard it is as a sport and the dedication involved.

‘It’s very demanding on your body as well.

‘The coaches have said it’s up to me but I would be welcome back if I changed my mind.

‘But I think that’s probably it for me. I don’t think I will ever go back to gymnastics.’

Hunt listed her two silver medals as her career highlights but is perhaps not quite done with sporting success just yet.

She said: ‘The highlights would be the two silver medals at the European Championship and the Commonwealth Games.

‘I wouldn’t say I have really had any lows.

‘Even though I didn’t make the Olympic team, I was still proud of myself for making the final 10.

‘But I’m going to University of Chichester to study sports psychology and I’m still involved with gymnastics at the Mountbatten Centre where I’ll do some coaching for a while.

‘I won’t go into coaching. I would rather be involved in the sports psychology side of things.

‘But I’m thinking about trying a different sport.

‘We had someone assess our sprinting when we were training for the vault and he suggested I thought about getting into athletics.

‘I will think about which sport I would like to do when I get to university.

‘You never know what might happen in the future.’