Portsmouth gymnasts have spring in step after double award

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PORTSMOUTH School of Gymnastics have an extra spring in their step after landing The News Sports Awards 2013 young team of the year.

And it proved double success for the Farlington-based TeamGym outfit at last Thursday’s Fratton Park ceremony, as they also claimed the runner-up award in the prestigious team of the year category.

The triumphant junior squad were Southern Area winners, silver medallists on the national stage and made their mark on the international scene in a busy year of competition.

The senior team also enjoyed a memorable 2013, retaining their British Championship title, before winning gold in the International Cup.

Junior TeamGym member Sophie Brown was delighted to win the award and thanked coaches Julian and Bev Such for the role they played.

She said: ‘To win The News young team of the year award for 2013 felt really good.

‘As a team we had quite a tough year of competition – and did really well.

‘This award shows that our hard work paid off.

‘We are all really proud of each other, and on behalf of the team I would like to thank Bev and Julian for all of their time and help.

‘This is an award for them and for us.

‘Without them I don’t think we would have got as far as we did last year. They are really motivating and help us get all our moves.

‘They gives us targets and we reach them – it’s a really big help to us.’

Brown is now predicting more success in 2014.

And a promising start to the year has the 14-year-old believing there could be more international glory on the horizon.

The club have set their sights on European glory in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 
October – if they can claim more national glory this 
year.

Brown said: ‘We’ve just recently done the southern qualifiers in Bracknell again and came first in that.

‘We’re now hoping to win the British title in Stoke-on-Trent and go to the European Championships.

‘The Europeans in TeamGym is like the Olympics, so we’re hoping to represent Great Britain in that, which is held in Iceland.’