Portsmouth squad won’t let up

Portsmouth School of Gymnastics senior squad. The senior team. Back row left to right. Fenella Mousley, Yumi Stow, Lauren Ayling and Lauren Smith. Front left to right. Georgie Scotney, Hema Gaur-Sharma, Rochelle Oxley and Lora Long. Picture: Steve Reid (123935-470)
Portsmouth School of Gymnastics senior squad. The senior team. Back row left to right. Fenella Mousley, Yumi Stow, Lauren Ayling and Lauren Smith. Front left to right. Georgie Scotney, Hema Gaur-Sharma, Rochelle Oxley and Lora Long. Picture: Steve Reid (123935-470)
The talented City of Portsmouth boys' squad. Picture: Matthew Reeds

Southern region joy for Portsmouth boys

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Portsmouth School of Gymnastics have vowed not to let up in 2014 after their latest instalment of success.

The Farlington-based club are no strangers to team gymnastics trophies and the senior girls successfully retained their British title last year to continue their extraordinary run.

But the youngsters at the club are clearly keen to follow the example set by their senior clubmates after they grabbed a silver medal in their own age category at the national stage.

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

Head coach Julian Such said: ‘We’re hoping the senior team can retain the British title in May and that would mean they would then be selected for Iceland in October.

‘We were fourth in the 2010 European Championship but if we could get a medal in the European Championships, that would be the dream.

‘We almost got on the podium and we think we’ve got a good chance again this year.

‘But we’re working hard towards that.

‘It was a big year in 2013 and it’s another one in 2014.’

The talented gymnasts, who perform team routines with remarkable speed, agility and elegance, excelled at the recent International Teamgym Cup with five stages in Austria, Italy, Germany, Britain and Gran Canaria.

At the British leg in Bracknell, PSG took two first-place finishes and were runners-up across the three age groups.

But the teams had done enough to see the club crowned International Teamgym Cup Champions at youth, junior and senior level for 2013.

Such said: ‘It’s probably our most successful year but now we want to build on that.

‘We don’t have the luxury of the numbers of a national team so we have to work hard with what we have.

‘When we have gone to the European Championships, virtually all the top teams are national squads.

‘They are picking the best from the whole country but a club from Portsmouth is still giving them all a hard time.

‘We’ve got three different age-groups and we are the most successful teamgym club in Britain.

‘Looking ahead, various people have told me we have a chance of getting a medal in the European Championship.

‘But we need to get there first so it’s an important year.’

And Such, who trains the girls in tandem with Bev Such, paid tribute to the work ethic of the various teams.

He said: ‘They are very committed. They are always there and they work very, very hard.

‘We work hard on the team bonding side of things.

‘They need to work together as a team and it can be tricky sometimes with teenage girls!

‘It’s a difficult line to tread at times.

‘But they train at a high level and they are well prepared for the big competitions.

‘There is no big secret to it other than hard work and commitment.’