Xcel stars are jumping for joy

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James Carmichael has been in fantastic form

Portsmouth talents show they are top class

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RISING stars from Xcel broke new ground for the club as they stormed to a series of outstanding displays in their maiden trampoline competition.

The young aces showed they are clearly fast learners with their performances in the Southern Region Grading held at Abingdon in Oxfordshire.

Four members of the 10-strong squad hit the qualifying mark to move up from grade G – where they entered as competition newcomers – to grade F.

It was a tribute to the work of new Xcel Gymnastics coach Lisa Lewis, who has been leading the Horndean club’s trampoline squad since January.

Nuala Smith, in the over-15 ladies, and Elias Daiche, in the under-13 boys, spearheaded the charge as they both won their age groups and qualified to move up to the higher grade.

Nathaniel Allman, who finished second in the under-15 boys, and Lucy Tapper, who came 10th in a high-standard under-13 girls’ competition, also made the grade with their scores high enough to see them move up.

Other podium successes for Xcel came from Andrew Lewis, second in the under-11 boys, and Macy Gasson, third in the under-11 girls.

Millie Westbrook, Veronica Pal, Matthew Hughes and Mollie Hosey were also in action as Xcel enjoyed a superb debut display.

Head coach Denise Wilkinson was thrilled with results returned.

She said: ‘Xcel are really proud to have yet another competitive discipline on board and we are all looking forward to a bright future for our gymnasts.

‘The whole team put out great routines and earned themselves the respect of the region’s trampoline clubs.

‘As a new club, we drew a lot of attention at the competition – particularly with the standard of performances from our gymnasts.’

The next task for Lewis and her squad is to build on the displays and continue their progress, especially with Smith, Daiche, Allman and Tapper embarking on the challenge of a higher grade.

Wilkinson added: ‘To move up a grade the gymnasts had to reach a qualifying standard, achieving a certain score for their routine.

‘The fact four of them did so in their first competition is amazing.

‘It is all credit to coach Lisa Lewis who has got them to such a good level since they started, from scratch.

‘Those who have qualified now move up to the higher grade so they will be working on that.

‘The fact we had gymnasts medal as well is a real bonus.

‘They all really enjoyed the competition.’