National glory for Portsmouth gymnasts

Portsmouth gymnasts with Kristian Thomas
Portsmouth gymnasts with Kristian Thomas
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Portsmouth gymnasts picked up four titles at the British Veterans Championships.

It was a high-class competition at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre, in Shropshire.

Eight members from Portsmouth Gymnastics Club (PGC) were in action.

The adult squad, who train at the Alex Way facility in Northern Parade are made up of ex-gymnasts, newcomers and even the centre’s duty manager.

Some team members had been planning routines for months, while others had to fit in last-ditch training around work schedules.

Captain Amy Sanchez, who works for Portsmouth University, led the way.

She managed to win her artistic routines to be crowned overall British champion in the over-18 category.

Sanchez also picked up second place overall for her novice level trampoline routine.

Her acrobatics partner Rhona Gray also received good scores for their women’s pair routines, placing fourth overall.

In the men’s artistic competition, Jordan Kourlouris placed fourth in the over 18 age group.

In the more senior age groups PGC hit top form.

Portsmouth University lecturer Chris Mills won his novice over-40 competition by a total of 0.05 to be crowned British champion.

Team-mate Jamie Weller matched this result by winning the pro over-30 category.

PGC’s men also won the British title with their team score.

Tumbling was included in the competition and Parkwood employee Clare Ford secured a ninth-place finish.

But it was NHS nurse Heather Parkes who took home the title of novice British champion.

In the trampolining competition, Ford achieved a third place medal in the women’s pro category, with Gray finishing in fifth.

Ellen Marett placed eighth in the women’s novice trampolining competition and contributed to PGC’s victory in the British trampolining team competition.

PGC director of gymnastics Samantha Maggs said: ‘It’s such an amazing achievement!

‘It just goes to show your never too old to chase a dream or try something new.

‘We have something for everybody at the gymnastics centre.’

Call (023) 9266 0589 for more information about joining PGC.