National stage is perfect platform for PGC talents

Amelia Rogers in the swing of things
Amelia Rogers in the swing of things
James Leaver

James Leaver picks up medal at British Championships

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National glory was the target for the region’s top up-and-coming gymnasts as they converged on Birmingham.

It was the chance to show off the routines created and honed in the gym with hours and hours of dedicated training.

Individual and team honours were on the line with four members of Portsmouth Gymnastics Club (PGC) qualifying for the southern region squad to travel up to the midlands.

Impressive progress at county and regional level had seen them make the grade and they enhanced their reputations further.

Amelia Rogers, 10, and Summer Yeates, 11, topped the PGC achievements list.

They both put in fantastic individual performances to help the four-strong southern region grade-eight squad secure first place.

Rogers came third and Yeates was hot on her heels with a fourth-placed finish.

It was an extremely strong showing in the pressure-cooker environment of intense artistic gymnastics competition.

For Yeates, the result was better than anything she had dared to dream about.

‘We weren’t expecting it because we were against some good people from all around.’ she said.

‘It was so pleasing. Nobody fell off the beam and nobody wobbled.

‘We did really well to come first because we didn’t know the other gymnasts in the southern squad.

‘But it was nice to be with Amelia.

‘It meant we could cheer each other on.’

Rogers was thrilled to add the team first and individual bronze to her ever-growing trophy haul.

She said: ‘It was really nice. We are all very happy with what we achieved.

‘It’s good to work alongside the other gymnasts and for us to finish first.’

The pair were separated by just 0.1 of a point in the battle to secure the bronze medal.

It proved a really good contest between the club-mates all the way through, with Rogers just coming out on top in the end.

Fellow PGC member Claudia Garner, eight, was also in action – making her debut at national level.

It’s just the start of the journey through the elite-level paths for Garner and she excelled to pass compulsory grade four.

The competition is clearly an environment she thrives in.

Garner said: ‘It was great to do the nationals.

‘It’s really hard to get there – it takes a lot of hard work.

‘I love coming into the gym to train and work with my coaches.’

Emily Goss, 14, finished eighth overall in national grade six, with the southern region finishing seventh.

She has now ticked off one of her main goals by completing all her grades.

‘To finish all my grades is quite an achievement for me,’ said Goss.

‘It is something everyone wants to do in gymnastics.

‘My routines all went really well and I did the best I could have done.’

PGC coach Tina Field was impressed with the way all four members of the club acquitted themselves in the competition.

She feels they have again raised the bar for others to match in future.

Field said: ‘It was a really, really good set of results.

‘Amelia and Summer are two of our top gymnasts.

‘They were so close all the way through.

‘There was some nerves on the beam but, overall, they performed beautifully.

‘Both are pushing hard and making fantastic progress after starting late in gymnastics.’

Field also has high hopes for Garner who is clearly a star in the making.

She added: ‘Claudia has just started the elite path. It is the first step for her.

‘She is so determined and so serious about what she wants to do.

‘Claudia loves being in the gym and always puts in her best performances.’

Meanwhile for Goss, the long-term target is to secure a place at the British Championships.

According to her coach it is something that could be in reach for her.

Field said: ‘At the nationals, Emily put in a lovely floor routine and she was very strong on the parallel bars.

‘I have been coaching Emily since she was eight and her goal will be to try to qualify to take part in the British Championships, either this year or next year.

‘It is definitely something she could achieve.

‘Hopefully she will keep progressing.’