2015 British Championships
Echo Arena Liverpool – 27th-29th March
For the third year in a row the prestigious Men’s & Women’s Artistic British Championships came to the Echo Arena in Liverpool with many of Britain’s top gymnasts performing including, Commonwealth, European, World and even Olympic champions. However, this was only the second year that this competition has included members of the Men’s & Women’s National Disabilities Squad. These gymnasts were invited to compete having qualified through the Disabilities British Championships back in November 2014, unlike the previous year this was a master’s competition with only certain gymnasts competing on specific apparatus depending on previous results from past competitions.
Philip Davis from Croydon School of Gymnastics hadn’t competed in the British Disabilities last November but was given a wildcard by the Technical Committee which was great news for Philip and he was proud to accept the invite! Philip has been working hard preparing for this competition and has been looking forward to competing in this competition for months but he had no idea what a successful weekend it would turn out for him.
His weekend kicked off with Saturday morning early podium training which went well and gave him the opportunity to size up the competition which set him up nicely for his events on Sunday, leaving the rest of Saturday to watch the mainstream in action from the spectators seating.
Sunday was again an early start for the Disabilities Masters who were competing along-side the Men’s Masters and the junior and senior Women’s apparatus finals, so there was plenty of action in the arena for all to see.
Philip was selected to compete on 3 apparatus; Pommels, Parallel Bars & High Bar. Pommels was the first rotation for Men’s Disabilities so it was down to business for Philip particularly as he had been worried about this apparatus as it hadn’t always gone particularly well in training and it had let him down in Liverpool the previous year. He was 2nd up managing to overcome the nerves and get through the routine and after the round was complete he found he’d done enough to secure a bronze medal. P/Bars was his next apparatus and the routine had gone well during podium training and was certainly flowing a bit better.
This time Philip was 4th up to compete so he had an idea of what was required and gave a performance that guaranteed at least a bronze but it came as a surprise that he beat his 2 rivals from Glasgow and Jersey to find he had won the Gold medal edging out Alex Buesnel of Jersey by 0.1 of a mark!
This set Philip up nicely for High Bar in the next rotation, and this was the apparatus Philip had most been looking forward too as it’s one of his favourites and nailed it nearly every time in training. Being second to last up and seeing 2 competitors performing long swings and one even doing a top turn he’d have to go clean through to be in the running for a medal position. Remaining fairly confident and getting through the routine smoothly although deductions for bent legs at the start and a lack of height on the dismount left Philip in joint 3rd place but with Lee Davidson from Glasgow still left to compete he was left thinking he might just miss out and would have to settle for 4th place. When the scores came in he was delighted to see he remained in 3rd place adding another Bronze to his Pommels & High Bar apparatus medals.
You’ve done it again and made the club proud!
2015 - London Disabilities Floor & Vault
21st March - Falcon Spartak Sidcup
Congratulations and Well Done to Raihan Zayed, Natasha Brown and John Lynch who bagged an impressive 5 out of a possible 6 gold medals between them and also to their coaches, Philip Davis, Jade Taggart and Alan Roach who helped to prepare them for their big day.
This annual competition is aimed at grassroots level for people with disabilities. 63 gymnasts from 7 clubs were competing with 5 from London (Croydon SOG, Europa, Hillingdon, Richmond and Falcon Spartak) as well as 2 from outside the borough (Gillingham & Waveney).
This year the competition was held at Falcon Spartak gym club in Sidcup which specialises mainly in disabilities gymnastics in Artistic and Rhythmic. As usual Kay Salter and her team did a splendid job organising the competition. The gymnasts competed to a packed audience who showed their appreciation and admiration for these special gymnasts which was really nice to see as these kids work so hard just to achieve even the most simplest of skills and deserve to be supported on their special day.
Raihan and Natasha (both aged 7) were in the first round both competing 6 moves in the under 9 category. Raihan has a mild form of cerebral palsy but had made huge improvements from his competition in 2014 and topped his silver for vault last year by bagging a Gold medal on both floor as well as the vault with both being performed tidily including having a new move (a backward roll) in his floor routine. He was absolutely delighted as were his Mum & Dad.
For Natasha who suffers with a developmental disorder this was her first ever disabilities competition so despite a nervous start on floor almost forgetting the routine and lots of extra steps in between moves, Natasha recovered to pull out a superb squat on straight jump off on the vault when it mattered which impressed both the audience and the judge June Tatch (who personally praised her afterwards) to win the Gold for that apparatus which her Mum & Dad were absolutely thrilled with!
In Round 2 in the under 9 category it was John’s turn to compete. John (aged 8) has ADHD and he like Raihan had made tremendous improvement over the course of the year and included a new move in his floor routine (a Round off which he literally used to round off his routine). Vault was a powerful squat on star jump off vault resulting in both our lads coming away with a Gold medal for both apparatus.
After the medal presentations each and every gymnast was awarded their special participation certificate so nobody went home empty handed. A wonderful day was had by all and they now look forward to working hard for next year’s competition.
Congratulations & Well Done to all
3 gymnasts who have excelled this year
Keep up the hard work it’s certainly paying off!