Honiton Gymnastics Club members win two national titles

By Guest

25th Nov 2021 | Local Sport

Honiton gymnasts Reece Cutler and Sky Shute returned from Stoke-on-Trent at the weekend as British Champions in the 12-18 mixed pair event.

At the same event, the Honiton Grade 5 Men's Group of Max MacDonald, Max Sharland, Devon Roe-Lavery and Joe Shackleton won gold – claiming the National Development Plan (NDP) title.

The competition was the first national acrobatic gymnastics event in almost two years, but despite a huge period when Honiton Gymnastics Club was closed and gymnasts couldn't train, their members have shown remarkable resilience with 17 gymnasts competing at the tournament and four partnerships coming home with medals.

"We are very proud of all 17 gymnasts who represented Honiton Gymnastics Club at the weekend," said coach and board members James Reddy.

"Across the UK, the pandemic has resulted in clubs struggling to prepare gymnasts to compete at the required level and Honiton Gymnastics Club is no different.

"Despite significant breaks in our gymnasts training programmes leading up to the competition – including many testing positive and having to take 10 days off at critical points in their preparation – they all persevered.

"We are immensely pleased with their attitude and determination – and what a marvellous start to competing again."

The pandemic meant that, for the first time, the British Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships and National Development Plan finals were held together at Stoke-on-Trent, with partnerships competing just one 'finals' routine instead of the usual two or three.

Reece and Sky performed their combined routine, which is a mixture of balance moves (where Sky performs different shaped handstands on Reece's hands), dynamic elements (where Reece throws and catches Sky when she is performing somersaults) and choreography, which is performed to music.

The men's group performed a dynamic routine, where the three bases threw (and caught) Max for a variety of different somersaulting and rebound elements.

In addition to the gold-medal winning performances, Honiton gymnasts had the following results:

  • Silver: Matthew Beviss and Oscar Felice in 12-19 Men's Pair
  • Silver: Hallie Bennett and Catie Lee in 11-17 Women's Pair
  • 4th: Hollie Mouton and Ella Lane in 11-17 Women's Pair
  • 6th: Megan Wood and Olivia Wotton in 11-17 Women's Pair
  • 9th: Molly Gibson, Evie Roberts and Jess Downs in 11-17 Women's Group

Gymnasts are now back at Honiton Gymnastics Centre preparing for the next set of events, which include the club's Christmas Show on 19 December; the Pate Wade Classic international in Stoke on Trent at the end of January; and the 2022 regional prelims in Bristol in March.

After surviving lockdown, Honiton Gymnastics Club is thriving once again, with:

  • 110 competitive gymnasts
  • 330 recreational gymnasts
  • 200+ gymnasts per week who come to ad hoc sessions such as Saturday Pay-As-You-Go, Saturday Free-Style Gymnastics (parkour) and Turbo Toddles sessions on weekday mornings

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