Elite British Championships 2017

What are you doing next weekend?.... Liverpool?... for 4 days?

Do you have family in Liverpool? No? Oh.

Did you go to University there or something? No? Oh.

Is it a Stag Do or night out? No? Oh, ok.

Well… why?... Gymnastics??? Haha, shut up. Really? Oh, sorry I didn’t mean to laugh. 4 days though??

YES. 4 days. You know that feeling when your peer group has hyped up a movie so much so that you actually feel guilty to the core of your bones for not having seen it like yesterday, and then you sit in the cinema thinking… I really hope this is good…

Well that’s what our 11-16 WP of Leah & Hannah must have been thinking for the 4 days we were there. It was a long time. Thursday – podium training. Friday – balance routine. Saturday – Dynamic routine. Sunday – finals.

The British Championships is the top competition of the year for Acrobatic Gymnastics. The UK is one of the best, if not Top 3 nations in the WORLD for Acro. Thus, if you’re competing in the British Championships, you’re competing with the best in the world.

We arrived in Liverpool (you have to say it in your head with a scouse accent. No other pronunciation certifies its existence) on the Thursday afternoon, dropped our bags in our lovely 4* hotel (more on that later), and soon headed to Podium Training. It was a productive session, where the girls got to feel their way around the warm-up and competition equipment. We even got to show off our brand new routine to a tiny little audience. We hooked up with Lightning Gymnastics and had a fantastic Tapas meal.

Friday rolled around quicker than you can say Deeessspppaaacciit…. NO. STOP. It was our Balance routine. It appeared things were going to plan. We achieved a score putting us in joint 5th place out of 13 partnerships. Not amazing, but a good start. We were done by 3pm. What to do? We only have 1 partnership! Ah yes, lets go and relax in our SPA in the hotel (told you we’d be mentioning our 4* malarkey again). The girls enjoyed some casual lengths in the pool… I’m lying, they splashed about like a dog with some toilet roll. Meanwhile I hibernated in the steam room. What a hard life.

Saturday morning came through a bit stronger than Friday, as we were up earlier for the Dynamic routine. Well. This was a gamble. None of the judges in UK had seen this routine before. Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something”. Deep. Emotive. Thoughtful. The girls shone through, gaining 4th place in the category and picking up the 2nd highest artistry in the category and one of the highest in the competition. This then placed them 4th overall, and well into the finals day. Another trip to the SPA? Erm, don’t mind if we do actually. Followed by a Mexican meal with a ludicrous amount of laughter revolving around a little boy and Iron Man. Inside joke. Sorry.

So, you’re sitting in the cinema, and the advertisements have just finished. The movie is about to start. Finals were here. We were in a very strong category with gymnastics clubs who have existed before I was even a thought in my mother’s mind. No exaggeration there. We were the penultimate pair to compete. The girls managed to place 3rd with one partnership to go. Was this one of the most tense moments in gymnastics history, ever to be recorded.. like... were our hearts pumping like crazy? Of course not. We have nerves of steel. Actual footage has been captured of us waiting for the last score to come up. See below.

So everyone had finished competing… we looked at the scores. We looked again. We got out the Bunsen Burner, some test tubes, a calculator, a protractor, compass, drew some right angles, checked our working, checked again, squinted our eyes a little more… and THEN we realised. We had medalled.



….and breathe. Turns out the movie was pretty damn good….

Featured Posts