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24th November 2017

YMCA Barry has had more success in Male Gymnastics section

BY: Nathan Spackman

YMCA Barry has had more success in the male gymnastics section on a National Level, with three gymnasts representing Wales during November.

With great determination and hard work nine year old Charlie Watkins, competed in the Welsh Regional Round of Elite Grade One. This is the first elite grade in men’s artistic gymnastics which is designed to start young gymnasts on the development path towards elite senior gymnastics as they get older. Due to Charlie’s fantastic performance in the competition, he qualified to represent Wales at the Men’s Artistic British Elite Grade Final.

Charlie and the rest of the Elite Grade One Welsh Team travelled to compete in Birmingham against the best nine year olds in the country. Under a huge amount of pressure, representing his country for the first time, Charlie executed excellent routines demonstrating what a mature and skilled gymnast he is. In particular, Charlie gained two top ten placings on high bar and vault which is a huge achievement in such a competitive field. To everybody’s delight, Charlie and Team Wales scored excellently throughout the competition and in the team event, Wales claimed the Silver medal. A big well done to Charlie and the rest of the Welsh Team.

Charlie Watkins

YMCA Barry have also got two senior male gymnasts on the long list for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Iwan Mepham and Josh Cook. Throughout the year, Iwan and Josh have both undergone many trials to see if they can gain the necessary scores to be taken as part of Team Wales to the Commonwealth Games which take place next year in Australia. Their last trial took place last weekend in Scotland for the Home Nations Championships. Both Iwan and Josh competed excellently and showed the selectors that they deserve a place in the team.

Individually, Josh received 4th on Pommel Horse, 2nd on Rings, 4th on Vault, 4th on Parallel Bars, 2nd on High Bar and became the Floor Champion! As Josh is an all-around gymnast who competes on all six pieces of apparatus, his scores were combined and he took 2nd in the all-around event. At just 17 years old, Josh is making a big impression on the senior stage! Iwan also impressed with claiming 2nd on Rings, and became Champion on Parallel Bars and High Bar! A very impressive set of results, where a YMCA Barry gymnast won three out of the six apparatus finals! Iwan, Josh and the rest of the Welsh Team also become the Team Champions! An excellent couple of weeks for men’s artistic in YMCA Barry.

Josh and Iwan have done all they can leading up to the Commonwealth Games selection where everyone will now wait nervously to see which gymnasts will be travelling to Australia next year!

YMCA Barry offers gymnastics classes to all ages and abilities, from toddlers to elite level gymnastics for male and females. In the New Year, YMCA Barry are also going to be expanding their timetable to increase classes for preschool, recreational, cheerleading, teen & adult gymnastics as well as adult fitness classes. For more information please call us on 01446 724000, email sophie@ymcabarry.org.uk or follow on Facebook @ymcabarry.

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