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2017 Celebrating the year


Elite level gymnasts wow the crowds

BRITISH GYMNASTICS LIFE Getting involved in our sport


We take a look back on some of the major competitions that have taken place…

THE BEST OF BRITISH Throughout the year, our elite level gymnasts wowed the crowds as they battled it out for British titles at various events across the country. For some, their titles were retained, for others it was their very first British crown and for a few it was the first time competing as an elite level gymnast in front of a packed crowd. For our fans, whether it was watching jaw-dropping gymnastics skills, spotting their favourite gymnasts or just enjoying the electric atmosphere, it was another memorable year. We take a look back at our major British Championships that took place in 2017‌

Luke Strong 2

Trampoline, Tumbling and DMT British Championships Gymnasts battled through multiple impressive performances throughout the weekend and used the event as a trial ahead of the World Championships in Bulgaria in November. In the senior women’s trampoline event, Laura Gallagher from Quayside returned to action, scoring consistently well across each of her three flights to take an impressive first place. Double Olympian Kat Driscoll struggled on day one, but battled back completing a strong final flight to finish second with Amanda Harris of NTGA finishing in third. In the men’s competition, home favourite Luke Strong from City of Liverpool held his nerve to win the British title for a third time. Lewis Bartlett from OLGA finished second with teammate Elliot Storey finishing third.

Laura Gallagher 3

Lucie Colebeck 4

In the senior women’s tumbling competition, Lucie Colebeck carried on her good form from qualifying to take the title. Pinewood’s Yasmin Taite finished in second place after being pushed all the way by Rachel Davies who finished third. Derby City’s Greg Townley came out on top in the senior men’s tumbling event which saw many world class routines. Greg produced eye catching runs, just beating Kristof Willerton (Andover) who came second. Wakefield’s Elliott Browne also scored consistently well to take third. In the DMT competition, City of Liverpool’s Benjamin Atkins came out on top in front of his home crowd. Daniel Berridge fought hard for second and City of Liverpool’s Andrew Houston made up the top three. In the women’s event, World Games competitor Kirsty Way from OLGA produced a string of stunning routines to claim the women’s title. Phoebe Williams from Heart of England came second and Bethany Williamson third.

Greg Townley

Men’s tumbling champion

Kirsty Way

Women’s DMT champion


Men’s and Women’s Artistic British Championships The 2017 Men’s and Women’s Artistic British Championships took place at Echo Arena, Liverpool. It was a record breaking event and drew our

biggest ever crowd with 15,835 people in attendance, including a sell out on both Saturday and Sunday. The 2017 British all-around titles were won by first year senior Joe Fraser from the City of Birmingham, who took the men’s title and Olympian Ellie Downie winning the senior women’s gold. As well as the action on the field of play by competing gymnasts, the entertainment was non-stop for the record crowd. The competition to win the “Best Seats in the House” went to the Palmer family, who enjoyed the perfect view for all of Sunday’s action. They were treated to a tour of Echo Arena, meeting Amy Tinkler, Kristian Thomas and Dan Keatings along the way, before enjoying a VIP lunch. 15 lucky winners got to meet Max Whitlock and have their photos taken in a personal meet and greet experience with the doubleOlympic champion backstage. Max was in attendance all weekend, floor-side encouraging his teammates throughout the all-around competitions, as well as having photos, signing pictures and answering questions from some of his biggest fans. Three members of the crowd played a starring role in the show itself, winning the opportunity to present a medal to the winners. 6

Full results and news here

The event in numbers

120 Volunteers & Judges


Number of clubs



Number of days

All-around British Champions crowned

Total medals


Number of gymnasts


Total number of spectators


Buy tickets for the 2018 British Championships here




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The 2017 Championship Series took place in front of a record breaking crowd at Echo Arena, Liverpool, from the 27th-30th July.

Championship Series

More people than ever before were in attendance to witness British champions crowned across the four disciplines of acrobatic, aerobic, rhythmic and TeamGym. A total of 99 clubs were represented by more than 1500 gymnasts. The weekend also showcased the very best of festival gymnastics with the Gym for Life Challenge, and on Friday night the Gala Evening returned, this year with a sold-out auditorium watching 12 clubs perform to the theme of ‘Our Sport: Our World’. In the senior acrobatic competitions, Spelthorne’s men’s four of Conor Sawenko, Charlie Tate, Lewis Watts and Adam Upcott took the combined title fresh off the back of their gold medal winning performance just days earlier at the World Games. Richmond’s Lewis Walker and Kitty Williams, who also medalled at the World Games, won the mixed pair competition, with Michael Hill and Jake Phelan from South Tyneside claiming the men’s pair title. Also returning off the back of winning a World Games medal were Ilisha Boardman, Isabel Haigh and Emily Hancock, who performed consistently well to win the women’s group title. 10

It was a clean sweep for Bulmershe Gym Club in the senior aerobic competitions. Marvin Gordon took the men’s title, Olivia Groves the women’s crown and Niamh Keane, Katie Boyce and Jazzy Potter topped the podium in the senior aerobic trio competition.

Welsh star Laura Halford was in inspired form over two days of competition to claim her fourth British rhythmic title. In the group competitions, Esprit’s women’s group won two of the three titles up for grabs. They won the all-around gold and followed it up by winning ball and rope gold. City of Bath produced a brilliant display to take the hoop title.

In the TeamGym hall, in front of a bumper crowd, it was Crewe and Nantwich that prevailed in the senior women’s finals with Bracknell taking the senior mixed crown. Full results here

Next year the Championship Series events of acrobatic, aerobic, rhythmic and TeamGym will take place separately due to a clash with the European Championships in Glasgow. The first event of 2018 will be the Acrobatic British Championships which heads to Fenton Manor in Stoke from the 17th-18th February. Get tickets here

The TeamGym British Championships takes place on the 14th April at Northumbria University in Northumberland and the Aerobic and Rhythmic British Championships get underway from the 23rd-24th June in Telford at the International Conference Centre.


Interview with Adam Upcott The name Upcott has been synonymous with world class acrobatic gymnastics in Great Britain for many years and 17-year-old Adam is continuing the incredible dynasty that his brother Ed and sister Alice began. Adam is the ‘top’ of the men’s group that took the world by storm in 2017, he talked us through his experiences...

Top of the world: “2017 has been one amazing year for my men’s group! We managed to claim numerous titles that we thought weren’t even possible. Firstly, at the Maia World Cup in Portugal we managed to grab a silver medal behind Israel, but then just one month later we managed to beat them to the top claiming our first senior gold at the FIAC World Cup in Belgium. We then also participated in the European Championships resulting in three silver medals, again just behind Israel. Our biggest moment came in Wroclaw though. At the last World Championships in China we claimed the bronze medal meaning we had qualified for the World Games which took place in July this year. 12

We entered this competition wanting to improve on our bronze medal by this time beating Israel, and realistically we were looking to grab a silver behind China who we all thought were impossible to beat. It was only a dream to think we could walk out of the arena with a gold medal hanging around our necks, but, that dream came true. On the 26th July 2017 we became The World Games Champions! From there we flew straight back home to compete at the Championship Series. It was a crazy few days!”

Team bond: “I have been very fortunate to have been in the same men’s four since 2012 alongside Lewis Watts, Conor Sawenko and Charlie Tate. Being together for so long has meant that we have learnt to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we have also developed a strong bond between us meaning we can help and encourage each other to push through the tough times. My role in the men’s group is the top. I balance on top of the four man towers on someone’s head with just one hand! I’m also thrown 18-20 feet in the air twisting and somersaulting relying on my bases to catch me. I have to stay quite small for the role as the lighter I am the easier it is for my bases to throw me.”

2017 Celebrating the year

Family history: “My brother and sister, both retired gymnasts, are my ultimate inspirations. Both of them have claimed gold in the senior category at World level competitions. They always motivate me in the toughest of times and help me push through. Me and my sister managed to grab a gold at the World Games early on in our career and have only competed at two senior world level competitions. My brother however competed at five senior World Championships and the World Games; that on its own I see as a bigger achievement than what I have achieved. Doing what he did shows his determination and commitment to the sport which inspires me to try and achieve the same.”

The future: “Sadly one of my bases has decided to retire so our men’s group has come to an end after an incredible five years. However, one of my bases has agreed to help me get to the 2018 World Championships so my journey goes on. It’s going to be tough but I’m always ready for the challenge.”


Adult Gymnastics British Championships The Adult Gymnastics British Championships is open to anyone aged 18 and over, regardless of experience or ability, with the opportunity to socialise and compete. Competitors can enter as an individual and as part of a team in acrobatic, men’s artistic, trampoline, tumbling and women’s artistic competitions. The 2017 event took place from the 5th-6th August at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire. Multiple medals were won with a fantastic social taking place afterwards. Full results here 14

Disability Artistic British Championshps

The 2017 Disability Artistic British Championships were held on Sunday 1st October at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. There were some incredible performances with multiple British titles won. In the men’s senior open class I category, Alexander Buesnel from Jersey Special impressively took his 10th British all-around title, making it a decade of British titles, alongside gold on every piece of apparatus – the floor, pommel, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar. In the senior women’s open class I category, it was a clean sweep of the titles for City of Glasgow’s Georgia Carslaw. In the senior women’s open class II category, Natasha Coates from Robin Hood Gymnastics took the all-around, vault and bars titles as well as floor silver and beam bronze. Sophie Crawford from the City of Glasgow took the beam and floor titles. Full results here 15

BRITISH GYMNASTICS LIFE Whether you’ve nailed a new skill, achieved your first badge, or perhaps you’re involved as a coach, judge, volunteer or simply spectating at an event, #BritishGymnasticsLife never stops. In May we launched the hashtag #BritishGymnasticsLife, a new community gallery which celebrates those involved and shows what it’s like to be a part of gymnastics. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, make sure you use #BritishGymnasticsLife and you could feature on our website.

Here are the some of our favourites from 2017…


2017 Celebrating the year


Transforming lives through gymnastics

The British Gymnastics Foundation has had a year to remember. Alongside a host of fundraising success stories, they now have Kristian Thomas and Beth Tweddle MBE as ambassadors for two of their programmes, they’ve released ground-breaking research conducted by Age UK and have even appeared on prime-time national TV. The Love to Move programme has been the major success story of the past 12 months. Most notably, the charity received £499,991 of National Lottery funding from Sport England. This funding will assist a four-year project to develop and expand the programme, which is a chair-based gymnastics exercise programme, designed to get older people moving more. The charity also launched a crowdfunding campaign which raised over £14,000 to go to the same cause.


To coincide with the crowdfunding campaign, a booklet including exercises from Love to Move was made available for download. The booklet has been downloaded more than 108,000 times! Research conducted by Age UK was also released which reported that the programme shows “demonstrable benefits in the physical, emotional and cognitive aspects of older people.”

Alongside the release of Age UK’s research, British Gymnastics Foundation Manager, Patrick Bonner, was invited on to the BBC Breakfast sofa to show some of the key exercises of the programme, allowing a national audience of 4.5 million people to see the great work they are doing. Two-time Olympic gymnast and British Gymnastics legend Kristian Thomas agreed to become an ambassador for the Love to Move programme, and lead coach Kim Hall has received recognition for her exceptional efforts. Kim finished runner-up at the European Commission’s Sport Awards in the Local Hero category.

Kristian Thomas

Away from Love to Move, the Hardship Grants Programme has awarded just over £17,000 to 73 British Gymnastics members in 2017, ensuring they stay in the sport of gymnastics despite going through a time of financial hardship. In November, the charity was also delighted to announce Olympic medallist and multiple World champion, Beth Tweddle MBE, as an ambassador for the scheme. People have completed the London Marathon, Tough Mudder events, an Inflatable 5k fun-run and hosted a yoga weekend to help raise additional funds for the Foundation, and Tumble, the Foundation bear, can now be bought from the British Gymnastics GymShop, with profits going to the charity. All in all, the British Gymnastics Foundation has plenty to shout about, as it continues to transform lives through

Beth Tweddle MBE Find out more 19

International Handstand Day International #HandstandDay took place on Saturday 24th June 2017. Thousands of people across the country and the world got involved on the day, showing off their most impressive handstands in the most unusual places. Salto Acrobatics Club in Luton were one of many clubs who got involved with lots of different events. They did a club competition to email a photo in of their most creative handstands, which had a brilliant response with lots of their members, including parents, getting involved. It’s great to see so many people enjoying seeing the world upside down! We got in touch with 16 year old Lauren Brookes who trains at Salto Acrobatics. She talks us through why she loves gymnastics and how she first learnt to perform and hold a handstand‌


2017 Celebrating the year

When did you first start gymnastics and why? “I first started gymnastics in 2011 when I was 10 years old, which is a lot later than most people at my club. I went with my best friend who had been doing gymnastics for years, we were always doing cartwheels and the splits at school. Once I started acro I loved it.” What’s the most enjoyable aspect? “I love learning something new and there is always something new to learn. Adding new moves into our routine is great as it pushes my trio. Kimberly our coach is fantastic at pushing us to go to the next skill level. I also love to compete at competitions, I love the feeling you get before you perform and the excitement of discovering where we have placed.”

period of time has taken lots of hard work over the years!” What other skills are you hoping to learn? “I would like to learn how to free forward walk over and round off flick half twist. As I started later in life these are skills that some of the younger girls in my squad have mastered but I am determined to get there as well! Even if it takes me a few more years. I’d also love to challenge myself to a double back. You’ve got to aim high!”

How did you learn to hold a handstand and how easy did you find it? “When I first started to do handstands I did them against a wall or a mat at gym to build up my arm strength, I then moved away from the wall and mat and soon was able to hold a handstand for a few seconds. Over the years I have built up the amount of time and can now hold a handstand for over 30 seconds. To learn the handstand was quite easy, holding it for a long 21

National Awards The annual British Gymnastics National Awards returned in October to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the most inspirational people within our gymnastics community. From our outstanding elite gymnasts proudly taking medals on the world stage, to our passionate workforce and volunteers dedicated to delivering our sport; it was an evening of celebration at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridge. Congratulations go to all of our nominees and winners. Here are a selection of the best pictures from the evening. Full list of winners



The demand for gymnastics keeps growing and we’re proud to have supported a number of clubs to grow and develop.


This year marked the final year of the Sport England Whole Sport Plan, enabling us to invest £568,750 to help with club facility and equipment projects. £268,750 was spent on six club facility projects, £150,000 went to 23 FreeG equipment projects, £100,000 was used to fund equipment to support talent projects, with the remaining £50,000 going towards five trampoline equipment projects. Sport England invested an additional £200,000 into three clubs through the last round of their Inspired Facility funding, to make them make club improvements, as well as allowing them to retain current members and increase their offering to those new to the sport. During the 2016/17 financial year, 60 club facility projects were completed, ranging from improvements to existing facilities through the redevelopment of an industrial unit to make it fit for purpose. Looking forward to 2018, there are 306 club based facility projects that are ongoing. Here are just a selection of the facilities that have been transformed. 24

Xcel Gymnastics

2017 Celebrating the year

Haverhill Gymnastics Club

Pegasus Gymnastics Club 25


2017 Celebrating the year

Volunteers Gymnastics relies on the volunteers that work tirelessly up and down the country every week. The sport simply wouldn’t be what it is without such generosity and willingness to make a difference. In 2017, more volunteers than ever have been involved in our sport. There are now 311 My Leadership Academies in British Gymnastics clubs, giving young people aged 11+ a chance to develop their leadership skills. There are over 3000 Young Leaders within these academies, which can only benefit gymnastics in the years to come. More than 6000 hours have been volunteered to assist and support the British Gymnastics event programme throughout the year. From handing out programmes to

spectators, to filming the action on the competition floor, volunteers of all ages have been involved. At award ceremonies across the regions, volunteers have been recognised for their invaluable work. The 2017 National Awards in October also provided another opportunity to celebrate the hours many volunteers give to gymnastics. On the British Gymnastics website, there have been updates to the volunteering pages, allowing more than 150 people so far to register their interest in volunteering at a local club, or at regional or national events. There is also a new recognition process, making it easier for us to hear the stories of those who go the extra mile. Register your interest here


GymFusion GymFusion is a gymnastics event like no other. Whether you are a gymnast taking part, or a spectator in the crowd, GymFusion is a show-style festival that you just won’t want to miss. Part of the British Gymnastics National Festivals Programme, GymFusion encompasses the ethos of Gymnastics for All, and gives participants the opportunity to display their skills and talents as a team in a fun, friendly and noncompetitive environment. Six events took place in 2017, with 3689 gymnasts and 144 clubs taking part in the dream themed festival. The event is growing every year with seven events set to take place in 2018 across England and Northern Ireland including exciting and creative performances from all ages and abilities based around the theme, time across the vast range of disciplines within gymnastics. Find out more about getting involved here



Coaches are at the heart of British Gymnastics. You’re with your gymnasts every step of the way. And British Gymnastics is there to support you Maybe you’re a parent, teacher, helper or a gymnast Whether you’re thinking of starting out, or developing your coaching further

Get into coaching


The Gymnast digital magazine - 2017 review


TAKING ON THE WORLD It’s been an action packed year with our gymnasts jetting off to various parts of the world for internationals! In this section, we take a look back on some of the major competitions that have taken place…

Trampoline, Tumbling and DMT World Championships 32

2017 Celebrating the year

Men’s tumbling team, gold medal winners 33

TAKING ON THE WORLD Trampoline, Tumbling and DMT World Championships The 2017 Trampoline, Tumbling and Double-Mini Trampoline World Championships took place in Sofia, Bulgaria from the 9th-13th November. The British team competed against the world’s best for medals in individual and team events. The championships closed with Great Britain winning gold with our men’s tumbling team; silver for our women’s DMT and tumbling teams and synchronised trampoline pair Nathan Bailey and Luke Strong; and bronze for our women’s trampoline team and our tumbling gymnasts Lucie Colebeck and Elliott Browne.

Our men’s tumbling team, Kristof Willerton, Greg Townley, Elliott Browne and Kallum Mulhall won the team World title with a faultless performance. The team competed three routines in the high-pressure final and each was executed superbly to outclass the opposition and score 112.500 points for gold ahead of China and Denmark. Our women’s tumbling team Yasmin Taite, Lucie Colebeck, Ashleigh Long and Rachel Davies have won team silver in Sofia. The team scored a total of 99.900 points for their three final routines to take their place on podium alongside China (103.400) and France (99.100). The British women’s DMT team won superb silver in their final which was full of drama with a judging review declaring the final standings. Kirsty Way, Phoebe Williams, Kim Beattie and Bethany Williams scored 102.200 points for silver.

Elliott Browne 34

Nathan Bailey and Luke Strong produced a brilliant routine in the men’s synchronised trampoline final for silver. With others falling before them they kept their composure well and fought

2017 Celebrating the year

to stay in synch ending their routine in harmony for a score of 52.250 points to take the second spot on the podium. Tumbling star Lucie Colebeck also won individual bronze with two superb tumbling passes in a closely fought final. Lucie scored 71.500 points to take third spot. Our women’s trampoline team also produced a superb performance to take World Championship bronze. Kat Driscoll, Laura Gallagher and Izzy Songhurst all put in brilliant displays under pressure to give the team a total of 163.810 points for third place. Elliott Browne was hugely impressive in the men’s tumbling, scoring 75.500 points, equal to the silver medal gymnast, with Elliott given bronze on a tie break rule (which adds the total execution scores). Britain’s rising stars in trampoline, tumbling and double mini trampoline showed the world their outstanding talent winning numerous medals at the 2017 World Age Group Competitions in Sofia. Following on from the senior successes at the World Championships, the World Age Group competitions showcased the very best junior gymnasts in different age categories, with Britain taking six world titles.

Synchronised trampoline pair Nathan Bailey and Luke Strong, World silver medallists 35

TAKING ON THE WORLD Lafferty won silver in her 15-16 final. Megan Kealy tumbled her way to the 17-21 title with Georgia Clayton in silver whilst Dominic Mensah took the 17-21 men’s bronze medal. The last day then saw Naano Oppon win the 11-12 girls tumbling bronze.

Women’s tumbling team, silver medallists

In the double mini trampoline events, Caitlin O’Brien won the 17-21 years gold and Scarlett Fletcher the 11-12 title.

In the trampoline events, Ryan Brown took gold and Tyler Cole-Dyer silver in the boys 11-12 final with the pair then joining forces to take the synchronised trampoline gold. Andrew Stamp also won a sensational silver in the 15-16 trampoline final. Will Cowan was crowned the boys 1314 tumbling champion and teammate Jack Leahy in silver with Georgie Forbes adding bronze in the girl’s event. Iain Foster took the 15-16 boys silver with Will Finn in bronze whilst Kaitlyn 36

Women’s trampoline team, bronze medallists

Trampoline, Tumbling and DMT World Championships

Women’s DMT team, silver medallists



World Games 38

2017 Celebrating the year

4000 athletes from 100 countries competed in 31 sports from drone racing to speed climbing as The World Games took place in Wroclaw, Poland in July. Organised every four years under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee, our British gymnasts competed in tumbling, acrobatic and double-mini trampoline events. Our gymnasts took on the world’s best and produced outstanding results! The medal charge began with our acrobatic mixed pair, Lewis Walker and Kitty Williams taking bronze. The pair performed a superb final ‘combined’ routine to score 28.810 points for third place behind Russia (30.865) and Belarus (29.260).



It quickly became double then triple bronze on the second day. Firstly, Lucie Colebeck took brilliant bronze in a high-quality women’s tumbling final. The 21-year-old showed her class in both her final passes which each scored 35.5 points to get her 71 points for third place behind Fangfang (CHN) and Korebeynikova (RUS), two world-class gymnasts. And then Isabel Haigh, Ilisha Boardman and Emily Hancock took the women’s acrobatic group bronze with a beautiful final routine scoring 28.235 to secure the medal. The girls combining artistic choreography with difficult balance skills that wowed the crowd to take third place much to the gymnast’s delight. The best was saved until last. Our acrobatic men’s group Lewis Watts, Conor Sawenko, Charlie Tate and Adam Upcott wowed the crowd with a stunning performance to take The World Games gold. Their final ‘combined’ routine to a medley of pop songs brought entertainment and incredibly difficult gymnastics skills together for a huge score of 30.450 for the gold ahead of close rivals China.


World Games

Outside of the medals came many more superb performances. Read more



TAKING ON THE WORLD Aerobic European Championships The 10th European aerobic gymnastics championships took place in Ancona, Italy. Europe’s best junior and senior gymnasts from 21 federations battled it out for the continental titles. Held every two years, these Championships were the first under the new FIG Code of Points, valid from 2017 to 2020.

Great Britain were represented by Renee Augier in the individual junior women’s category and Renee, Anya Donnelly and Kate Donnelly in the women’s junior trio event. They put in two fantastic performances in very strong fields. Renee finished in 15th, successfully performing two new skills scoring full difficulty. The trio finished in 12th place. Full results here


2017 Celebrating the year

Laura Halford completed her 2017 rhythmic gymnastics World Championships placing 67th all-around in Pesaro, Italy which took place from the 30th August – 3rd September. On day one Laura scored a strong 14.500 with hoop and 9.100 with ball then followed up with 12.350 for clubs and 11.450 for ribbon. Reflecting after Laura said: “I was really happy with my hoop routine on the first day of competition and I actually finished 30th on that piece which was a really good result for me. It was an amazing experience to compete here and another stepping stone towards the Commonwealth Games next year which is my main goal at the moment. Apart from my ball routine, I am keeping all my routines the same for next season so I can now spend some time focusing on getting them much more consistent so next year I will be able to compete them as well as I know I can do.” Full schedule and results here

Rhythmic World Championships 45


Artistic European Championships


Courtney Tulloch

2017 Celebrating the year

Cluj-Napoca in Romania was the destination for the 2017 Artistic Gymnastics European Championships. In action for Great Britain were Joe Fraser, James Hall, Sam Oldham, Courtney Tulloch, Dominick Cunningham and Frank Baines. Our women’s team was Claudia Fragapane, Becky Downie, Ellie Downie and Alice Kinsella who replaced Georgia-Mae Fenton. The championships were the first big test on the international stage for many of our gymnasts after the Rio Olympic Games and they shone. In total, Great Britain won six medals with Ellie Downie the undoubted star of the championships.

Ellie won all-around gold making history as the first ever British gymnast to do so. She also added vault and floor silver and bars bronze in one of the greatest performances ever seen by one of our gymnasts. On the men’s side James Hall took superb all-around bronze and Courtney Tulloch a masterful rings silver. 47

TAKING ON THE WORLD Ellie Downie, European all-around champion, the day I made history… “The run up to the competition was quite stressful. I’d hurt my foot at the British Championship and had pulled out of the World Cup just before the Euro’s so I wasn’t even sure I’d compete at one point. I’d worked so hard to get fit and my routines were looking good so we made the decision to give it everything. I didn’t do a massive amount of training in the weeks running up, I rested my foot and then slowly built back up.

Ellie Downie Artistic European Championships 48

2017 Celebrating the year

“I always go in to every competition wanting to hit my routines and never with the idea of ‘I want to win this’ or ‘I want this medal and this final’. I think that was even more so the case at the Europeans this time with my build up and perhaps that helped me and took the pressure off. Psychologically I got to the European Championships just grateful to be there. I was going without massive expectation on myself but also knowing that there were opportunities if I could compete my best routines. “Qualification was the moment I think my mindset changed to believing I was a contender for medals. I went in to qualifying thinking mainly about a vault final as that’s my best piece but to top the all-around ranking and make all four finals was a big, big shock for me.


“From qualifying there was a thought that I’ve now got nothing to lose but also having been top of all-around there was suddenly some extra expectation on me. I was getting talked about as a contender. People look at you more so that suddenly makes it all very real. My competition finished quite late on the Thursday before the final so I got back late to the hotel, had an ice bath and chilled with the team watching films. I was starting to get a bit nervous at that point thinking about the next day. “The morning of the final I felt relaxed and tried to take my mind off what was to come. I was in the final with Alice Kinsella so we found a room together and stretched out after breakfast, nothing too energetic. I was quite quiet at that point, normally I’m really chatty and loud but not this time. I try not to talk too much to family and friends before the competition and don’t look too much at social media. It’s great having Becky with me at moments like that as she can feedback to my family if I’m just trying to focus. 50

Ellie Downie

2017 Celebrating the year

Artistic European Championships

“The nerves really began when we got to the arena in warm up, it felt like everyone was watching me to see what I was doing. “My coach Jo kept telling me to calm down. It’s good in warm up to release some energy although this time I remember dismounting from beam and faceplanting! I got up and was like, “what’s going on?!” My coach was saying ‘it’s fine it’s fine’ but I was worried about my makeup being OK! Weirdly it seems to happen with me that when my warm up goes badly my competition goes well, I think it maybe makes me concentrates a bit more. “I have certain songs I like to listen to before I compete, this time it was Starlight by Matt Cardle but it depends on my mood. 51

TAKING ON THE WORLD “I don’t really have many superstitions but before each piece I say to myself ‘just normal’. It helps me to realise this is just another routine, the same equipment, the same skills, just like normal. “I’m always fully focussed and head down for the walk on and first piece and it’s only after that I ever look around the arena and get to appreciate the atmosphere. “I started on vault which always helps as it’s my best piece and 9 times out of 10 I hit my routine. On bars, I felt like all my skills were a little bit late. I really had to fight to control everything, it felt a rush so that was a big relief to get done. Beam is always make or break, I didn’t go for anything huge, I wanted to stay solid, make sure I stayed on, get the job done.


Ellie Downie

2017 Celebrating the year

Artistic European Championships

“That left just floor to go, I said to Jo “I don’t think I’ve done enough” I’d settled for second… “I didn’t see Kovac’s floor routine but when her all-round total came up I suddenly thought “yeah I can beat that”. I knew our scores were pretty close, my beam was maybe .2 lower than hers but I knew my floor could be .5 higher. I stumbled on my 1.5 to Arabian and was thinking oh no. When I finished, and I started crying I had no idea if I’d done enough, it was more just relief, I was on the edge throughout so it was just a case of the emotions coming out having done everything I could. Then of course when the results came out the tears came again! “It’s weird; the enormity of what I did didn’t really sink in until I did interviews or looked on social media and saw other people’s reaction. You see it written down and think, that’s me “I’m the only British gymnast to ever do that” it’s crazy to get your head around.”


TAKING ON THE WORLD Artistic World Championships Thirty-two years after the 1985 edition, the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships made their big return to Montreal this year in the iconic Olympic stadium.


Amy Tinkler

Claudia Fragapane

Max Whitlock MBE 55

Artistic World Championships

Alice Kinsella


The British team boasted Double Olympic champion Max Whitlock MBE, Rio high bar bronze medallist Nile Wilson, European all-around bronze medallist James Hall, British all-around champion Joe Fraser, European rings silver medallist Courtney Tulloch and London 2012 bronze medal winner Dan Purvis. Whilst our women’s team saw Olympic floor bronze medal winner Amy Tinkler and fourtime Commonwealth Games champion Claudia Fragapane joined by 2017 British allaround silver medallist Alice Kinsella and Georgia-Mae Fenton, the 2017 British Championships all-around 4th placed gymnast.

2017 Celebrating the year

TAKING ON THE WORLD Our gymnasts qualified for six finals. Nile Wilson put in a superb performance to place 6th in the men’s all-around final scoring a hugely impressive 85.332 points whilst Amy Tinkler finished in 17th place in the women’s all-around final (Alice Kinsella unfortunately withdrew pre-event) and rings giant Courtney Tulloch placed 8th in his final. Then came the medals…

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Artistic World Championships Olympic champion Max Whitlock MBE again proved himself to be the greatest pommel horse gymnast on the planet by successfully defending his World title, the first British gymnast ever to do so. And Claudia Fragapane won floor bronze on the final day. In a final full of drama Claudia powered to the podium to seal her first individual World medal.


2017 Celebrating the year

Claudia Fragapane Floor bronze medallist


Season’s Greetings

Celebrating 2017 390,000 members 720,000 visits

(September 2017) to

& leisure 1,565 clubs centres coaches & 9,085 teachers


gained British Gymnastics qualifications in 2017

30 medals

World & European Figures include all home countries

Have a great year of gymnastics in 2018!


TAKING ON THE WORLD Our acrobatic gymnasts showed their class across the board with sensational performances and plenty of medals in the junior and senior events at the 2017 European Championships in Rzeszow, Poland. In the senior finals Britain took seven sensational silver medals and three brilliant bronze. Our men’s group, Lewis Watts, Conor Sawenko, Charlie Tate and Adam Upcott taking silver in all three competitions, the dynamic, balance and all-around events. Our juniors added to the medal tally with gold for men’s pair Callum Portugal-Walker and Kieran Blower and a further six silver and one bronze medal. Full results here

Acrobatic European Championships 62

2017 Celebrating the year


Acrobatic European Championships 63

@Poleydee for British Gymnastics

Great Britain also sent a strong squad of gymnasts to Rzeszow, Poland for the 2017 Acrobatic European Age Group Championships. Multiple partnerships battled the best in Europe through two difficult days of qualification, aiming to make the finals. With some incredible performances, the British delegation came away with some fantastic results which totalled four gold, three silver and two bronze medals. Full results here


2017 Celebrating the year


Four groups represented Great Britain at the World Gym for Life Challenge in Vestfold, Norway, back in July. Astro Eden secured a gold medal for their performance at the Oslofjord Convention Centre during the last stage of the contest. Only 15 teams out of 88 won this award, making it an incredible achievement and this gave them the chance to perform at the prestigious Gala that curtailed the event. Great Britain also had three other teams who put in fantastic performances with Trix Academy earning themselves a silver and Leeds and GR8 & Penketh, a bronze medal.


World Gym for Life Challenge 65

2018 events There are so many exciting British Championships and major events taking place. It gives our gymnasts such a boost to see and hear the crowd cheering them on. We hope to see you there!

Feb 17-18 Mar 8-11

Acrobatic British Championships Fenton Manor, Stoke-on-Trent

Buy tickets here

Gymnastics British Championships Echo Arena, Liverpool

Buy tickets here

Mar 21-22

Gymnastics World Cup

Apr 4-15

Commonwealth Games

Apr 14-15

TeamGym British Championships

June 9-10

Great British Gym For Life Challenge

June 22-24 Aug 2-12 Sept 22-23

Arena Birmingham

Buy tickets here

Queensland, Australia

Northumbria University


Aerobic & Rhythmic British Championships The International Centre, Telford

European Championships Glasgow

Buy tickets here

Trampoline, Tumbling & DMT British Championships Arena Birmingham

Please note event dates can be subject to change. Thinking of attending one of these events? Why not take advantage of a special British Gymnastics discount rate at IHGŽ hotels? You’ll find more details at


The Gymnast digital magazine - 2017 review

Mimi-Isabella Cesar 67

Full resul

From Beginner To Elite We've Got The Equipment For You! Visit our website to view our full range of equipment WWW.GYMAID.COM



The Gymnast digital magazine - 2017 review

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From the first handstand to the perfect performance Saturday gym class to the world stage We’re there every step of the way. Join us

2017 Celebrating the year  

A celebratory round-up of the year with British Gymnastics.

2017 Celebrating the year  

A celebratory round-up of the year with British Gymnastics.