Weather Icon 8.9°C Mostly Cloudy
Tameside Gymnasts Landmark Achievement for Club
Thursday 28th July 2016 @ 16:30 by Mark Phillip

By Lauren Kelly

Two young gymnasts from Tameside School of Gymnastics have achieved success for their club by passing their Compulsory Elite Level 2 grading, competing against gymnasts from across the country. Their accomplishment was matched by just 35 gymnasts across the country who were put forward for the grade.

The gymnasts, Natalie Walker and Emily Hilton, both 11, represented their club in the Compulsory Elite Level 2 competition on the 11th June competing on all 4 pieces of apparatus. The competition is the highest level of competition the girls can compete in for their age group, with both gymnasts only marking their 11th birthdays at the time of the competition.

Natalie achieved 5th place on beam and overall was the highest-ranking gymnast from the North West. Along with teammate Emily, Natalie secured this landmark achievement for the club, who have previously only had one gymnast achieve this level, Eleanor Green, who has since gone on to make the final of the British Championships and now regularly trains with the England Squad.

Drawn to join the club in the wake of Eleanor Green’s success Natalie Walker, a Year 6 pupil at Moorside Primary Academy, Droylsden and Emily Hilton, a Year 6 pupil of Hopwood Primary, train 23 hours a week to meet the demands of the sport and even have Friday afternoons away from school in order to maintain a busy training schedule.

Head Coach of Tameside School of Gymnastics, Cerys Allen said “The girls have progressed well within the club and learned difficult new skills for the competition so they did really well. It’s great for the club to now have three gymnasts achieving this level on the recognised elite pathway to be in training for possible British selection which is great for the girls’ self-belief.”

Looking back on their performance Emily has said “I wish I could do it again. I feel more confident now but I also had fun and liked competing on the floor because that’s my favourite piece.” Natalie added, “I felt really happy after I’d finished. I couldn’t really believe that I’d done it.” To pass competitors had to achieve an overall mark of 53 and Natalie achieved a score of 59 and Emily 57.

Photo caption: Team GB gymnast Max Whitlock congratulates Emily Hilton (left) and Natalie Walker (right) after the competition.