Women’s Artistic Club and Regional Grades Competition February 2022

Following two very long and difficult years for all our gymnasts, the time had finally arrived for our Women’s artistic squad to perform on the competition floor at the Welsh Gymnastics South Central Club and Regional Grades held at City of Newport Gymnastics Academy over the weekend 12-13th February 2022.

IGC entered the largest number of gymnasts into the grades in the history of the club. All the hours of training via zoom in their living rooms, on basic equipment in the car park hoping the rain didn’t stop the class and finally rebuilding strength and flexibility inside the gym once restrictions eased had all been working towards this weekend. For some of our gymnasts this was their first ever competition outside of IGC.

   First to compete on Saturday 12th February were our youngest competitors in Grade 6. Split over two groups the girls, supported by coaches, Rhian, Emelly and Marie opened the competition weekend performing their routines on Bars, Beam, Floor, Range & Conditioning and Vault. All the girls were nervous and excited to compete and see the other clubs competing against them. The also enjoyed seeing all their family and friends watching them from the audience.

In order to pass the grades, gymnasts must achieve a minimum score of 47.5 to pass, 52.5 or above to Commend and 57.5 or over to achieve the highest award of Distinction.

IGC is pleased to announce that our Grade 6 girls achieved 2 Passes, 11 Commendations and 1 Distinction.

IGC also featured in the medal ceremony on Bars with Ezmae Williams Winning the GOLD medal, Sophia Matthews winning the SILVER medal and Gabija Reardon placing 5th!! Sophia Matthews also won the SILVER medal on Vault, placed 4th on Floor earning her 5th place in the all-around event. Sophia will now join the gymnasts placing 1-4th in the all-around event to form a team to represent the South Central area at the Welsh Gymnastics Regional Grades Finals in Llanelli this March.

Following the very exciting start from our Grade 6 girls the previous day, IGC was back at City of Newport Gymnastics Academy very early on Sunday morning ready to start the day with our Grade 4 Gymnasts. Our “Fab 4” Grade 4 gymnasts, Emmy-Lou, Catrin, Ava and Evie along with their coach Marie heading onto the competition floor two years since their last visit to take on the Grade 4 Routines.

The girls started their competition on Bars, having performed amazing routines, all the gymnasts went clean on bars and scored very highly, it was discovered that they had in fact competed at the incorrect bar height. They had (for the first time ever) performed their routine on bars 10cms HIGHER than the competition maximum. This was due to a measurement error made prior to the competition by the competition organisers. The girls were given an opportunity to perform their routines for a second time on the correct height. However, after much discussion with their coach and reviewing of the scores they had already achieved, the gymnasts and Marie decided they would not compete again and would accept the scores already given.

Next up was the Beam and everyone’s nemesis skill the “Free forward roll” (this is a forward roll performed without using any hands along a beam no wider than a mobile phone!!) Amazingly 3 out of the 4 girls landed this very difficult and sometimes painful skill. The drama also continued with Ava telling her coach that she had a wobbly tooth “hanging on by a thread” as she stepped up to compete.

 While Coach was having nightmare visions of a tooth flying across the competition floor and a panic to find the tooth before anyone stood on it, Ava managed to hold onto her tooth until after her Vault Warmup. When she landed her Vault, her tooth fell out, luckily Ava caught her tooth and handed it to her coach who had no choice but to put the tooth in her pocket until the end of the vault competition, the things coaches must do!! Hahahaha

With clean routines on Floor, Vault and Range & Conditioning the girls all passed their Grade 4 with 1 Pass, 2 Commended and 1 Distinction. Evie Evans-Williams also won GOLD on floor and Placed 6th on Beam and placed 12th overall.

Last to compete for IGC was Lexi and Emme-Rose who were competing Grade 3. This Grade is the most technical with the biggest skills being performed by any of IGC gymnasts over the whole weekend. Following a challenging start for Lexi on Range & Conditioning both girls made their Coach, Marie very proud of their performances. At Vault, both girls showed beautiful shape and were only separated by 0.3 in their scores with Lexi Placing 6th overall on Vault. Onto Beam and Lexi held her handstand for over 5 seconds with was very impressive, unfortunately in order to stay in a handstand Lexi shifted her hands into a position she couldn’t recover from and had to take a fall.

Emme-Rose also held her Handstand which was a huge success for her as this skill had demanded hours and hours of practice back in the gym and neither Emme-Rose nor her coach knew for sure if it would pay off on the day, thankfully it did!! Both Gymnasts went clean on their floor routines with Emme-Rose placing 7th overall only 0.05 away from the 6th place ribbon. Both girls Passed with Emme-Rose earning a commendation and finishing 11th all-around with Lexi placed 15th all-around.

IGC would like to thank the gymnasts, coaches, judges, parents, guardians and friends for all their support over the weekend. Now we are back in the gym preparing for the next competition The Classic Challenge in the autumn and to the next Grades in 2023!!