8th February 2017

 The two most local schools were the big winners at the ISA National Gymnastics Championships, held in Shropshire. Hosts, Adcote School, won both the under eleven and the under nine girls’ titles, and St. Winefride’s School, seven miles away in Shrewsbury, won both the boys’ titles. In three of the sections, the winners were ahead of the field by 8 to 10 marks, a large margin in gymnastics. The closest section was the under 9 girls, in which Adcote finished ahead of runners-up, Lady Barn House School, by just under three marks.

Adcote’s under 11s delighted the audience with their skill, strength, accuracy and artistry, putting on some dazzling voluntary floor sequences and winning all four disciplines and the group sequence. Their younger team also topped all the disciplines except voluntary floor, where Lady Barn pipped them. In the boys’ competitions, St Winefride’s older boys were the strongest across the board with some impressive performances, showing excellent control, balance, dynamism and strength. Their younger team was bested only in the voluntary vault, by Lady Barn House. Other silver or bronze team medallists were Dodderhill, in their first time at the championships, Oakfield and St. James.

All the individual champions came from the two winning schools, which also had several of the other medallists. Pupils from Dodderhill, Lady Barn House and Oakfield also picked up silver or bronze medals, awarded to the top six in each category. Medals were presented by several of the headteachers, invited as guests, and Roger Brierly, ISA’s National Sports Ambassador.

This year’s event had the biggest ever entry, with 35 teams and more than 200 gymnasts. Teams travelled from all regions of ISA, except London West, with some having three or four hour journeys, necessitating overnight stays. Now in its fourteenth year, this was the first time the Championships have been held at Adcote School, in its new sports hall. A superb job was done by host organiser, Louise Hudson, with her cheerful volunteer team of staff colleagues and students from Adcote. Teams, teachers, officials and a large audience all experienced a warm welcome. First time entrants included Arnold Lodge, Copthill, Dodderhill and Wilmslow Prep. Henriette Le Forestier School, who competed last year as Virgo Fidelis, were also a new name in the lists. Other schools with a longer history in the event included Castle House, The Grove, Hatherop Castle, St Dominic’s, and Scarisbrick Hall, as well as the medal-winning schools.

Thank you emails received sum up the day well: “superb competition, well-organised and efficient. I felt very welcomed in my first National competition. The facilities……. were really lovely, a credit to your school and your team.” “We had a great weekend and a brilliant Sunday.” “…….a great day of gymnastics. It was our first time and it won’t be our last. The girls loved it. Much to go away and work on.” “We had a great day! See you next year.”

Results from the day can be found by clicking here.