Arabian gymnasts host National Roses

Kyla Howton
Kyla Howton
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More than 300 gymnasts descended on Milton Keynes as Arabian hosted the National Roses on Sunday.

The clubs came as afar as Preston and Tameside Greater Manchester and Central London in what is billed as the biggest and most popular gymnastic event in the UK.

And the home team did themselves proud, picking up a whole host of medals.

Among the medallists, Kyla Howton took silver on beam adding to her gold on bars, while six-year-old Flic Smith also took gold.

The fast flowing non stop energetic 12 hour event which gives so much to the gymnasts in gifts as well as the chance to win bespoke medals was the idea of head coach Alan Armitage.

He said: “I looked at jazzing up the competition calendar some years ago and the idea of giving a red rose was an idea I got from an event in Malta, the free gymnastics banner for clubs to take home, I got from a Canadian event.

“So my ideas were not always mine but what I gained in knowledge from around the world.

“I created an event and put all the good things I had learned over the many years into one crazy day. The gymnasts, coaches and clubs totally love the atmosphere and although it’s highly stressful to organise and run, it’s a joy to see the fun so many children get from it year after year.”