Gold rush for Arabian girls

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ARABIAN gymnasts won more than 150 medals in this year’s European Invitation competition held here in Milton Keynes - and 43 of them were gold.

The club entered children as young as five and up to the age of 17, and had amazing success against clubs from all over the Untied Kingdom - there were 11 clubs in total taking part with over 200 gymnasts competing.

Each round of the competition is named after a European City, hence the name, and for Arabian their 62 entrants was the largest number of gymnasts to represent the club in such an event.

The Bletchley Leisure Centre based club has enjoyed a superb year of results on a local, regional and national level, including the club’s trip to California.

And this competition showed that it’s not just the top squad girls who can perform in front of a large crowd as Arabian showed its depth at all ages and abilities.

The club’s head coach Alan Armitage said: “The togetherness and electric buzz of the gymnasts and their ability to always enjoy their training and competition is the reason they have won so much this year.

“I have been involved in the sport for 20 years, but have never had such an amazing family of top gymnasts which is growing year after year. I consider myself lucky and privileged to lead such an inspiring club of gymnasts and coaches.

“When I watch a gymnast aged 12 perform and can remember her as a 10-month-old in the baby gym, I feel extremely proud of our development system.”

Two Arabian gymnasts, Emily Kettle and Sophie Eggleton - both aged seven - won four gold medals each.

Winning three golds each were Sophie Clarke and Hannah Bond at age 13 and 14 respectively.

There were two golds each for Alex Ashley and Tayla Smyth - both aged six - plus Poppy Gibbs and Tionne Cumberbatch aged 11, and 17-year-old Bex Whatmore.