Hundreds turn out for Arabian Championships

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ARABIAN School of Gymnastics held their annual club championships last week and more than 230 children took part.

With an atmosphere electrified by music, the podium carpeted and decorated with flowers either side, the event was a total success and made the children feel they had taken part on a big stage.

With crowds swelling at its peak to 400, the youngsters showed exactly what they can do, with six pieces of equipment on the go at the same time and up to 70 children in one round, giving the public a superb treat.

The club displayed some of their best athletes alongside some youngsters who train just once a week for fun. Arsenal and England football U17 Women’s captain Leah Williamson attended the event and gave out shields to two ‘most improved’ gymnasts, Tionne Cumberbatch and Molly Harris. In fact, Tionne’s shield was the same one that Leah herself won aged seven in 2003.

Leah was part of Arabian’s leading squad for some years and was taught by Alan and Donna Armitage before taking her preferred route into football.

Leah said: “Gymnastics gave me the discipline that’s so important if you want to do well in sport, as well as the physical and mental ability. I still occasionally train with the girls purely for fitness as it’s more challenging on your body.

“I can’t believe the standard the girls are at. I think I bailed out just in time because some of the girls are just are awesome!”

The event was organised and run in its entirety by Donna Armitage along with over 40 volunteers and staff along with coaches who offered their time and help to run the event to raise much needed funds for the charitable club. And Arabian would like to thank all the parents and families who generously supported the club on the day.