Honiton hosts UK’s biggest inter-club competition
Honiton was the setting for the biggest inter-club competition in the UK at the weekend, hosting 425 gymnasts from 17 nationwide clubs.
The Honiton Invitational Competition, which has grown in size and reputation since its first year in 2010, included clubs from as far north as Wakefield in Yorkshire and Abbey Road in North Wales, and as Far East as the London Borough of Hillingdon.
A friendly event, every gymnast returned home with a participation medal, as well as traditional gold silver and bronze medals and ‘highest score’ trophies for the top performing gymnasts.
High-performance coach Helen Reddy, who organized the event, said: “The Honiton Invitational focuses on two key things: bringing together gymnasts from all over the country to perform for honours in the country’s biggest preparation-level competition, and maintaining the fun and friendship of acrobatic gymnastics.
“We get many comments each year about how welcoming our competition is and how our guests and their families enjoy spending time in Honiton, which is why clubs have come back to the competition year after year.”
While the event itself was successful, Honiton Gymnasts did themselves proud too, with gymnasts from all six competition group of the club competing for honours and finishing the weekend with five golds, five silvers and four bronzes.
“The beauty of the Honiton Invitational is the breadth of talent,” added Helen, “and we had some exceptionally high-level performances with two partnerships from the London Borough of Hillingdon scoring 28.033 – the highest scores of the day.”
This year, the club increased the scope of the competition to include balance routines for higher level partnerships in Grade 5 and 11-16.
Honiton gold medals
Honiton’s gold medals were won by:
Prep Level women’s pair: May Yan Fong-Bennett & Lois Marshall
Grade 1 women’s pair: Daisy Willis and Jaime-Lee Ayres
Grade 1 men’s pair: Joe Shackleton & Thomas Merrick
Grade 2 mixed pair Josh Rolinson & Michelle Borrill
11-16 women’s pair Emily Lee & Aimee Deam