Perfect gymnasts hit mark to achieve county gradings

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Sixteen of a 19-strong team of Sudbury gymnasts passed their county gradings with distinction while the club had a 100 per cent pass rate.

Gymnasts competed across grades one to seven in a 10-hour-long competition as part of the annual Suffolk Recreational County Grades held at Pipers Vale Gym Club in Ipswich on February 16.

It was a highly-successful day for Sudbury, who — of the six grades entered — produced three county champions: Ella Manby (grade three), Gracie Arulampalam (grade five) and Millie Albery (grade seven).

Competing at grade 1 for the first time, seven-year-old Millie Jenkins came fifth, while Summer Collins was seventh and Amber Collins was eighth.

Ellen Dreau came sixth out of 21 competitors in her first county grades at grade two.

Out of 33 competitors in grade three, Sudbury girls achieved excellent results: Ella Manby first, Melanie Smith second, Kitty Fowles-Smith fourth, Lucy Carter sixth, Ali-Mae Norman-Coe seventh, Lilley-Mae Massey 12th.

In her first competition of any kind, Phoebe-Louise Shephard had a nasty fall on bars, but still passed with a comfortable margin to come 19th, while Briony Crawford was placed 23rd.

Despite only being eight years old, Keeley Tait competing at grade four and passed with distinction, despite some uncharacteristic falls off the beam.

With 18 competitors at grade five, Sudbury’s Gracie Arulampalam took first place, Jade Collins third and Ellison Richards-Kemp fourth.

Meanwhile, Niamh Bowyer made the audience gasp when her straddle on the high bar tipped over, but she still attained a distinction in 10th place and Chelsea Cullen came 14th.

Competing at the highest grade for Sudbury, grade seven, with three competitors, Millie Albery took first place.

The club would like to say congratulations to all the gymnasts and coaches, not forgetting the parents.

Anyone wanting further information about recreational or competitive gymnastics classes can contact Sudbury Gymnastics Club by calling 01787 373967, emailing or via the club’s Facebook page.