Hitchin gymnasts set for UK trampoline finals in Northern Ireland

PUBLISHED: 08:35 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:15 12 February 2018

Whitehill Junior School gymnasts Sophie Beach, Eve Spencer, Hannah Cundell and Lola Barton with PE teacher Joe Miley. Picture: Whitehill Junior School

Whitehill Junior School gymnasts Sophie Beach, Eve Spencer, Hannah Cundell and Lola Barton with PE teacher Joe Miley. Picture: Whitehill Junior School

Archant

Trampoline gymnasts from the Hitchin area are set to bounce out to Belfast next month to go up against the best in the UK.

Whitehill Junior School gymnasts Charlie Phillips, Zack Davies and Max Barton. Picture: Whitehill Junior School Whitehill Junior School gymnasts Charlie Phillips, Zack Davies and Max Barton. Picture: Whitehill Junior School

The youngsters – who are all taught at the Hitchin Boys’ School-based HBS Revolutions – have reached the national finals of the British Schools Gymnastics Association trampoline championship.

Three teams from Hitchin’s Whitehill Junior School – under-11 novice boys, under-11 novice girls and under-11 intermediate girls – as well as the under-11 intermediate girls team from St Ippolyts CoE Primary School have qualified after success in the central zone finals in Chesterfield.

Three further youngsters – all coached by Charlie Jefferies at HBS Revolutions – are also through to the finals as individuals.

Emily Halford from Ickleford Primary School won the eastern region and central zonal rounds in her first ever competition in the under-11 novice girls.

Whitehill Junior School gymnasts Isobel Dean, Isabelle Wright, Freya Willoughby and Lily Manning. Picture: Whitehill Junior School Whitehill Junior School gymnasts Isobel Dean, Isabelle Wright, Freya Willoughby and Lily Manning. Picture: Whitehill Junior School

Zoe Cooper of Highover JMI School & Nursery also won the eastern and central zonal rounds in the under-11 intermediate girls category, while Carter Fenn from Sherrardswood School in Welwyn won the under-11 boys intermediate eastern region in December and qualified in second at the central zonal round in Chesterfield.

Now pupils, parents and staff are excited ahead of the national finds in Newtownards, County Down, on March 24, with all the schools proud of their pupils’ achievements.

Lily Manning, one of the Whitehill gymnasts, said: “We did really well. I can’t wait to go to Northern Ireland.”

Their participation will involve flights out to Belfast and several nights away. Newtownards, often known simply as Ards, is about 10 miles east of the city.

The St Ippolyts CoE Primary School under-11 intermediate girls team - Chloe Lawrence, Elin Appleton, Holly Baker and Katie Hendry - with coach Charlie Jeffries, who is also a PE teacher at the school. Picture: Alison Lawrence The St Ippolyts CoE Primary School under-11 intermediate girls team - Chloe Lawrence, Elin Appleton, Holly Baker and Katie Hendry - with coach Charlie Jeffries, who is also a PE teacher at the school. Picture: Alison Lawrence

Whitehill PE teacher Joe Miley said: “It is an amazing opportunity for all of our pupils. They work so hard in training and I am extremely proud of all them.

“We managed a third place last year at the nationals with one of our teams, and we are hoping for even better this year.”

School head Steve Mills added: “I am obviously delighted for the pupils and Mr Miley. It is a great honour to compete at such a high level amongst the best trampolinists in the UK.

“I am also extremely grateful to the parents who support their children – without this support we would certainly not be able to take part.”

Coach Charlie Jefferies with gymnasts Emily Halford, Carter Fenn and Zoe Cooper. Picture: Courtesy of Penny Halford Coach Charlie Jefferies with gymnasts Emily Halford, Carter Fenn and Zoe Cooper. Picture: Courtesy of Penny Halford

The under-11 intermediate girls’ team at Whitehill is made up of Sophie Beach, Eve Spencer, Hannah Cundell and Lola Barton, while their under-11 novice girls’ team includes Isobel Dean, Isabelle Wright, Freya Willoughby and Lily Manning. The school’s under-11 novice boys’ team members are Charlie Phillips, Zack Davies and Max Barton.

Representing St Ippolyts in the under-11 intermediate girls’ team were Chloe Lawrence, Elin Appleton, Holly Baker and Katie Hendry.

This is not the first success for Hitchin schools, after Highover won the under-11 novice girls last year – going on to finish second in the national finals – while Whitehill won the under-11 intermediate girls category.

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