Hitchin gymnasts bounce home from Belfast as national champs

PUBLISHED: 10:03 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:07 05 April 2018

The Whitehill Under-11 Intermediate Girls champions: Hannah Cundell, Sophie Beach, Lola Barton and Eve Spencer. Picture: Nicola Cundell

The Whitehill Under-11 Intermediate Girls champions: Hannah Cundell, Sophie Beach, Lola Barton and Eve Spencer. Picture: Nicola Cundell

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Hitchin gymnasts have returned with national honours from a trampolining championship in Northern Ireland.

All the Whitehill gymnasts: Sophie Beach, Lily Manning, Max Barton, Eve Spencer, Isobel Dean, Lola Barton, Freya Willoughby, Charlie Phillips, Isabelle Wright, Zack Davies and Hannah Cundell. Picture: Amanda ManningAll the Whitehill gymnasts: Sophie Beach, Lily Manning, Max Barton, Eve Spencer, Isobel Dean, Lola Barton, Freya Willoughby, Charlie Phillips, Isabelle Wright, Zack Davies and Hannah Cundell. Picture: Amanda Manning

The youngsters, who are members of HBS Revolutions – a trampoline and gymnastics club owned and run by Hitchin Boys’ School – made a keen impression at the British Schools Gymnastics Association finals in Newtownards, near Belfast.

The under-11 intermediate girls’ team from Hitchin’s Whitehill Junior School – made up of Sophie Beach, Eve Spencer, Hannah Cundell and Lola Barton – came first in their category.

St Ippolyts Intermediate Girls team members Katie Hendry, Holly Baker, Chloe Lawrence and Elin Appleton with coach Charlie Jefferies. Picture: Allison LawrenceSt Ippolyts Intermediate Girls team members Katie Hendry, Holly Baker, Chloe Lawrence and Elin Appleton with coach Charlie Jefferies. Picture: Allison Lawrence

In the same group, third place went to the St Ippolyts under-11 intermediate girls’ team of Chloe Lawrence, Elin Appleton, Holly Baker and Katie Hendry.

Ickleford Primary School’s Emily Halford became girls’ national champion in the under-11 novice section, while Zoe Cooper – representing Highover JMI & Nursery School in Hitchin – came second in the under-11 intermediate girls section, after losing out on top spot under tiebreak rules.

Emily Halford with coach Charlie Jefferies. Picture: Penny HalfordEmily Halford with coach Charlie Jefferies. Picture: Penny Halford

Whitehill came up trumps in the under-11 novice boys’ section, where Zack Davies, Max Barton and Charlie Phillips came first.

The Whitehill under-11 novice girls’ team of Isobel Dean, Isabelle Wright, Freya Willoughby and Lily Manning came fourth.

Zoe Cooper with her coach Charlie Jefferies. Picture: Penny HalfrodZoe Cooper with her coach Charlie Jefferies. Picture: Penny Halfrod

HBS Revolutions gymnast Carter Fenn, of Sherrardswood School in Welwyn Garden City, became under-11 intermediate boys’ national champion.

Issy Slade and Ellie Faulkner, students at Roundwood Park School in Harpenden, also took part in the schools finals as part of a team that placed third in the under-19 intermediate category.

The Whitehill under-11 boys, Zack Davies, Charlie Phillips and Max Barton, with Whitehill PE teacher and HBS Revolutions coach Joe Miley. Picture: HBS RevolutionsThe Whitehill under-11 boys, Zack Davies, Charlie Phillips and Max Barton, with Whitehill PE teacher and HBS Revolutions coach Joe Miley. Picture: HBS Revolutions

HBS Revolutions manager Jenny Newman said: “The team at HBS Revolutions are very proud of how hard the gymnasts have worked to achieve their goals. It has been a pleasure to support them all throughout this competition.”

She saluted the contributions of Whitehill PE teacher and HBS Revolutions coach Joe Miley.

Charlie Fenn with his trophies. Picture: Penny HalfordCharlie Fenn with his trophies. Picture: Penny Halford

Penny Halford, mother of Ickleford’s national champion gymnast Emily, said: “As parents and gymnasts we can’t thank all the coaches at HBS Revolutions enough – especially their coach Charlie Jefferies, ‘CJ’. Without his support, dedication and being there every step of the way it would not have been possible.

“We would also like to thank all the schools who have been supportive of their quest.”

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