Coach’s rewarded

Top gymnastics coach Lorraine George has received an award for her long service. She was honoured at the Eastern Region gymnastic awards evening for distinguished service having been coaching for more than 20 years at the highest level. The presentation

Top gymnastics coach Lorraine George has received an award for her long service.

She was honoured at the Eastern Region gymnastic awards evening for 'distinguished service' having been coaching for more than 20 years at the highest level.

The presentations were on Saturday at the Marriott Hotel, Huntingdon.

Lorraine recently moved her entire squad from their training facility in Luton and now coaches them at the Hitchin Boys' School Sports Centre.

The 25-strong squad includes national team members Toby Eager, who helps with the coaching as well as competing, brothers Phil and Michael Dodson (from Lower Caldecote) and Jennifer Bloodworth (Hitchin), as well as at least five other members expecting to be selected for the next world championships and international age competitions.

Lorraine will be travelling with them to Canada next November.

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Her youngest competitor is nine-year-old Georgia Downing.

She recently won the national under-13 grade two double mini trampoline (DMT) title for the third time beating competitors four years older than herself.

Georgia is expected to win gold in the 11 to 12 years category of the international age event.

Lorraine has been coaching since 1972 when she retired as a competitive gymnast, first coaching gymnastics with the Stopsley Gymnastics Club in Luton.

In 1974, she began coaching trampolining and helped form the Dunstable Trampoline Club which under her guidance had multiple British champions, several world age games winners and top British female Andrea Holmes.

From 1994 to 1998, Lorraine was also the national trampoline team coach and was responsible for the creation of the national youth squad for trampolining.

She accompanied successful British teams all over the world before eventually leaving trampolining and changing her coaching focus to tumbling, sports acrobatics and double mini trampoline.

For the last six years, Lorraine has produced a large proportion of the national DMT team members with Eager, Phil Dodson and Chris Fordham winning all Great Britain team events for the first three years.

More recently, she has focused on DMT in which the boys have competed at the last five consecutive world and European championships with Jenny and Michael also making European and international world age teams.

Club members have held eight British titles over the last two seasons.