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That was ThenSussex Floor and Vault

Interest in the Sussex Gymnastics Novice, Intermediate and Advanced Championships has grown considerably over the last few years, and entries submitted this year reached an all-time high of 293. This meant that in nearly all of the 22 categories there were sufficient numbers to ensure a strong competition. 

22 gymnasts from Summerfields Gymnastics club made the journey to Olympos Sports Centre, Crawley to take part in their first competition of 2011, some competing for the first time, and others hoping to improve on their previous scores. 

The largest group to perform from Summerfields was in the Novice Section, with 8 of the 17 gymnasts gaining scores in excess of the expected level for the category. If they maintain their standard during future competitions during 2011 they will pass through to Intermediate level. 

Top of the 8 year olds was Alice Marosi, who, with the third highest floor routine out of 32 gymnasts and a very strong vault bringing her score to 14.30, was rewarded with Silver medal. In the same group Nirvana Jamieson and Phoebe Harris performed well executed floor routines, only 0.08 points behind Alice, giving them equal fourth highest floor scores. 

For Ellie Peacock and Riley Bramwell-Cole it was their first time at such a competition. Ellie achieved a total score of 13.40 which put her in 7th place against 36 other competitors in the 9 year old Novice section. With a similar score of 13.80 Riley gained second place and a well-deserved silver meda1 in the 11 year old group. 

Representing the Novice boys from Summerfields were Lewis Standivan and Harley Gentry, both of whom only train 2 hours a week. Both achieved high scores, with Harley bringing home a gold medal, and Lewis silver. Having achieved the high scores they will now transfer to Intermediate level. 

Alice Prior was the first to gain a podium place in the Intermediate groups. She has performed consistently well over the season, and with the highest vault over all ages of the Intermediate group, and a beautifully performed floor routine, her score of 15.50 rewarded her with joint first place and gold medal. 

The final gymnasts to compete were in the Advanced section. Kira Madge had not competed for nearly a year, and was considerably nervous to find herself in a group of 21. However, her precisely performed floor routine immediately took her to 5th place, and with the increased confidence she was able to execute a high scoring vault to take her to 4th place overall. 

Mathilda Crane was the last of the Summerfields gymnasts, and at the end of a very long day it was important to impress the judges. They had already judged over 200 routines, and were understandably somewhat tired. Mathilda’s floor brought them to life, scoring 8.95 - only 0.10 behind the highest floor score of the day. This was followed by a strong, sound vault, taking her into 2nd place, only 0.20 off the gold medal position. 

Coaches and gymnasts all agreed it was a successful outing, hopefully to be repeated at future competitions during the coming year, with an emphasis on improving vault performances to consolidate the high floor standards.

Tumbling Finals

Once again gymnasts from Summerfields Gym Club qualified through the South East heats to compete against performers from the rest of Great Britain in the arena at Fenton Manor, Stoke on Trent. This time Jemima Beal joined the experienced trio of Libby Begbie, Paige Begbie and Tamara Ballancore. 

The two day event started with Libby Begbie in the 11-12 year old National 1 section starting well with her first tumble, and placing her second with a great score of 26.70. A small error on her second tumble dropped her a whole mark and looked like taking her out of the medals, but she produced a superb final tumble giving her a total of 77.85 and silver medal position, only 0.15 behind the winner. 

For Jemima Beal it was her first time at a National finals event, but she coped well with all the formalities, and focused on producing powerful but controlled tumbles. In the National 1 group for 13 year olds she was pleased to gain top place after the first two tumbles, but only 0.3 ahead of her nearest rival. Unfortunately a slight step on the final landing cost her 0.45, and she finished in second place with 77.55, only 0.15 behind the gold medal position. 

Paige Begbie had seen her club mates’ successful performances, and having previously been a silver medallist at National 1 had hopes of repeating their success in the National 2 group. Unfortunately there was very tough opposition in this older age group, especially from Wakefield and East Kilbride gymnasts, and she did well to hold fifth position for her first and second tumbles. Her final score of 77.70 was similar to her club mates’ and gave her an eventual fourth place. 

Ten year old Tamara Ballancore, previous British Champion at Elite Grade 1, was attempting to stay with the ‘in-age’ group by competing in the Elite Grade 2 section for 10-12 years. She joined a group of 21 gymnasts all looking for the top position, with most of them up to two years older than her. It was a daunting experience, especially as the warm-up time had been reduced to only three touches of the track. The tumblers had to perform two tumbles, and only the top eight would continue to the third and final run. Tamara performed her first tumble of round off, whip, whip, flic, flic, tuck back somersault, but took her second whip a little high, and had difficulty setting a kickout from the somersault. A further error on the second tumble unfortunately put her out of the top eight. 


Tumbling Qualifiers

Every year around 100 of the leading gymnasts from Kent, Surrey and Sussex enter the Regional Tumbling competition in the hope of qualifying for the national finals and the title of British Champion. In the qualifying competition only the highest scoring tumbler goes forward to the finals in each category, and from each region of the country.

Summerfields Gymnastics Club has been developing its tumbling programme over the last year or so and was delighted to be able to enter six gymnasts and achieve four qualifying places

In Grade 1 11-12 yr old group Libby Begbie and Megan Welch fought it out for the top position, but Libby was in excellent form and produced an outstanding three tumbles to bring her score to 77.250, over two whole marks above her nearest rival, and the second highest total over the whole day. If she can build on this form she should be in a good position to be placed at the finals due to be held in May.

The success of her club mate spurred on Jemima Beal in the 13+ section and her first tumble resulting in a score of 26.550 showed the improvement she has made since rejoining the club in August last year. It was also a second highest over the day. Her handspring to round off flic in the second tumble had minor deductions, but although her final tumble was near perfect, she had difficulty controlling the power she had produced, fell after landing and lost a whole mark. She had surely lost her place in the finals after this, but because technique and execution were otherwise good, her total mark of 75.550 brought her out on top.

Paige Begbie has been a consistent tumbler, and presented three well controlled tumbles, with her final tumble of round off flic, tuck back showing a good kickout giving her 27.100 and a mark above the other competitors of 75.850 for gold position.

Lucy Burton is another gymnast who has returned to the club as recently as November last year, having not competed for nearly a year. Her aim was to enjoy gymnastics, and to regain fitness to return to the competition arena. The entry into this completion at Grade 2 was the first step towards competing, and after overcoming initial nerves she produced a satisfactory result in her final tumble. Her determination bodes well for success in the future.

The final Summerfields competitor was Tamara Ballancore. Having achieved British Champion at Elite 1 last year, Tamara wanted to do well at the Elite 2 (10-12 yr) level. However, in her first tumble of whip, whip, flic, flic, tuck back somersault, her second whip was a little high, but although she made good adjustments to finish the tumble, it left her in second place. Tamara then produced a goods series of six flics in her second tumble to redress the situation, and with her final run with straight back full twist she finished a comfortable 2.4 marks ahead, and a guarantee of a place in the finals.

  •  Libby Begbie Gold National 1 11/12 years Qualified for finals
  • Megan Welch 6th National 1 11/12 years
  • Jemima Beal Gold National 1 13+ years Qualified for finals
  • Paige Begbie Gold National 2 13+ years Qualified for finals
  • Lucy Burton 6thh National 1 13+ years
  • Tamara Ballancore Gold Elite 2 11-12 years Qualified for finals


Chichester 4 piece

The popularity of the annual Chichester 4 piece competition has increased significantly, and is now spread over two weekends. The first event was restricted to Advanced and Bronze Levels as there was no sprung floor available (required for somersault work), and was also only three piece as they were without asymmetric bars. However there were 101 entries over the day, including three gymnasts from Summerfields Gymnastics Club.
With new floor routines to perform for the first time the Summerfields girls were pleased to find themselves in the top positions.

Mathilda Crane was first representing her club in a group of 23 competitors. She worked well on beam, but a fall one of her new moves could have knocked her confidence, but she recovered quickly, and performed an outstanding new floor routine that pleased the crowd and the judges. The score of 8.60 brought her a well-deserved gold medal.

Alice Prior was competing in Advanced level for the first time, and with a beautifully performed new floor routine was pleased to be placed fourth in a group of 28 with a score of 8.50. She followed this with a handspring vault score of 7.60, again achieving fourth place. Unfortunately two falls on beam meant she was not in contention for an overall medal, but very pleased with her overall performance.

10 year old Libby Begbie is an experienced competitor, and was unfazed when she found herself in a group of 12-14 year olds due to an organisational error. Starting on vault she stuck a solid landing on a dynamic handspring vault achieving a score of 7.80, whilst seeing most of her rivals performed twisting vaults. On beam she executed all skills near perfectly, including a cartwheel and then front somi dismount, again scoring 7.80. Her new floor routine was the last of the day, and amused the judges with the interpretation of the lively music, and she was pleased to score 8.60 for her efforts.
As a result of her being in the incorrect age group the organisers put her scores to the 10-11 year age group, and this placed Libby 3rd on floor, 1st on vault and 1st on beam, and overall gold medal. However, she will be pleased with the knowledge that she was 3rd on all pieces in the older group, and would also have achieved joint gold medal for her overall score of 24.20.
Ten gymnasts from the floor and vault groups are looking forward to the Novice and Intermediate competition to be held in Chichester next week.


A fantastic amount of gymnasts, family and friends gathered at Summerfields Gymnastics Club to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the club moving from the Hastings Leisure Centre to the Haywood Way site.

The club was originally formed at the leisure centre when it was first opened in 1981, but moved in 1991 to a 5,000 sq. ft. warehouse. After a three week refit, it was ready as the first purpose equipped gymnastics centre in the Hastings area – the nearest alternatives being at Uckfield and Brighton.

Since then the club has seen thousands of children pass through its doors having the opportunity to experience the fun and healthy activity of gymnastics. Many of the original members are now bringing their offspring to this welcoming and friendly club.

The morning of gymnasts’ displays at the celebration, organised by the coaches from all sections of the club over the previous few weeks, delighted everyone, and showed parents the progression of floor skills from preschool to elite level.

The gigantic effort from S.U.P.P.ORT, (the "Friends of Summerfields Gym Club") and coaches produced a variety of well-presented stalls that proved very popular. The fundraising side of the event was a great success with over £1,100 the result of hard work on a fun and enjoyable day. 


Dover Bar and Beam competition 

Summerfields Gymnastics club members were extremely pleased with results from the recent Dover Bar and Beam competition.  Three gymnasts were entered, and all three came home with medals.

Paige Begbie was first up on the asymmetric bars but had a little difficulty due to the damp atmosphere and rather slippery bar rail.  This resulted in her feet slipping on her usually sound sole circle and the subsequent fall lost her a full mark.  However the rest of the routine was well executed and the beam routine performed very cleanly.  Her final total score of …… gave her bronze medal position.

Mathilda Crane and Libby Begbie followed with their performances in different age groups, giving well controlled performances and both extremely happy to gain second place and silver medals.

The day was not over for Mathilda Crane who immediately made the journey from Dover to Hastings to join her team mates from Summerfields Gym Club who were already competing at the South East Region Prep Acro and Tumbling Championships held (for the first time) at William Parker Sports College.  The journey was definitely worthwhile, as she eventually returned home with another bronze medal from tumbling.

Seven gymnasts started off with their acro routines and were pleased with their performances, but agreed they needed more experience.

Another nine Summerfields girls then competed each of their three tumbling runs, with five receiving medals and two others in the top six.  They were up against tough opposition and significant numbers so it was no easy event for them.  Outstanding on the day were first time tumblers Alice Marosi and Maddie Thwaites who usually work four piece gymnastics.  Both young girls are happy to work hard in the gym, but find the experience fun as they still treat training as a form of play. 

The journey was definitely worthwhile for Mathilda Crane, as she added a bronze medal for tumbling to her earlier silver medal for bar and beam.

Final scores were

  • Alice Marosi          Gold        Prep A        8 & under     75.900
  • Ella Harman          9th         Prep A        8 & under      74.400
  • Sunisa Holland      Silver      Prep A       9-10 years     74.500
  • Yasemin Ozmen    4th         Prep A        9-10 years     74.300    
  • Maddie Thwaites  Gold        Prep B        8 & under      74.700
  • Lucy Clark             Silver      Prep B        13+ years      75.200
  • Kira Madge            6th         Prep C        9-10 years    70.700
  • Alice Prior              7th         Prep C        9-10 years     70.400
  • Mathilda Crane    Bronze     Prep C        11-12 years   70.000


South East Regional Championships


British Gymnastics held the South East Regional Championships at Guildford Spectrum and Summerfields Gymnastics Club maintained their prominent position in elite and general gymnastics.  The Championship event spans two days, and is a major competition in the gymnastic calendar year.  Nine year old Tamara Ballancore came fifth in the Level 4 In Age Regional competition and the Summerfields Regional 5 girls took the title against five other teams in the new four piece category.

The Regional 5 team comprised Megan Welch alongside sisters Paige and Libby Begbie.  Most teams were made up of four competitors with three highest scores to count.  The three Summerfields girls knew that every one of their routines needed to be their best effort if they were to achieve a place in the medals.

Megan Welch set the standard gaining the highest score on vault, bars and beam and a total of 29.950 over the four pieces.  Individual gold medal was the reward for her efforts in her age group.
Libby Begbie gave a sound performance and with a total score of 28.700 was pleased to receive a silver medal in the same age group.
Paige Begbie executed her beam and floor routines without major deductions, and achieved second place on both.  Her total score of 29.300 gained her an individual bonze medal and brought the Summerfields team score a full 1.250 above their nearest rivals and the first names to go on the new Regional 5 trophy.

It was a particularly important competition in the Womens Artistic section for Tamara Ballancore.  The event for her age group is a qualifier for National Finals in November and she needed to be in the top six to prove her development as a serious contender for future high level gymnasts.  Nineteen other gymnasts were providing strong opposition within the group of nine year olds, especially from three very talented gymnasts from Tolworth Gym Club.  Tamara held her nerve throughout the competition, producing quality performances over all pieces.  Her half on half off vault was second highest score over the day at 11.650, and this was matched by third highest marks on bars with short clear handstand leading into back giant and straight backaway.  Next was beam, where a slight mistake in her jumps left her in sixth place.  However, a new floor routine, incorporating roundoff whip tuck back somersault, straight back full twist, and handspring front somersault was well received by the judges.

The final result of fifth place and a final score of 48.000 was only 0.650 below the gold medal score, and earned her a place as reserve in the south east team for the national finals

Following the competition Tamara was later advised that she was selected for the South East Regional Squad, and will commence monthly training sessions in October.


Inter-County competition


At an inter-county competition hosted by Sussex Gymnastics Association, the Level 4 Womens Artistic Team was led to victory by 9 year old Tamara Ballancore, the youngest member of the team. This is the second year running that Tamara has been chosen to represent her county.
Tamara attends Blacklands Primary School, trains at Summerfields Gymnastics Club and is coached by former British Champion Emma Ballancore.
The Sussex team started on bars and Tamara was pleased to gain first place performing the most difficult routine of the team, incorporating her newly acquired skills.
Next was a slightly nervous looking beam routine, executing a back walkover flic joined, finishing with a perfect round off tuck back somersault dismount. This placed her second on beam, and strengthened the team’s score.
Tamara’s performance on floor showed a beautifully executed full twisting back somersault. Her coach Emma Ballancore said “Her floor is her strongest piece. You can tell how much she enjoys it by her performance - smiling through the whole routine. Tamara was trying out eight new skills at this competition which is huge achievement for someone so young. Normally a gymnast would take out one, maybe two new skills per competition. So for her to try eight and still come out on top is fantastic”
The gymnasts from Sussex Level 4 team were jubilant with their win, and Tamara very proud to be awarded a gold medal for the best individual performance.


British Champion and Silver Medalist

It was a fantastic feat for three gymnasts from Summerfields Gymnastics Club to qualify for the British Tumbling Championships, and an even greater achievement for two of the three to return with medals, proving they are the best in the country at their individual level and age group.

First was nine year old Tamara Ballancore, who has already shown winning ability in Women’s Artistic discipline of the sport, was now competing in a group of fourteen other qualifiers from all over the country at Elite Level 1 Tumbling for 9 and 10 year olds. Nerves were set aside despite the large and unfamiliar surroundings of Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke, and the full pomp and ceremony of a British Championships event.
There were three set tumble runs to execute, but on the top scoring eight tumblers from the first two runs would go through to the third run. The first series of roundoff, whip, flic, flic tuck back somersault was performed well to a solid landing, but lacked full kickout on the somersault. The second demanding run of roundoff, six flics, tuck back somersault was nearly faultlessly performed, and put her into first position. Everything then depended on the final run of roundoff, flic, flic, straight back somersault to retain this position. Her confidence and ability shone through and she completed it successfully to become a British Champion.

The next day brought sisters Libby and Paige Begbie to the event competing at NDP Level 1 in their relevant age groups Libby, in the nine to ten year old group was well focussed and prepared and gave a great performance in her first tumble of roundoff, flic, jump half turn, roundoff flic straight jump - putting her in the lead. Her second tumble of handspring, roundoff, flic, flic, straight jump with half turn was virtually perfect until the final move when she missed the half turn jump. Unfortunately this mistake cost her a place in the final eight.
Sister Paige was well aware of how easily a place on the podium could be lost, and calmly took her place with the other ten tumblers in the 11-12 year old category. Both her first and second runs pleased the judges, and her scores put her in the lead before the final tumble. - A gold medal was within reach. Paige performed a tidy final run with good technique and rhythm, but just had a minor step on landing. Gold medal slipped away, but a silver medal was still a great achievement at the end of a very long weekend.



Dover Boys Floor & Vault competition


9 year old Lewis Standivan attends Blacklands primary school and spends time at the weekend at Summerfields Gymnastics club training for competitions. The most recent was at Dover Gymnastics Club. This was an invitational competition for boys and Lewis was against seven other clubs. Lewis is still very new to Floor & Vault competitions but kept his nerve the whole time showing great confidence.

This was also a new competition for Dover Gymnastics Club and hiccups were bound to happen. Lewis had been practising his vault on an up to date table vault but the only vault available on the day was an old style vaulting horse. At the last minute Lewis had to change the vault he had spent so long practising in the gym and quickly find another he could do. Only just managing to have three practice vaults Lewis then flew over the vault on his competition run earning him Gold. Once on floor Lewis was in his element and went through his floor routine without a hitch giving him the top place on floor.

Lewis proved his hard work in the gym pays off coming home with an overall gold. His coach Matthew Whyte said “I am very pleased with Lewis’s performance today - he works hard in training and deserved the top spot. There are not many competitions around like this, and need to be more to encourage more boys into the sport”.


Tumbling National Finals

Gymnastics includes several disciplines, and Summerfields Gymnastics Club has always been involved in Womens Artistic. Over recent times the club has extended its interest to other areas of the sport, including freestyle and the pairs and trio work of acro. During the last year the club decided to add tumbling to its specialist areas, and after updating their technical knowledge the coaches were ready to raise the profile of tumbling within the club.

The first major competition involving Summerfields Gymnasts was the Regional Tumbling Championships in November 2009, which they used to assess their standard. The following months were taken up with specific work plans to improve technique and style.

The strategy paid off and at the recent South East Region National Tumbling Qualifier event at the K2 Centre in Crawley eight gymnasts competed. Each competitor has to perform three different tumble runs along a sprung track, and only the top scorer at each level goes to the National Finals. All the Summerfields girls performed to a very good standard. Four came home with medals, and in addition, three of these gymnasts qualified for the national finals to be held in Stoke in May.

The seven National 1 and National 2 girls had tough competition against 40 other gymnasts in their levels, and were extremely pleased with their results, especially with Libby Begbie achieving the highest overall score of the day with 79.700.

The clean performances from Josie Martin, Nowdla Sturgeon and Ashleigh Rowe were very close in marks with 75.100, 74.800 and 74.600 respectively.

Tamara Ballancore had previously entered the Regional Tumbling at National 1, but during the following months achieved sufficient standard to jump three levels to attempt the Elite Grade 1 for the Regional Qualifier competition. Although in the 9/10 age group she was the only competitor, she knew that she had to work hard to achieve the required score. On her very first run she made a crucial mistake and missed one of the elements and thought that her chance was lost. However she fought hard to maintain her technique and composure for the remaining two runs and was rewarded with good scores to bring her above the qualifying score of 70.00, and a place on the rostrum and national final.

Libby Begbie Gold National 1 9/10 years Qualified for finals 
Megan Welch Silver National 1 9/10 years
Paige Begbie Gold National 1 11/12 years Qualified for finals
Paige Durling 7th National 1 11/12 years
Tamara Ballancore Gold Elite 1 9/10 years Qualified for finals


Regional Club Grades

Gymnasts work through the gymnastics grade system the same as in many other sports and every

year they present themselves in an arena in front of family, friends and other enthusiasts to attempt the next level. Not for them the privacy of an exam room where mistakes are kept behind closed doors.

The gymnasts have to perform exercises with set moves on the four pieces of apparatus in a competition atmosphere with the main aim of actually achieving the required pass mark. If their performance is of a sufficient standard, and they are in the correct age range they can qualify for British Gymnastics National Finals where they compete against the highest scorers from the rest of the regions in the country.

This year four gymnasts from Summerfields Gymnastics Club attempted Club Grade 12. Josie Martin had an outstanding competition with barely a foot wrong all day. Her confidence shone through. Her strong vault gave her a good start with a score of 11.95 giving her 2nd place. Her bar routine was clean with a slight step on her landing giving her a total of 11.80. With no falls and barely a wobble on beam she only then had to hold it together for her floor routine which she did in style with a score of 11.30.

A well deserved bronze medal placing for Josie with a total score of 46.50 Kira Madge had a confident start on vault enjoying the competition and continued this enthusiasm on bars with good posture throughout. A fall on beam cost Kira a distinction but this did not distract her from finishing her routine in style with a perfect landing on her dismount. Kira finished on a high with her a new floor routine that everyone enjoyed.

Megan Welch had a solid competition on all four pieces. A slight lack of concentration on beam led to a fall but Megan quickly composed herself and finished the competition with confidence. Libby Begbie had a solid competition right from the start finishing in the top ten on two pieces. Her near perfect routine on beam gave her third position on this the toughest piece by far. Giving her a very respectable 6th place overall.

  • Libby Begbie – 6th place with distinction 
  • Kira Madge – pass - 1 mark away from distinction 
  • Megan Welch – Pass with distinction 
  • Josie Martin – Bronze medal pass with distinction 


Sussex Gymnastics Championships

At the Sussex Gymnastics Championships held at The Triangle, Burgess Hill Summerfields.

Gymnastics Club maintained their prominent position in elite gymnastics. Eleven gymnasts from Summerfields competed in this high profile event and returned with 1 Bronze, 4 Silver and 2 Gold medals.

Tamara Ballancore entered the Womens Artistic Level 5 in age group. Despite being ill since she last competed two weeks ago and not able to train her routines she managed extremely well to hold off her rivals. Although Tamara didn’t have that extra sparkle she usually produces she did manage solid routines that gave her a very well deserved gold medal. Ex- Olympian and coach Sharna Harris said “Tamara knew what she had to do and did exactly that on the day. Her routines were lacking her usual sparkle but were solid and good enough to win the competition. Now she needs to have a few days rest then back in the gym to develop the harder skills she needs for next year”.

Megan Alsop and Ashleigh Rowe entered the Sussex Tumbling at National 1 level. The three tumbles competed by both girls were solid, clean and with little deduction. Both girls came home with Silver medals. Megan Welch, Libby Begbie and Kira Madge competed in the Womens Artistic Level 5 out of age competition. There were a few minor mistakes made by the girls but they pulled out the stops and coped well under pressure when it mattered.
Megan Alsop, Paige Begbie, Mathilda Crane, Paige Durling, Josie Martin, Ashleigh Rowe and Nowdla Sturgeon all competed in the Sussex Floor and Vault section with some solid work from everyone. Josie and Ashleigh both took out new floor routines and performed them with good execution and confidence. Megan Alsop gained highest floor score for her age group.

Paige Durling and Megan Alsop won Silver and Nowdla a Bronze medal. Ashleigh Rowe, 17, has returned to the Summerfields club after a few years’ break. Her coach and ex British Champion Emma Ballancore said “Ashleigh is an ex gymnast who came along to our adult class and decided she hadn’t quite finished competing so this event was ideal for her. She performed a really solid routine and deserved the Gold medal she brought home”.

Regional Championships 


British Gymnastics held the South East Regional Championships at Guildford Spectrum and Summerfields Gymnastics Club maintained their prominent position in elite gymnastics. Eight year old Tamara Ballancore was crowned Level 5 In Age Regional Champion and the Summerfields Level 5 team were the highest ranked Sussex Club, gaining fourth place against 17 teams and 74 competitors from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Four gymnasts should have been competing with the best of three scores to count, but unfortunately one member was unable to participate due to illness, and this meant that the remaining three girls knew their scores would be important.

Tamara Ballancore led the quest. Despite competing new skills for the first time on floor and beam she gave her usual confident performance on all pieces, with her asymmetric bar routine once again proving to be the strongest in the Level 5 competition. Her bar score of 14.40 was a massive 2.00 above her nearest rival and brought her final score to 52.10 and the L5 Trophy.

Libby Begbie followed and showed her competition experience with solid routines on all pieces. She incorporated new skills into her floor and beam routines and the team were pleased to see her gain the highest Level 5 score on floor and 12th place. 

It was a special day for Megan Welch – her 9th birthday fell on competition day. This was Megan’s second year at Regional level and successfully performed a round off flic tuck back somersault on floor and backaway somersault on bars for the first time. Her solid execution earned her 6th position on vault and 19th place.

The Summerfields team showed their depth of courage and determination with one man down, and reflected the happy and positive attitudes encouraged by coaches Sharna Harris and Emma Ballancore.



Pegasus Open Double Act 


Tamara Ballancore and Libby Begbie from Summerfields Gymnastics Club entered the prestigious Pegasus Open Competition in Maidstone which attracts gymnasts from all over the country for various levels 

Tamara is definitely on a misson for her first year in competition. This Sussex Squad gymnast is working at Level 5 in age and was looking forward to competing against gymnasts from all over the country. She managed to control any nervousness about the unknown competition, and came away with four gold medals out of a possible five.

Tamara had the most difficult routine on bars of the 34 competitors in her group, and went well ahead on her first piece of apparatus. Next was beam and a beautiful solid routine was just marred by a fall on her split jump.

A new floor routine was performed for the first time, and again Tamara received the highest mark from the judges. This was repeated on her final piece of apparatus with a near perfect vault score.

The final results were

  • Vault 13.20 Gold Medal
  • Bars 12.10 Gold Medal
  • Beam 11.55
  • Floor 12.54 Gold Medal
  • Overall 49.39 (out of maximum 53.10) GOLD

Libby also had a fantastic time in the Level 5 out of age competition against 35 other competitors, successfully performing six new skills where normally a gymnast would only be expected to attempt two. She started on floor where she enjoyed showing off her tucked back somersault for the first time and new floor routine. Next, on vault and she gave a great performance boosting her confidence to take her to bars where she gave a stunning bar routine that was fluent and solid. A minor mistake on the beam left her just outside the top 10. 

Libby went into the Pegasus Open event just for experience of higher level competitions, but proved how her strong focus and determination can play a big part in her future goals.

Libby’s final results were:

Vault 11.65
Bars 11.30
Beam 10.55
Floor 11.07
Overall 44.57


Talented Tamara 


At an inter-county competition hosted by Sussex Gymnastics Association, the Level 5 Womens Artistic Team was led to victory by 8 year old Tamara Ballancore, the youngest member of the team. It was her first opportunity to represent her county since being invited to join the Sussex County Squad two months ago.

Tamara attends Blacklands Primary School, and trains at Summerfields Gymnastics Club with her ex Olympian coach Sharna Harris and former British Champion mother Emma Ballancore.

The team started on vault and Tamara was pleased to gain second place overall, leaving room for improvement as she develops and grows taller and stronger.

Next was a strong flowing routine on asymmetric bars finishing with a perfect handstand and straight backaway giving her a score of 13.50 and the best score of Level 5 and Level 4 competitors.

Tamara’s performance on beam showed a beautifully controlled forward walkover and cartwheel to tuck back somi dismount gaining her 2nd place overall with 12.450.

A well executed floor routine with a solid round off flic tuck back somi pleased the judges and the score of 13.100 brought her final total to 50.650.

The gymnasts from Sussex Level 5 team were jubilant with their win, and Tamara very proud to be awarded a gold medal for the best individual performance.



Medal Haul 

Gymnasts from Summerfields Gymnastics Club built on their excellent success record by bringing home a further haul of 14 medals from the Pyramid Invitational four piece held at the Olympus Centre, Burgess Hill..

The hard work and attention to detail undertaken by the girls was reflected in the scores achieved for the execution of their routines. 

The highlights of the day were:


Megan Alsop (15yrs)
  • Gold overall Total score 30.05
  • Gold on Floor
  • Silver on Bars 
  • Bronze on Beam

Paige Begbie (11 yrs)
  • Gold overall Total score 28.20
  • Gold on Bars
  • Gold on Beam
  • Bronze on Floor

Paige Durling (11 yrs)
  • Silver overall Total score 28.00
  • Gold on Floor
  • Gold on Vault
  • Silver on Bars

Nowdla Sturgeon (12 yrs)
  • Silver overall Total score 28.05
  • Gold on Vault

Also competing was 9 yr old Mathilda Crane who has been making steady improvement and came a creditable 9th overall against the other 23 gymnasts in her age group.


Well Done girls

Megan Alsop from Summerfields Gymnastics Club was extremely pleased to bring home four medals and a trophy from the Naomi Stamp Memorial Competition held at Chichester.
This is an annual event where gymnasts from the south east region compete for a medal on each piece of women's artistic apparatus, and also have the opportunity of winning an overall trophy if they perform on all four (vault, bars, beam and floor).
Megan gave an almost faultless performance at Bronze Over 15 level throughout and achieved 1st on beam, bars and floor, and 3rd on Vault. This put her 3.8 above her nearest rival and with a score of 30.9 gave her the well deserved overall trophy.
Competing at Intermediate Under 11 level was Mathilda Crane whose good execution earned her 4th place on bars with 5.60 and 5th on beam with 6.60.



Well Done Tamara


Tamara Ballancore (8yrs) came third in her first major competition on Sunday 1 March 2009. She performed well at her compulsory grades and has now earned herself a place in the Sussex Squad. She will train with the 19 other gymnasts who have been selected from all over Sussex. They will meet once a month for six months but hopefully she will hold her standard and be re-selected for the next six months. Well Done Tamara - keep up the high standard.



Regional Tumbling


Sunday 22 February 2009 we competed in the Regional Tumbling Qualifiers. Having never competed at this level for Tumbling before, we did extremely well. We gained a lot of experience from this competition and hopefully we will be able to better our scores next year. A special well done to Robyn Mackay 1st, Paige Begbie and Paige Durling 2nd and Gemma Morgan and Nowdla Sturgeon who came 3rd.

Thank you Peter x

On behalf of Summerifelds Gymnastics Club we would like to say a massive Thank You to Peter Webber.

He was the one who made it possible for us to purchase the tumble track and the sprung floor.
This has been a big change for us, we have been wanting a tumble track for quite a few years now so to finally have it here is brilliant.
There has been a huge improvement in the gymnasts training already and hopefully the standard of skills we achieve will be shown in competition throughout the year.
We would also like to thank the volunteers who helped over the Christmas break to make sure the track and floor were in place and ready to use when we returned in January.