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Allstarz seniors win national champion title in Liverpool contest

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ALLSTARZ gymnasts pulled together for a "faultless" display to leave Liverpool with the most prestigious domestic title in amateur gymnastics.

Following last year's third place finish, the senior display team came away from the British gymstrada as national champions this time around, with the juniors placing third, also recognised with the award for best use of colour.

Amid a stellar year for the sport in this country, director of coaching at the New Addington-based club, Kay Ongley, praised the dedication of the competitors and the outstanding impact of their final performance.

"It's the one everyone wants to win, so of course we are very proud," she said. "It was a tough run up to the gymstrada. We trained three times a week for the display and then we had four weeks of competition in a row.

"Vicky Gibbons, our director of displays, is the person who did it all - she put so much work into getting it right and choreographed a fantastic display.

"Everyone was nervous before - we wanted to win it - but to be honest we were so well prepared, they took it in their stride." The junior team were first up to represent Croydon, and on the floor were (left to right, back to front in photo) Jolie Miller, Jessica Welsh, Kesmai Fennell, Megan Thompson, Radha Singh, Daisy Stacey, Nicole Cameron, Chloe Ellis, Taegan Fennell, Honor Welsh, Sita Singh.

The senior team of 20 - containing Paige Newbury, Lina Endo, Hannah Wren, Dean Murrell, Claire Ongley, Rachel Dunne, Jack Rees, Emily Watson, Courtney Suter, Mia Wilkins, Satresha Spence, Stephanie Curtis, Jane Diedrick-Wilson, Shannon Newbury, Jessica Greenslade, Megan Dale, Nicole Blackwood, Erin Eastmond, Jarred Dunford, Sharna Alleyne then took the floor with glory in mind, performing a dynamic display to the music of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

Lasting three to four minutes on average, judges mark the performances in key artistic areas, namely choreography, overall display, use of floor, use of colour and difficulty.

"It was excellent - one of the best displays I have ever seen," said Ongley. "The timing was fantastic, the performance was faultless. It was just outstanding - it really was."

Ongley added that the club was in good health in all areas at the moment, particularly since the Olympics, which saw the number of members swell from 80 to more than 120.

"The numbers are up dramatically. Some of it's down to the Olympics, but some of it's down to our own success. One of our boys, Dean Morrell (14) is British champion in his age group.

"Allstarz has been going for nine years and we are in our strongest position ever. I think it's the effort from the coaches and organisers, and of course the gymnasts who seem to have thrived on it this year. It's been a partnership of hard work from both sides."

Last year Allstarz travelled to Switzerland for the World Gymstrada as part of a Great Britain team, and the club have their sights set on more international success in the near future.

Allstarz seniors win national champion title in Liverpool contest


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