THE Ridge Junior School won four medals, including one gold, at this year's National Schools’ Gymnastics Championships.
They qualified for this competition by winning events at the South West Schools’ Championship in March, supplying competitors in all of the categories for the National Championships.
The gymnasts have been training hard in preparation for the finals, which were held in Stoke-on-Trent.
Henry Skidmore, nine, and Ryan Martin, 11 competed in the under-11 boys’ pairs.
Their confident and controlled routine was perfectly performed and cheeky smiles from the boys earned them gold medals.
For Skidmore this was a step up from last year’s silver medal, but for Martin, standing on top of the podium has become a bit of a habit, having won titles in previous years.
In the girls’ pairs category, Holly Stone, 10, and Ellise King, nine, took to the floor and performed a very lively routine which caught the audience’s attention.
They scored very highly and smiled as they received bronze medals.
Only 0.25 separated the top three competitors, and they were just 0.05 behind the silver medallists.
The final pairs category was the mixed pairs with Martin and Abigail Clothier, 10, competing together.
Martin performed confidently and Clothier danced beautifully.
This time it was a silver medal to add to the collection.
For 14 years The Ridge held the title of British Schools’ champions in the group category but the standard has become higher over recent years and last year a mistake in the routine put the team out of medal contention.
This year the team of Ellise King, Holly Stone, Abigail Clothier, Lauren Alvis, 10, Molly Mason, 10, and Grace Wilson, seven were determined not to make the same mistake and performed brilliantly.
The whole routine was precise and well preformed, earning them a silver medal.
“The standard of this groups category was the highest I have ever seen and I was elated when our girls were called to the podium to receive their silver medals,” said Mrs Mewse, who is a teacher and PE Co-ordinator at the school.
It was a proud moment for all from The Ridge to hear the school announced to collect medals four times in front of such a large audience.
A team of six gymnasts also competed in the under-14 category despite being well under age for this age group.
Evie Arpino Norville, nine, Keris Pursey, 10, Kacey Naish, seven, Bethan Williams, seven, James Williams, nine, and Henry Skidmore, nine, took up the challenge to fill the space in the South West team.
A few eyebrows were raised as the little team marched into the arena but they performed a really polished and controlled routine, with no mistakes, and should be proud of their ninth place in such a high standard competition.