KING Edmund starlets turned in a string of sparkling performances to dominate the South West Acrogymnastics Championships.

The Yate-based club took some 50 competitors to the annual showpiece in Taunton and won every category they entered bar one to prove themselves the best in the West.

Head coach Nikki Thorne enthused: "Not only did we win virtually every event we entered but we did so by some considerable margins.

"Some of our gymnasts that took part are only six years old and still getting used to the demands of competition, so they did extraordinarily well and many produced near-flawless performances.

"It is great that the club goes from strength to strength at these competitions, but it wouldn't be possible without the support and dedication of all our coaches and parents, who put in a tremendous amount of time and money to bring our gymnasts up to scratch and make them look immaculate for the performances.

"The parents of our gymnasts have to fund the additional training required and they show amazing support to the cause because the commitment required can have a major impact on families' lives. It is their approach to the sport that makes for all the successes we continue to celebrate and all that hard work and devotion paid off handsomely."

A string of King Edmund gymnasts will now represent the South West in the British Championships at Stoke-on-Trent in May. Gaining selection are Leigh-Anne Challis, Rowan Atfield, Libby Smith (Grade 1 Women); Josh Smith, Harry Hole (Grade 2 Men); Beth Foster, Courtney Hodge (Grade 4 Women); Millie Theobald, Tianna McClurg, Shannon McClurg (Grade 4 Women).

King Edmund also had several victorious gymnasts at Taunton who are too young to compete in the British Championships as they are aged nine and under.

They are Courtney Reeves, Hannah Pallot, Elise King, 1st; Lily Foster, Ellie Sheppard, Poppy Murphy, 3rd (all Grade 1 Women); Elisha Muscat, Fiona Cornick, 1st; Jade Gibbs, Paige Weeks, 2nd; Rachel Child, Ellie Maggs, 3rd (all Grade 2 Women); Finley Austin, Ellie Maggs, 1st (Grade 2 Mixed Pairs); Rhiannon Holt, Becky Adams, Amber Thrush, 1st (Grade 2 Women); Dove Strachan-Wills, Millie Bat-tensby, 3rd (Grade 3 Women); Nadia Cocking, Emma Cornick, Emily Brown, 2nd, Maisy Hanham, Libby Britton, Georgie Hutchingson, 3rd (all Grade 3 Women); Rachael Holehouse, Suzi Holt, 2nd (Grade 1 Women).

King Edmund GC are embroiled in a hectic schedule right now and the SW Championships came hot on the heels of the club's increasingly-popular international acrogymnastics event held at Thornbury Leisure Centre, in which around 300 top gymnasts from Russia, Switzer-land, Holland, Ireland and the UK jostled for honours over two fabulous days.

"All our gymnasts came away with great credit and lots of medals," Nikki said. "We had children from Siberia staying in Yate for a week in preparation for it, such is the regard they and others have for our competition, and they loved visiting our local churches and learning something of the culture and heritage of our community.

"It is an event that truly tests our gymnasts against the best in the country and around the world, and while we were very pleased with some of our performances, we're far from complacent."