A trio of female British gymnasts will compete as an acrobatic women’s group in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, and they have the potential to come from Durham.
Acrobatics, the discipline of gymnastics practised at Deerness Gymnastics Academy, took a step forward in its bid to become an Olympic Sport with the announcement this week that it will be part of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Karl Wharton, the volunteer director at Deerness Gymnastics Academy is also a member of the Federation International Gymnastics (FIG) Acrobatic Technical Committee, he said:
“I am delighted that as a sport we have finally taken our first step onto the Olympic ladder and that gymnasts will compete in acrobatics alongside existing Olympic gymnastics disciplines of artistic, trampolining and rhythmic gymnastics, at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.”
“And it is great news that Deerness Gymnastics Academy, a club that has been at the top of this sport for more than 20 years, could potentially have gymnasts competing at this level in the future!
“We took over responsibility for the entire building and organisation here at Deerness, nearly 5 years ago and recreational gymnastics continue to play a very important part of the academy. Our sessions not only provide exercise and a fun activity for children but also enable talented gymnasts to attain the highest level of skills and experience that can lead to them representing their country on the world stage.”
Deerness Gymnastics Academy, in County Durham, has been one of the world’s leading clubs in acrobatic gymnastics for over 20 years, and its recreational gymnastic classes will resume today (Monday 5thSeptember) with a few spaces still available on all the autumn sessions.
Led by British Gymnastics, highly qualified and experienced coaches the gymnastics sessions provide fundamental skills in gymnastics as well as developing self-confidence, coordination, balance and strength in children and young people as well as fun. Classes are available from just age 3.
According to British Gymnastics more people than ever want to get started in gymnastics. The historical success of British gymnasts at The Olympic Games has triggered enormous interest from the public wanting to get involved in all disciplines.
Participation Director at British Gymnastics, David Marshall: “It’s fantastic to see so many people wanting to get into gymnastics and great to see it’s not only the younger generation but the appeal is right across the board. Gymnastics is so much fun and has opportunities for everybody, regardless of age, gender, ability, or ambition.”
A gymnastics gala which included acrobatics was held at this year’s Rio Olympic Arena on 17 August. The gala is a non-judged performance by many of the gymnasts in the Olympics. Acrobatics was represented by their World Champion in mixed pairs from Russia and the Chinese men’s group.
They do a wide variety of routines, and Simone Biles gave her final performance in Rio on the beam at the gala, however, it was a Chinese acrobatic team that impressed the crowd. The Bleacher Report said: “Acrobatics is not an official Olympic competition, but these athletes made a compelling application case in Rio de Janeiro.”
In 2012, the year of the London Olympics, the senior men group won the World Championship Gold, which was the highest achievement possible for the four acrobatic gymnasts from Durham, and their gymnastic careers began in recreational gymnastics.
In the same year, a women’s trio from Deerness Gymnastics Academy took the bronze medal in the Junior world championships and this year a female trio from the club won Gold in the 13-18 age category in the British Championships.
Deerness Gymnastics Academy in Ushaw Moor is a high-performance centre in acrobatics for British Gymnastics. Earlier this year, Karl Wharton, the club’s founder and volunteer Director was honoured with an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to gymnastics.
The club which also has its former gymnast Matt Baker as its patron and has become one of Britain’s top gymnastics clubs over the past twenty-five years, with over 100 international gymnasts with more than eighty World and European medallists, including fifteen World and European Champions in its roll of honour. It is not only one of the most successful clubs in Great Britain but it is also recognised on the International scene as one of the top clubs in the world.