THE Cotswold Gymnastics Club’s annual Christmas display always promises to deliver quality gymnastics with all the trimmings and this year did not disappoint.
Forget Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor – the display is the one family show guaranteed to have the audience clapping and whooping with delight.
More than 200 gymnastics had their moment in the spotlight this year over two shows, performing to a total of 700 family and supporters.
The £2,000 sprung floor, specially hired for the occasion, ensured that the gymnasts had the best possible platform at Cirencester Deer Park school hall to showcase their talents.
And this year with more champions and medallists than ever before in their ranks, including Forrest Fry, the current county champion and South West team gold medallist, Laura Tenty, county champion and Amy Vizor, county silver medallist, this was always going to be a show to remember.
The floor and springboard display from the 2011 display squad set the initial fast pace of the show with a routine full of grace and strength, with tumbling that gave the audience a look at why these gymnasts have made it to their position in the club.
Throughout the show we were treated to individual displays from gymnasts who are the very best at what they do. Phoebe Restoric, levels county champion, wowed with her Latin-music inspired display while Liam Caudle, 4th place at county championships, amazed the audience with his incredible precision and extraordinary tumbling.
And after an outstanding display by county 4 piece silver medallist Jessica Marriott, Laura Hallett, 2011 county champion, really showed off her talents on the floor.
Forrest Fry was a highlight of the show last year and again did not disappoint, performing on his own and with the squad. Always one to embrace the seemingly impossible, Forrest performed during the vault display a 'Tsukahara' vault and double back somersault off the trampette.
But the Cotswold Gymnastics Club is about more than just the high flying gymnasts wowing us with their Arabian somersaults, handspring front somersaults and double twisting straight back somersaults.
The club runs sessions for children of all ages from 3 to 27 and abilities, with the emphasis firmly on fun and this was evident throughout the group displays.
Youngsters under 5 were the bean bag rockers much to their parents delight. While it was difficult at this stage to spot the gymnasts of the future, watch this space.
‘Helen’s Cowgirls’ performed to the atmospheric music from ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ but there were only good things to say about this routine.
After the high energy routines, the tempo slowed right down for the routine from the Monday 5pm session, performing to ‘It’s So Quiet’. This was a beautiful routine and one of the highlights for me, showing the importance of choreography and matching the music to the moves.
The Friday 8pm teenage session performance ‘Party Rockers’ oozed teenage attitude and the girls really rocked. While the Senior Girls Squad came up with their own jaw-dropping routine.
The coaches closed the show with their own gymnastics performance to an Abba medley – fitting that those who had worked so over the past few months to put this show together should have their own chance to shine.
After the display, coach Rachel Rogers said: “I am truly inspired by the talent that we have at the club. I am proud that the club hosts such a wide age range and that they all have the chance to perform and show their friends and family what they enjoy doing. It's just fantastic.
“The standard of the club keeps on improving and that is due to a strong coaching team. I would also like to thank our committee who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the day such a spectacular event. We can all have a rest now and have a think about what we can come up with next year.”
2011 competitions (Members of the club attended many championships picking up a haul of medals. The club now has several county champions.):
* January: South West festival in Taunton* March: County levels 2 piece* April: Fromeside Regional Competition 3 piece* June: County novice 2 piece* July: Display at Cirencester Primary School* October: County 4 piece* November: County novice boys,/p> * December: South West championships boys