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Long List profiles

WELSH GYMNASTICS COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2022 LONG LIST

WOMEN'S ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS

Name Club
Mia Evans Park Wrekin
Holly Jones Swansea Gymnastics Centre
Jea Maracha Phoenix/ Clwb Cymru Caerdydd
Sofia Micallef CCYC/ Clwb Cymru Caerdydd
Mali Morgan Capital/ Clwb Cymru Caerdydd
Poppy Stickler Capital/ Clwb Cymru Caerdydd
Amelia Thomas Capital/ Clwb Cymru Caerdydd
Gabriella Williams  Park Wrekin

 

BIOG: MIA EVANS



ABOUT

Born: 21 April, 2006 in Wrexham
Lives: Chirk (in school holidays and weekends); Wrekin College (boarding school term time)
School: Wrekin College, Wellington, Telford

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged three at the Border Counties Gymnastics Club
Current Club: Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club

Achievements: Welsh Espoir champion 2019; British Championships Espoir AA silver medallist 2019; British Espoir floor champion 2019; British Espoir vault silver medallist 2019; Pre-Olympic Hopes AA silver medallist 2019; Northern European team gold 2019; Olympic Hopes Cup floor champion 2019; Olympic Hopes team silver 2019; Olympic Hopes AA 4th 2019.

International Representation (Wales): Pre-Olympic Hopes Cup, Germany; Northern Europeans, Iceland; Olympic Hopes Cup, Czech Republic.

International Representation (GB): Elite Gym Massilia, France.

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: I’ve loved being able to compete for my country. My favourite has to be competing in the Olympic Hopes Cup. It was such an amazing experience.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Mia followed her mother, Angela, into gymnastics. Her father had played football for the county and Wrexham schoolboys. As well as progressing in gymnastics to win representative honours for both Wales and Great Britain, she also reached Grade 3 in ballet. Since the age of eight she has wanted to go to the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

BIOG: HOLLY JONES

ABOUT

Born:  6 January, 2001 in Swansea
Lives: Swansea
School: Morriston Comprehensive School
Higher Education: Swansea University

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: At the age of three at Swansea GC
Current Club: Swansea GC

Achievements: 3 gold medals (floor, vault and team) at Junior Commonwealth Championships 2016; British vault champion 2018; Northern European team champions 2019; Silver on vault at Northern Europeans 2019.

International Representation (Wales): Junior Commonwealth Championships 2016; Commonwealth Games 2018; Northern European Championships 2019.

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Competing for Team Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Holly is coached by 1998 Commonwealth Games competitor Natalie Lucitt-Jenkins. She is also turning her hand to coaching a group of six and seven year olds at her club.

BIOG: JEA MARACHA



ABOUT

Born: 14 January, 2006 in Cardiff
Lives: Cardiff
School: Corpus Christi High School

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Age five and a half at Phoenix Gym Club, Cardiff
Current Club: Phoenix GC / Clwb Cymru Caerdydd

Achievements: Welsh and British Championship age grade medals 2018 and 2019; Espoir AA British Champion 2019

International Representation (Wales): South African Safari International 2018; Pre-Olympic Youth Festival 2019; Olympic Hopes 2019; Northern European Championships 2019.

International Representation (GB): Elite Gym Massilia in France 2019.

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Competing internationally for Great Britain.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Jea was first taken into the British Performance Pathway Development Squad in 2016 following her 10th place finish at the 2015 British Championships when she was still only 10.

BIOG: SOFIA MICALLEF



ABOUT

Born: 5 August, 2006 in Cardiff
Lives: Penarth
School: Stanwell Comprehensive, Penarth

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged five at Cardiff Central Youth Club, Cardiff
Current Club: Clwb Cymru Caerdydd

Achievements: AA bronze medallist, gold on bars and bronze in vault at Pre-Olympic Youth Cup in Germany 2019.

International Representation (Wales): Pre-Olympic Youth Cup in Germany 2019.

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Competing at the British Championships at the Echo Arena, Liverpool.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Her uncle, Tarki, played more than 120 games for Cardiff City and was capped as a schoolboy and at U21 level by Wales. She has two dogs, Louis and Ted.

BIOG: MALI MORGAN



ABOUT

Born: 11 October, 2006 in Bridgend
Lives: Llantwit Major
School: Llantwit Major Comprehensive

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged three at Bridgend YMCA
Current Club: Capital Academy / Clwb Cymru Caerdydd

Achievements: Wales Voluntary AA / beam / vault champion (Level 4) 2015; Espoirs silver medal on beam at British Championships and 5th AA 2018.

International Representation (Wales): Welsh junior international

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Winning a silver medal on beam at Espoir British Championships.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
She was Welsh champion for beach flags and sprint in lifeguards. Her father is the four-time Olympic and five-time Commonwealth Games representative, Bob Morgan. One of Britain’s greatest divers, he is included on the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame’s ‘Roll of Honour’ and won gold, silver and bronze at the Commonwealth Games and silver and bronze at the European Championships.

BIOG: POPPY STICKLER



ABOUT

Born: 12 June, 2006 in Cardiff
Lives: Cardiff
School: Whitchurch High School

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged six in the Capital Academy in Cardiff
Current Club: Capital Academy / Clwb Cymru Caerdydd

Achievements: Team gold with Wales at Northern European Championships 2019; Espoirs AA British bronze medallist 2019; British Junior Squad 2019

International Representation (Wales): Northern European Championships 2019.

International Representation (GB): Elite Gym Massilia in France 2019.

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Competing in America.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Her sister, Isobel, used to be a gymnast and is now a coach. Another sister, Indie, is also a gymnast.

BIOG: AMELIA THOMAS



ABOUT

Born: 15 December, 2004 in Vale of Glamorgan
Lives: Cardiff
School:

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged three at Fairwater Leisure Centre
Current Club: Clwb Cymru Caerdydd

Achievements: 6th AA British Championships 2018

International Representation (Wales): Home Nations junior champions (team) 2019

International Representation (GB): 3rd place at the Olympic Hopes Cup

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Going to America and then doing a training camp and competition with my teammates.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
She hates spiders and her brother is a black belt taekwondo.

BIOG: GABRIELLA WILLIAMS

ABOUT

Born: 27 June, 2006 in Wednesfield
Lives: Wolverhampton
School: Tettenhall College

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged three at Wolverhampton Gymnastics Club.
Current Club: Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club

Achievements: Espoir British bar champion 2019; Espoir individual AA champion at Home Nations International 2019; Team Wales team champions at Home Nations International 2019

International Representation (Wales): Home Nations International in Perth, Scotland 2019; Olympic Hopes Cup in Liberec, Czech Republic 2019

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Winning the 2019 Espoir British bar final and taking part in the 2019 Olympic Hopes Cup.

DID YOU KNOW . . .

RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS

Name Club
Lauryn Carpenter  Llanelli RGA
Emily Cullen Llanelli RGA
Gemma Frizelle Llanelli RGA
Elizabeth Popova Llanelli RGA
Skyla Sims Llanelli RGA

 

BIOG: LAURYN CARPENTER



ABOUT

Born: 2 January, 2005 in Newport
Lives: Treowen
School: Newbridge School

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Started in rhythmic aged 10 at Valleys Gymnastics Academy.
Current Club: Llanelli RGA

Achievements: 2019 Welsh Championships - 2 bronze, 2 silvers on individual apparatus and silver AA; 2019 Grade 9 – 1st in age category. 7th overall at 2019 British Individual Championships; multi-title winner with Llanelli junior rhythmic group in 2017, 2019.

International Representation (Wales): Various Welsh internationals

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Keeping calm at my first British Individual Championships and achieving a PB for my ball routine with one of my best and cleanest routines.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Her mum played netball to county level as a teenager and her dad was a county standard rugby player in his teens. She was a good netball player, but chose gymnastics instead, and competed internationally in cheerleading.

BIOG: EMILY CULLEN

ABOUT

Born: 5 May, 2006 in Cardiff
Lives:
Nelson
School: Lewis Girls Comprehensive School

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged four at Cwm Gymnastics. At eight she began rhythmic gymnastics at Valleys Gymnastics Academy and then moved onto the Welsh Gymnastics Future Hopes program at Llanelli Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy.
Current Club:
Llanelli Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy

ACHIEVEMENTS

British Championships 2017-2019; 5 silver medals at British championships 2018; 3 British titles with LRGA group; various individual medals at Welsh Championships.

International Representation (Wales): Portugal, March 2019

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Standing on the podium at my first British Championships in 2017 and travelling to Sochi, in Russia, for a training camp with the Welsh squad.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Emily has a twin sister who, with her younger sister, is a cheerleader.

BIOG: GEMMA FRIZELLE



ABOUT

Born: 2 May, 1998 in Carmarthen
Lives: Cardiff
School: Llandaff Cathedral School
Higher Education: Cardiff Met University (BA Sport & Exercise Science; Masters in Psychology)

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Started in rhythmic aged 12 at Llanelli Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy
Current Club: Llanelli RGA

Achievements: British Championship silver AA 2016, 2017; British Championship bronze AA 2019

International Representation (Wales): Commonwealth Games 2018

International Representation (GB): 5 x World Cup appearances; World Championships, Bulgaria 2018; European Rhythmic Championships, Bulgaria 2021

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Getting selected for Team Wales for 2018 Commonwealth Games

DID YOU KNOW . . .
She is part of a sporting family with one sister having swum for Wales and another run for Wales and Great Britain at junior level

BIOG: ELIZABETH POPOVA



ABOUT

Born: 30 November, 2006 in Carmarthen
Lives: Widnes
School: Wade Deacon High School

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged 4 at Llanelli RGA
Current Club: Llanelli RGA

Achievements: 9 British age grade titles; Welsh titles at all ages

International Representation (Wales): Aeon Cup in Japan and other internationals around Europe

International Representation (GB): 2019 World Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Russia (ball & ribbon); 2019 FIG World Challenge Cup event in Portimao, Portugal, won team silver and individual silver (ball); 2019 Irini Cup, Greece, won individual gold (ball)

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Going to the Aeon Cup in Japan and the Junior World Championships in Russia. I love savouring the atmosphere of big occasions and performing in front of big crowds.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Her father was a professional basketball player in Bulgaria, while her mother, Ioana, has been her coach and used to work for Welsh Gymnastics. Ioana also worked with two Welsh Commonwealth Games teams (1998, 2002) and used to be the Welsh Gymnastics' choreographer.

BIOG: SKYLA SIMS

ABOUT

Born: 27 January, 2003 in Cardiff
Lives: Cardiff
School: Ysgol Glantaf

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged six at Cardiff Central Youth Club (artistic) and aged 12 (rhythmic)
Current Club: Llanelli RGA

Achievements:  Welsh junior and senior champion; bronze at British Championships 2018

International Representation (Wales): Represented Wales in Portugal, Japan, Gibraltar and Serbia

International Representation (GB): N/A

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Coming third at my first British Championship and making the long list for Commonwealth Games 2022 selection.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Her mum is a pre-school gymnastics coach, while her step-dad is a former captain of the Royal marines boxing team and an Iron Man competitor.

MEN'S ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS

Name Club
Emil Barber Swansea Gymnastics Centre
Brinn Bevan South Essex
Joe Cemlyn-Jones City of Birmingham 
Josh Cook YMCA Barry/University of Illinois
Jacob Edwards Olympus
Benji Eyre Loughborough Students
Harri Morgan YMCA Barry
Theo-Amari Ochana Heathrow 

 

BIOG: EMIL BARBER



ABOUT

Born: 7 May, 2000 in Bournemouth
Lives: Swansea
School: Cwmtawe Comprehensive / Llandarcy Academy of Sport

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged nine at Swansea GC
Current Club: Swansea GC

Achievements: Gold medal on vault at Northern Europeans and team silver 2019

International Representation (Wales): Northern Europeans 2019

International Representation (GB): N/A

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Coming 2nd on vault at the 2018 U18 British Championships

DID YOU KNOW . . .
He travelled to Australia in 2018 as a Team Wales reserve for the Commonwealth Games.

BIOG: BRINN BEVAN



ABOUT

Born: 16 June, 1997 in Southend
Lives: Basildon
School: The Deanes Sports College

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged three
Current Club: South Essex Gym Club

Achievements: First boy to win levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 at Elite Grades from ages 8-13; 5 time British Junior champion; European Junior team gold 2012, 2014; European Youth Olympic Festival team gold 2013; English AA champion 2015; member of first GB team to win medal (silver) at World Championships 2015; 4th place at Olympic Games (team) 2016; British AA champion 2018; Reigning British champion on parallel bars.

International Representation (Wales): Northern Europeans 2019.

International Representation (GB): European Junior Championships 2012, 2014; World Championships 2015, 2018, 2021; Olympic Games 2016

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Winning a silver medal at the World Championships and coming back from my broken leg in six months to make Team GB for the Rio Olympic Games

DID YOU KNOW . . .
His father, Glynn, played rugby for London Welsh.

BIOG: JOE CEMLYN-JONES



ABOUT

Born: 7 August, 1999 in Bristol
Lives: Clevedon
School: Gordano School

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: At City of Bristol club
Current Club: City of Birmingham

Achievements: Austria Cup AA title 2013; Italian Autumn Cup AA title 2014; Gold on parallel bars and high bar and team silver at Northern Europeans 2019; Silver for AA, parallel bars, rings as well as bronze on the floor, Men’s British Championships 2021.

International Representation (Wales): Austria Future Cup 2013; Italian Autumn Cup 2014; Northern Europeans 2019.

International Representation (GB): British Junior Vests; FIG World Challenge Cup, Bulgaria and Croatia 2021; World Championships 2021.

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Winning first GB vest in 2013,

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Joe qualifies to represent Wales through his grandfather. In his spare time he sells Lego on e-bay via a shop called jcj-bricks.

BIOG: JOSH COOK



ABOUT

Born: 19 October, 2000 in Penarth
Lives: Penarth and University of Illinois
School: Stanwell Comprehensive, Penarth

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged four at Somersault Gymnastics Club before moving to YMCA Barry at 10
Current Club: YMCA Barry / University of Illinois - Fighting Illini Men’s Gymnastics Team

Achievements: Wales AA, PBars and High Bar champion 2018; Northern European rings champion, team silver medalist, bronze medal on PBars 2019; 10th AA British Championships 2019

International Representation (Wales): Commonwealth Games 2018; Northern Europeans 2019

International Representation (GB): N/A

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: The 2018 Commonwealth Games team final, the 2019 Northern Europeans team final and ‘senior night’ at the 2020 Fighting Illini.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
He was the youngest Welsh male gymnast at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at just 17. All his family are competitive sailors and he was a keen sailor himself when he was younger, but gave up that sport to concentrate on gymnastics.

BIOG: JACOB EDWARDS

ABOUT

Born: 16 April, 2003 in Wrexham
Lives: Wrexham
School: Darland High School; Coleg Cambria

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: At age of five at Newcastle Gymnastics Academy
Current Club: Olympus Gymnastics Club, Wrexham

Achievements: British Under 16 AA champion in 2019; Multi Welsh age grade titles.

International Representation (Wales): 3 Celtic Cups; 2 UK School Games; 3 Porto Cups; Home Nations International 2019; Northern Europeans 2019; Mallorca Cup

International Representation (GB): Under 16 International v Switzerland, France, Germany

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Landing my Parallel Bar dismount at 2019 British Championships. It was the last skill I did to win the Under 16 title. I had fallen at the Welsh championships doing the same dismount, so it was a big moment for me.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Jacob trains under the watchful eyes of his mother, Julie, and father, Paul, at the Olympus Gymnastics Club in Wrexham where they are the head coaches and directors. Julie was the first Welsh champion from Wrexham and Paul was a British junior international. Paul is also a Brevet judge who has officiated at four Commonwealth Games. His elder brother represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 and was in the British team at the World Student Games in 2011.

BIOG: BENJI EYRE

ABOUT

Born: 17 October, 1998 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Lives: Loughborough (during term time) and St Ives (Cambridgeshire).
School: St Ivo School
Higher Education: Studying Economics with Geography at Loughborough University

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Started recreational sessions aged six at Huntingdon Gymnastics Club and went into the elite group at seven because I could do a headstand. Trained at Huntingdon by Ben Howells until I left to go university aged 19.
Current Club: Loughborough Students Gymnastics Club

Achievements: Multiple Welsh champion through the age groups, Men’s London Open bronze medallist, 2016. Northern Euros team silver medallist 2017.

International Representation (Wales): Commonwealth Games 2018; Northern Europeans, 2015, 2016, 2017

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Personally, my floor routine at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and, generally, the GB team bronze at London 2012.

DID YOU KNOW . . .
Benji was scouted by Cambridge United FC whilst playing for St Ives Rangers FC and also did rugby, football, cross-county and athletics whilst at school – but was always fully committed to gymnastics. Benji’s brother, Samuel Eyre, has played semi-professional football for St Ives Town FC while father Simon Eyre, originally from Pontyclun, played football in the Rhondda League.

BIOG: HARRI MORGAN



ABOUT

Born: 17 October, 2001 in Cardiff
Lives: Llantwit Major
School: Llantwit Major School
Higher Education: Bristol University

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged four at YMCA Barry gym club
Current Club: YMCA Barry

Achievements: Wales U16 champion; Senior Wales Squad

International Representation (Wales): Celtic Cup, Home Nations Championship and Porto Cup

International Representation (GB): N/A

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Sticking a dismount in the Men’s Welsh Championships to win a medal on High bar

DID YOU KNOW . . .
A qualified pool lifeguard, he played rugby and football at school. His sister, Mali, is also on the Commonwealth Games long-list and his father is Bob Morgan, the former Commonwealth Games high board diving champion and four-time Olympian. He has the same coach at Barry as Josh Cook, Peter Haysham, who is a former Commonwealth Games competitor.

BIOG: THEO- AMARI OCHANA



ABOUT

Born: 25 May, 2003 in Isleworth, London
Lives: West London
School: Isleworth & Syon School for Boys
Higher Education: Studying Carpentry at Park Royal College

GYMNASTICS BACKGROUND

First Started: Aged six at Heathrow Gymnastics Club
Current Club: Heathrow GC

Achievements: Wales U16 AA champion 2019

International Representation (Wales): Mallorca Cup 2020 (junior)

International Representation (GB): N/A

Favourite Gymnastics Moment: Scoring 70 AA for the first time to win the Welsh title. This led to being selected to represent Wales.