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Carl Field

Carl Field

Each year around 200 school children across Wales experience gymnastics for the first time at our Welsh Schools competitions.

Many progress from the regional rounds to the Welsh Schools Finals in Cardiff.

This year one of those children, eight-year-old Colby Carter from George Street Primary School in Pontypool, enjoyed it so much that he and his brother Dayton are now new members of Valleys Gymnastics Academy!

Colby took part in the South East Area event at Kestrel Gymnastics Club in January and from there qualified for the 2022 Welsh Schools Tumble and Vault Finals in Cardiff in early March in the Under 11 Boys category.

Brother Dayton, aged nine, also took part in this year’s Welsh Schools competition.

Colby and Dayton Carter from George Street Primary. 

They were introduced to gymnastics by Melissa Preston-Watkins, their PE teacher, who has been encouraging youngsters into gymnastics for the past decade.

“We are a really sporty school and we take all opportunities to introduce our youngsters to as many sporting festivals and tournaments as possible,” she said.

“Our children thrive in these environments and thoroughly enjoy the experiences we introduce them to on the sports field.

“We have been attending the gymnastics competition at Kestrel for the last eight years after being introduced to it by one of our talented gymnasts, Holly Jones. She had brilliant success at the Welsh Finals and went on to represent our school at the British Championships. She once again won team gold at this year’s competition at Under 19 level. 

“If our gymnasts can confidently complete the three tumbles and two vaults required, I believe they deserve a chance to be put forward. They understand that it is an honour to represent our school and I am always super proud of them.

“It’s all about providing our young ones with memorable experiences that will stay with them for years to come.”

The gymnasts from George Street Primary School in Pontypool. 

Colby and Dayton are now two of a number of talented George Street children who have joined VGA as a result of Mrs PW’s encouragement in PE lessons.

The boys have an abundance of natural talent and already progressed from general rec classes to Flippers and Twisters, which is the club’s grassroots competitive group. The boys can often be seen upside down turning cartwheels and completing their round offs around the school grounds!

Mrs PW added: “One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is seeing children join clubs outside school as this has such a positive impact.

“The fitness, health and well-being benefits are there for all to see, as well as meeting new friends and coaches who display great qualities and values for them to look up to.

“I’m already looking forward to next year’s competitions and am excited to see the boys develop their skills.”

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