IAPS U9 Novice Gymnastics – 23 November 2019
Determined young gymnasts set their minds to a tall challenge and came away standing proud.
A team of Year 4 girls from Vita et Pax Preparatory School, in Southgate, came together to train as gymnasts before taking part in a competition.
They trained for just six weeks – including giving up their half-term break – and all managed to place in the top 30 at their first event, the IAPS Gymnastics tournament.
Headteacher Allana Gay said: “Lots of our children do cartwheels around the school, so I asked a parent of a pupil who is a national gymnast if it was possible to get a team together. The parent is a dancer and so was happy to teach the basics at a club before handing over to a gymnastics coach to take them further - both of whom have donated their time to the school.
“We built in some time in the timetable to prepare the team for the competition. They were aware they still had to go back and complete their studies; it’s about building up an area of responsibility with them. If they want to be professional sportspeople, it is part of what they will need to learn.”
One Vita et Pax pupil came 16th, another came 20th, while the rest came in the top 30 in the Under 9s competition.
Miss Gay, appointed as permanent head in September, said: “One of the judges said it was beautiful to see how the girls supported each other. Things they could not do in practice, they ran their little hearts out and achieved at the event and all celebrated each other.
“It is really important for the children to know I am not just supportive from afar, so I have no problem making time to go along to these events as I know they value the effort made for them to be there.
“We are now going to have a gymnastics club, so we can make this a regular feature and become a part of the gymnastics world.”