Bronze medal for Niamh
SUGARLOAF gymnast Niamh Hutchinson has won bronze for Ireland at the Celtic Cup in Perth, Scotland.
Niamh, aged 13, was selected through a trial process to represent Ireland at the annual competition between Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man.
Niamh and her coach, Sharon, endured a gruelling trial process which saw them travel often to Cork, Belfast and Limerick for long days of trial competitions, as well as having prior training commitments to the Gymnastics Ireland 2020 Olympic Start Squad of which Niamh is a member.
Between these training sessions in Galway, competitions and trials, they spent weekend after weekend travelling the country as well as fitting in their usual 15 hours a week training.
The team was represented by gymnasts from across Ireland. Niamh was one of the most experienced of the team, having made her international debut for Ireland at the 2013 Celtic Cup on the Isle of Man.
The team had a relatively clean competition, with a few minor mistakes but pulled together as a team to persevere.
Niamh competed in the All Around competition - on Vault, Bars, Floor and Beam.
She secured the highest score on Vault for the Irish Team, which ranked her in seventh place, a mere .60 away from first place.
She also achieved a personal best on Vault with her score of 12.550.
The team won bronze for Ireland, the first Minor (U13) Women's team to do so since 2011 where only three teams competed.
They showcased some of the strongest Irish women's artistic performances to date for this competition.
It was a tough event, with the Irish gymnasts competing against Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all of whom train in full time gymnastics facilities, training in excess of 20 hours per week.
The final standings were Wales in first place, Scotland in second, Ireland in third and Northern Ireland in fourth.
Niamh trains in Sugarloaf Gymnastics in Greystones.
The club is currently based in Shoreline Leisure Centre as a set up and take down (equipment) facility, open for classes four days a week but is seeking a full time premises in order to provide top class training facilities, opportunities and extended hours to children wishing to participate in gymnastics in County Wicklow.
To learn more visit www.sugarloafgymnastics.ie or visit facebook.com/SugarloafGymnastics. (Photo on page 23).