Gymnastics: Forth Valley pair earn GB call-ups

Forth Valley Gymnastics Club will see two of their young stars compete at the European Championships in Luxembourg later this year, adding to what has been a successful period for the club since coming out of the pandemic.

By Ben Kearney
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 1:50 pm

Over the past six months, Matthew Capes and Ryan Aitken had been training for selection in the Great Britain teams, with both now in the six-strong squad for September’s event.

Capes was selected into the senior men’s team – the club’s first senior man to be selected – while Aitken has been selected into the junior men’s team.

The club has had a successful year across all age groups since moving into their new facility within the Lochlands Industrial Estate.

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Forth Valley Gymnastics club's junior and youth level stars have had a successful year so far (Picture: Forth Valley Gymnastics Club)

Coach Jacqui Inglis explained: “We are hoping to find some local sponsorship support for the two boys, they have done something amazing but the fees associated with training and travel are huge.

“Our most recent competition was in June at the TeamGym Scottish Championships. We had 58 gymnasts at various levels competing at this event.

"On the first day of competition, our junior women’s team placed third, as did the youth women’s team. Our primary team placed first and are now the TeamGym Scottish champions.

"The second day saw the micro team challenge competitions take place, from the beginner level 5 to the higher level 2.

Matthew Capes and Ryan Aitken

"Our primary level 5 teams placed second and third while our youth level 5 teams placed joint first, second and third. In the level 3 youth category our team placed second.

"Finally, the level 2 mixed team placed first and are also now Scottish champions in the junior micro category, as well as northern and British champions.

"They also scored the highest tumble score and the highest score of the competition, a fantastic achievement for a young team.

"The club is very proud of these gymnasts’ achievements and may they continue to enjoy their gymnastics.”

Some of the younger members at the club championships

She added: “Following an uncertain opening after the pandemic, our gymnasts worked hard to build skills and fitness in preparation for the 2022 competition season.

“Our mixed gender micro team recently placed first at the TeamGym Micro British championships hosted at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield in April.

"This team had a tough competition and was made up of three boys and one girl. Ryan Aitken, Joshua Dewar, Evan Dewar, Lucy Burns and Brooke Angus all put on a show.

“One senior man competed with Matthew Capes being part of the northern team and they placed third.

The level 5 primary micro team

“We had our first annual club floor and vault championships with 140 children competing over three rounds in May.

"Gymnasts from 3-17 showed off their skills for the first time since before the pandemic hit. It was great to have a normal competition and welcome parents.

"We also have five members attending the TeamGym performance training programme with Scottish Gymnastics. Cassie Blair, Robyn Crossthwaite, Tia Hylton, Joshua Dewar and Evan Dewar were all selected.”