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High flying Newlands Girls School gymnastics squads qualify for national finals

Newlands Girls’ School has celebrated the successful qualification of a range of age group squads to the national gymnastics finals.

Impressive performances across almost all of its age groups has taken teams through to the national finals which are this year being held in Stoke on Trent.

However, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic means that the majority of those finals days will either be cancelled or pushed back to a later date.

The Newlands school u13s and u16s teams came sixth and fifth respectively to qualify to represent the South of England in the national finals. Both of those teams secured silver medals and will compete alongside St Mary’s School from Gerrards Cross (u13s) and Beaconsfield High School (u16s) if and when the finals are eventually staged.

The u14s and u19s tumbling, the u19s Acro Gymnastics Pair, the u14s and u19s Acro Gymnastic Group finals, and the u14s and u19s floor and vault finals were all due to take place in early May, but these dates have since been postponed.

Reflecting on the squads’ regional success, Michelle Claxton, head of PE at the school, said: “We are very proud of the whole squad, who work tirelessly to perfect their routines, support each other and perform brilliantly under pressure.

“This is our most successful year ever, with 18 out of the 30 squad members making it to the national finals.

“We are so lucky to have such enthusiastic, talented gymnasts who freely give up so much of their time.”

Earlier this year, before the coronavirus brought in strict new measures on social distancing, Newlands u16s netball squad also showed off their skills on the national stage.

They were one of only two state schools from the south region to make the national schools finals and proved a match for all sides in their pool, despite not making it through to the knock out stages.

They won two of their group matches and narrowly lost the others, but still came a respectable 11th in the country for their age group.

“An excellent achievement,” added Michelle.

“Throughout the tournament the whole team demonstrated versatility and resilience. Many thanks must go to Annette Allanson who has given her time and efforts in coaching the girls.”

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