On Friday 30th June I went to the Devon Sports Awards at Sandy Park in Exeter. I was so glad my new shoes came in time! It was really posh, with posh food.
I was the only child there. I met James Cracknell, Olympic athlete (I want to get to the Olympics like him). We talked about gymnastics and Croyde and I told him about my head injury. He had a very very bad head accident too, and recovered. We had a lot of similar things to say. I hope to be the best athlete I can too. I also met Michael Caines the chef, who was really friendly. Lots of people spoke to me and I had lots of professional photos taken. I received an award for Performance in Community Sport. It was very special to receive it. Thank you.
Performances in Community Sport Nominees, Felicity Ayre during the Exeter Foundation Devon Sports Awards at Sandy Park, Exeter, Devon on 30 June. – PHOTO mandatory by-line: Phil Mingo/PPAUK
It was a very late night! Mum, Dad and I got home at 12.30am!
On Sat I was in the gym at 9am! After a late night! Kelly was away, so Ryan was our coach. It was fun. In the afternoon I relaxed and watched the gym movie, ‘Full out’ about Ariana Berlin. It is based on true story. There were some similar things to my situation. She had to battle to get back to gymnastics after an accident. I just know I can do it too.
I wanted to go for a run with Bella and Mum!
Kelly had done a new programme for me. It was harder and took 3hrs. After gym at home we made our scarecrow. Everyone in our village makes one for July. Bella and me said it had to be a gymnast. Everything is about gymnastics!
I am achy today but Kelly said I would be. I went swimming with school. I was excited and happy to go to gym 5-7. I’m starting to feel a bit more normal now.
Really buzzing! Maybe I could try an upstart on bars now?! Please. Starting to really get the urge to want to do things! I know I am only half way through my recovery and I’m trying to be patient but also getting really excited about the next steps!
Some friends told me that they heard my name on local radio The Voicefm today!
So excited…I did upstarts! Also did 10 chin ups and got a raffle ticket to go into our new skills (not a new skill for me but a target!) pot for the chance to win a leotard. I did a really hard programme and some extra stretching and stayed nearly 4 hrs! I was supposed to finish at 7pm but stayed til 7.50!
Fri 1-4.30pm gym.
Sat 9am – 1pm gym. I did conditioning with all the rest of the Elite Squad for the first time. I was given the trophy for conditioning of the week! Really happy! It was fun at our Holywell Rocks music festival in the afternoon and I did some live singing with two of my friends.
I went to the Big Sheep with school. Gym 4-7pm. I told mum to pick me up at 7pm but when she got there I actually wanted to stay til 8 to do conditioning with others, but couldn’t today. Got a raffle ticket! Held a chin up for 1 minute! My arms were really shaking, it was tough. But I did it!
Tues. School swimming with clothes on in the pool. Gym 5-7pm
Weds Gym 4-8pm – felt a bit dead but good! I had a bit of vibration on my head, but it was because I was working so hard and my head is still getting used to it. Getting so close to 2 months now and ⅔ through my recovery!
Thurs day off. Fun with friends!
Friday 1pm – 5pm in the gym. (My poor sister Bella is injured at the moment so she couldn’t come training) 4-5pm ballet lesson. It’s been a while since my last ballet lessons with Marion and Elmhurst! It was quite nice.
Sat 9-1pm IT WAS A GOOD DAY IN THE GYM TODAY. I did some new leaps! It really made me happy and put a smile on my face. Watch them!
Hopefully soon I will not just be doing little things but big things! IT’S 2 MONTHS TODAY SINCE MY ACCIDENT! I only have one month left of my recovery time – fingers crossed! Please cross them too. Really hope my consultant says I can get back to doing real skills again after I see him later in August. I’LL KEEP HOPING AND BELIEVING. I REALLY REALLY WANT TO GET BACK TO PROPER GYM. I’m getting there. ☺️
My next diary pages… (not allowed to do this free cartwheel yet!)
It was four weeks ago today that I had my accident. I went to school for half a day. I had a few pains in the back of my head, and I looked a bit tired. I just didn’t feel well enough for gym. I came home had some medicine and rested.
Then Bella was practising gym at home, and I wanted to help her! She was practising on beam at home and I worked with her on some new dance sections.
Today I went proper swimming with school! It felt good! I wanted to jump in, the teacher told me, ‘No’. (I knew that really!) I liked being in the water, but I was tired afterwards. I just couldn’t go to gym as well, so I went home to rest.
Oceanfest at Croyde today! So excited! Shorts on! I could do Zumba! I was lucky that I got to eat a snow cone. Yum yum in my tum! My family and I also had a beach walk in the evening.
I managed my programme in the gym for 2hrs. Kelly changed some of my conditioning to make it a bit harder. It was good to be in the gym with everyone. Afterwards I started to help coach. I had a sticker saying ‘Coach’ Fliss, Mike thought it was funny to put a sticker on me saying ‘Bus’ Fliss. Get it?!
I had a really bad nightmare that night. 😔
I really felt tired and felt a bit sick this morning, but went to the beach early anyway. I felt better and thought I could give body boarding a go – carefully in the sea. It was brilliant to be doing that! I also did some relaxing fun therapy just playing in sand. When we got home I helped Bella with her beam routines.
BLAZING hot, 30deg C! It was Sports Day in the afternoon but we could only do half of it. There were a few team games I could take part in but there were no running races anyway today. I was too exhausted from the heat and sun to go to gym.
It was swimming with school again. It was too hot to try and do gym too. 33 degree C today! I am looking forward to gym and water squirting outside after gym tomorrow. I’ve packed my swim costume!
I went to school for half a day today, then had some rest then felt OK to go to gym. I managed my conditioning and visualisation programme which took 2hrs, then helped out with the others before it was outside water fun! I knew I had to be really careful of my head, and not run in case I slipped, but I still took part. We were ‘Gym busters’! Our coaches got wet.
There was no gym training planned today. I did a full day at school. I find that I struggle in the afternoons to concentrate, and so I get a bit frustrated. It’s Taylor’s (from gym) Prom tonight. We went down to surprise her. She didn’t expect it. She looked beautiful. There were big smiles from us all.
I am really excited to be going to gym this afternoon.
I wanted to get there EARLY.
I’m pleased as I managed to do my full 2 hour programme.
I set my alarm early so I could help set up Falcons gym ready for the national Gymstars comp tomorrow. Dad helped too. It felt good to help. It is International handstand day! I couldn’t go upside down as it would be too serious to put pressure to my head so we had to be innovative in the garden. This is a picture of me doing a Handstand 😉 😉 My mum and Bella joined in too.
This is how I can do it when I’m well! Hope I do this again soon.
Gymstars day – the first national comp at Falcons! I helped from 8am. I REALLY REALLY wished I was doing gym and competing, but never mind I am still recovering. I was at the gym from 8am til 7pm. I was asked to present all the medals and rosettes. I loved it! I felt very special to be doing this job and it was brilliant when I got to put medals over the heads of club mates and other gymnasts from other clubs I know. It was good to meet people too. I felt a bit famous! It was quite hot in the gym all day so I had to keep drinking water.
In my brain I felt like I was competing too, and remembered all my skills. I hope I can get back to gym skills soon.
I felt so tired this morning. I was really exhausted. Mum had to pick me up from school at lunchtime. I knew I just needed to rest.
I’ve been talking to mum about food, and thinking about what food I need to eat to make me better, feel healthy and get me back to being an athlete.
I’ve also be thinking about doing a skydive! When I’m old enough I’d like to try. I think it would be great fun and I’d try and raise money for Bristol Children’s Hospital.
I want to get better and be able to do all these things. ☺
I felt better going to school, but missed my two friends not being there. I went swimming with school. It was hard stuff trying to treading water for one minute. I felt like I was going to be sick! After swimming I watched my friends play tennis. After a couple of hours I really wanted to go to gym, so I asked Kelly if I could come in 5-7pm. It was COOL tonight!
The postman has left a note to say that my new shoes for my Devon Sports Awards Night on Friday have been delivered and left in the shed. Can’t find them anywhere! Oh no, I need them!!!
It’s frustrating not being able to do amazing things in the gym but I know this slow recovery time is going to be worth it in my life.
My Mum and Dad and Jack and Bella are really supporting me and I also want to say thanks for helping me too everyone.
This blog is going to be a bit like my diary since coming home from hospital. ( I wish I could do what I am doing in this photo! )
I have had loads of messages from clubs across the country and people from GB squad wishing me to get better soon. I feel very thankful. I wrote some thank you letters to the hospitals, and to my wonderful club Falcons.
On Friday I spent 1hr with my friends in the gym. I was watching and laughing with them. It was weird being the other side of the barrier. I left just before my friend was about to start her bar routine. I felt a bit strange and wasn’t sure I wanted to watch that, just yet.
At home apart from relaxing I’ve been choreographing dance routines with Bella, not on the trampoline as usual (!) but on the floor, gently. I’ve been for a short walk. I felt a bit dizzy and had achy legs.
It was Bella’s swimming party with an inflatable in the pool on Sunday. I knew I couldn’t do that, but did manage to get in the water out of the way and just bobbed about.
I know it is going to take me maybe a YEAR to get back to the elite top, but I’m going to try and be careful and ease myself back slowly, but also I want to get back to the top sooner if I can. I think I could do it.
I’m helping Kelly coach today. What to wear?! For two hours I helped the little ones, my sister Bella’s group. I helped judge vault with Ryan. I stayed 2hrs.
I went into the gym a couple more times. I helped clean up some dance routines. I want to be doing gym myself but this was the next best thing. (I think I looked like a mini Kelly.)
Quatro made me smile on Friday. I received a replacement leotard for the birthday one the paramedics cut off me after my accident. BIG thanks to Quatro and Kelly!
This weekend was GB development squad camp at Lilleshall. I was missing this. It was a big shame but I wasn’t that unhappy. OF COURSE I wanted to be there, but I just dealt with it and made the most of my extra time with my family. I had several nice messages from my friends there.
Here is a line up of the squad – except me! I hoped everyone was having fun. I’ll be back when the time is right!
My first morning back at school since the accident. It was quite easy work. I had a little bit of a headache but I carried on. My friends were really excited but knew that they couldn’t grab or go mad touching me or go crazy near me. I felt a bit tired by lunchtime.
After a rest I went to gym for the first time back as a gymnast, not a little helper/coach! I’m not going to lie, I was scared a bit and didn’t want to (Mum was surprised when I told her this afterwards as she said that I didn’t show it) but also I REALLY REALLY wanted to! I felt really happy and chilled when Kelly talked me through the programme she had made for me. Basic stuff. I did visualisation of my routines/gym skills on each piece (not doing them, just lying down and thinking it all through in my head), some conditioning, some stretching. All really gentle. Light jogging on the spot first. I felt relaxed. Everything was going to be fine, I just needed to chill and get back slowly. I wore my replaced Quatro purple leotard and some leggings and stayed for 2hrs. I felt happy but achy!
This was a big day for me. The start of my road back! Gymnastics is my world. I have a huge smile on my face tonight.
I feel tired and achy. Seriously, I am tired today. Today I helped at a cross country race. I would have been competing normally, and been up near the front! But I had to settle for just a gentle walk of the course beforehand and then motivating all my school mates and sister to do well and advising them on how to tackle the course, and cheering them on! I was given the cool job of presenting the medals! This was great. I felt exhausted in the afternoon. A good night sleep will help ☺
I’ve been thinking about the weeks ahead and talking to Kelly and Mum and Dad. What will I be able to do tomorrow? Next week? What’s the plan? What skills will I start doing when I come back to gym after 3 months? I think it will be really basic cartwheels and forward rolls! My brain is always thinking about what I will be able to do and when.
I’m tired today. I had a headache at school this morning so came home earlier. I wasn’t feeling right to go to gym this afternoon. I think it’s been a busy week trying to adjust. I need some rest and quiet time. This afternoon I lay on the sofa and watched the hour long highlight programme that we still have recorded from the European Gymnastics Championships. It was great to watch Ellie Downie’s brilliant success, and all the other competitors do their routines. I was analysing their routines. I think all of this is good for me. I might not be physically able to do much gym, but I’m enjoying watching it, learning, and pointing out good things and things that aren’t perfect. Ellie you are incredible! You are inspiring me.
After this and a rest I felt better. It’s been quite tough getting back into doing normal things but the Doctors said I would feel tired, so I know it’s normal.
It’s Saturday. I feel much better today and my Mum says I look brighter and my eyes have a sparkle! I’m looking forward to doing my gentle conditioning programme in the gym.
I managed a light jog around the floor today! I looked over at Mum and smiled. It’s also the first day of wearing my new Falcons Pink training leo.
It’s my little sister Bella’s comp tomorrow. We are driving to Plymouth now (2 hours in the car), with her other gym friends that are competing, driving in their cars. It brings back memories of when I had to come Plymouth every Sunday for a year when I was doing special Elmhurst Associates Ballet lessons (linked to Birmingham Royal Ballet).
Tomorrow I hope I can support Bella, like she always does me. ‘Just try your best and go for it, Bella!’
So, it’s nearly another week that has gone by. One step closer. I am crossing off the days on my countdown calendar I made! Let’s see what next week brings!
Thanks for reading and supporting me. Bye for now.
Here is a new blog. There is bad news and good news. (I made lots of notes but my Mum had to write this while I said it.)
On Monday I was in the gym doing my normal training stuff and routines and then suddenly I had an accident. I was told I banged my arm and back and then badly hit my head and people tell me I knocked myself out. My gym coaches took really good care of me until the paramedics came and helped me, but I couldn’t see out of my eyes. I went on a stretcher in the ambulance with my Mum to Barnstaple hospital. I had a scan of my head and had to have my new birthday leotard cut off. It was very scary and terrifying. I don’t remember very much as I was so very very poorly but I do know nurse Pete looked after me and they said when I’m better to send in a new photo with a new leotard and they will get Pete to send a photo back of him in a leotard!
They realised that I had fractured the back of my head, had a small internal bleed and bruising of the front of my brain so I needed very special treatment. They sent to me to Bristol Children’s Hospital in an ambulance (I might have gone in a helicopter, but it was not possible in the end due to the weather they tell me). Mum told me we were just about to drive off in the ambulance, had shut the doors, then the paramedics saw Daddy, Jack and Bella running. They quickly opened the doors and were able to see me lying all wrapped up on the stretcher and kissed me before we went off. When we got to Bristol hospital the ambulance got stuck in the roof of a tunnel. Oops. The doctor said ‘let’s get the patient out of here’. I was then taken to the trauma room. I was looked at and they said my neck and spine were ok, so my neck brace was taken off. While I was in the room, they put Peppa Pig on the TV. I remember I wanted Scooby Doo but because of the hospital computer virus Peppa was the only thing! It was quite calming. At 2.30am I was taken to HDU ward and they kept checking me all the time. I was talking quietly to my Mum to keep awake. My nurses were Lisa and Katy. The next day I had some important memory tests. The next night I went to another ward. I stayed there until Sunday. My nurses for the week on this ward were April, Levi, Carla, Tamsin, Vicky, Muna, Jess, Aimee, Katy, Karen, Becky, Nic. They had to do my obs every two hours night time and daytime and shine lights in my eyes, and give me medicines if I needed them. They kept a very close eye on me. Mr Edwards was my consultant, and also Mr Fellows. They were all great. They were concerned my bruised brain might swell so needed to keep observing me.
On Wednesday Mike and Kelly from Falcons gym came to visit me. I was so happy to see them. They brought lots of gifts and cards from all my gym friends. Mike showed me a very special video with lots of people on it. Ryan had done a beam routine for me which was really funny, and all my friends said get well soon.
The fantastic thing was that I had lots of video messages from many top GB gymnasts that I think are brilliant, like Claudia Fragapane, Ellie Downie, Gabby Jupp, Nile Wilson etc all saying my name and get well soon…to ME! Cool!
Mum was with me in hospital all the time. Sleeping next to me. Daddy was driving up to see me everyday. I worked out he has driven a total of 24 hours this week. I also had Sara and Andrea visit me, and on Thursday (Bella’s birthday) my sister, Bella and brother Jack came. We were so pleased to see each other and eat some birthday cake! We had lots and lots of hugs. All my other family have been helping out at home. Thank you!
On Friday I felt better and was well enough to go to the play room and there was a harpist. The music was beautiful. I had a go. I learnt to play Twinkle Twinkle little star (my mum said I WAS a star this week!)
I then had to have an MRI scan. It was a very big tunnel like ‘time machine’ and noisy. I kept very still for 10mins and fell asleep near the end. The man said I was the best person that day. I also had a chat with a neuro psychologist and mum and dad. That was helpful. I think he wants me to get better soon and to be an athlete again. ☺
I have had to rest but I’ve also been doing some painting (Demi in the hospital gave me some paints) and drawing and sewing in my bed and playing cards with mum. The pairs game is good for my brain. I kept beating mum – you see I gave a good brain!
One day I had a lady called Francesca do some maths games on the iPad with me for just a short time.
The food has been nice in hospital. I have had lots of cards and gifts and balloons from all my friends, teachers and my lovely family and it has been good to have my new phone so I could video call my best friends from school and gym.
On Saturday the consultant said my MRI was good. The internal bruising of my front brain was going down and was getting smaller. Great news. I was told I could plan to go home on Sunday. Yay! He said I would not be able to do gym skills for 3 months or so though, but that I will recover, this is just a blip in my life, and asked me which Olympics he should watch to see me competing! (I said 2024!) He liked my ‘I’d rather be doing gymnastics’ T shirt and found it funny.
The hospital has lots of Wallace and Gromit pictures and models everywhere. The lift is very funny, because Wallace talks to you.
Outside there are big rings that look like the Olympics rings. Each level is a different colour. My ward was 38 on the green level 5. The green was relaxing. I didn’t like orange it was too bright and I kept having to say to myself whether my eyes were OK.
Jack and Bella and Daddy came to visit me again on Saturday afternoon. We went to the play room for a while and made badges. There were only a few children there. Radio Lollipop station was in there. They played a song for Bella and said it was her birthday on Thursday. Jack and I had chance to be DJs. It was fun. Jack introduced a dedication to me, ‘Fight Song’, and I introduced the last song, ‘And the final song is ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ in 5,4,3,2,1’. Mum wanted to dance but I said no!
I’ve also had a fab video message from Imogen and members of the Amazons of the Amaluna show of Cirque du Soleil in London. I really really liked this. ☺
I think I have had a horrible accident (I’ve been told it is major head trauma) and I’m sorry my gym friends and coaches had to see it, and all my family have been upset by everything, but mum and dad tell me I have been so brave and coped brilliantly and kept calm and I’ve done everything I should in hospital staying as smiley and happy and as positive as I can.
This is Miss Unicorn 🦄 that I sewed while I was in hospital and will help me get better.
Thanks to all the brilliant paramedics, nurses and doctors, in Barnstaple and Bristol that have helped me. Thank you very very much.
It’s not all bad news…
Before the accident I heard some nice news that I had been shortlisted for a Devon Sports Awards 2017 in the section Performances in Community Sport.
I think the others that were nominated are much older than me. I get to go to the awards night in Exeter on 30th June. I get to wear a dress! I was supposed to be filmed on Thursday, but that could not happen as I was in hospital.
I’d managed some new skills before I had my fall. So this is some good news! I hope I get to do them again one day.
Today I managed to visit inside the gym. I saw all my coaches and some friends. I was glad to go back after my hospital week away. I hope to pop back soon. https://www.instagram.com/p/BUZ_qM8D6GW/
I won’t be able to do any gymnastics skills for 3 months or so which is going to be hard, frustrating and a bit upsetting. I need to rest now but when I can I want to keep doing some conditioning and other gentle exercise, like swimming, to keep me fit and keep me happy. I know my brain must heal and another knock would be very very serious. I think I have been lucky and my injury could have been even worse. I think the time will go quite quickly and I am going to stay really positive. Maybe I can help out with the younger ones at gym too. I’d like that. Hopefully I will be doing what I absolutely love again soon. ☺
On Tuesday it was my 10th birthday! I spent 7 hours of it in the gym training and eating cake with my friends! We did a control competition and I got a BIG score so it made me feel happy. British Gymnewstics posted a birthday message for me. Really amazing! I loved that!
On Friday afternoon I had a run through of my routines in Falcons gym with my gym friend Kayleigh, then Kelly did our competition hair. We then travelled up to Stoke-on-Trent (4hrs 30 mins in the car – it was a long way). My family and I were staying in a cottage on a farm near the competition place, as it was cheaper than having to book two hotel rooms, and more fun! They had baby goats, lambs, rabbits and guinea pigs to hold.
I was feeling really positive about my competition. I knew that if I had a clean competition and I performed at my best I might have a shot at the medals. I was feeling good and didn’t have an injury. I would try really hard.
In the morning we got to Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke at 11.30am. I found Kayleigh and her family and coach Kelly and we watched the younger ones from around the country competing. Madi from The Academy near Bristol, our other South West teammate, arrived. It was so great to see her! We only had 3 in our team and no reserve so knew that all of our scores would count. (If there were 4 in a team, the best 3 scores on each piece would be used.) There were going to be 2 rounds of Level 3 compulsory, one in the afternoon, one in the evening. Presentations would be at 7.30pm. It was going to be a long day! At 2pm we started our general warm up, and then had time on each apparatus. We started the competition for real at about 3.30pm.
First was beam. I felt good. I started really well but I fell on my forward walkover. I never fall on that! I was then a bit shaky and wobbled on some of my other skills. I had to battle. Normally I can do much better than that. I finished it off. My score was not brilliant (11.2) and I was upset with myself. I had to just forget about that and move on.
Next was floor. I felt a bit scared. I smiled and performed it, but once I’d finished and heard the score I was confused as my score (11.55) was really quite bad for me. I must have made some errors and I want to talk to Kelly so I can do better next time. Normally my score is higher on floor. My mum tells me I have to always keep smiling and fighting though, so I knew I just had to keep calm and do my very best on the next pieces. My mum says, ‘It isn’t over until the fat lady sings! ‘ The floor music was so loud. In my routine when I was on the ground doing my bendy back bend section I was close to a speaker and thought my ears were going to blow!
Next was Range and Conditioning. I had to do this on the shiny hard floor. I put some chalk on my hands this year. I did a fantastic routine and got a BIG score of 13.25. I thought I did my best! I was leading all the way. I was crossing my fingers and hoping no one would beat me. I held the top spot until in the second round of the comp one girl snuck in and grabbed my gold. Not fair! So I kind of got gold, but had to settle for silver after all!
We then had a Rest rotation. I was happy and laughing with my teammates for a few minutes which was nice.
Next was Vault. I was feeling positive. My warm up vault was good and then I tried really hard to do my best vault. I put in a good vault, maybe not my best, but I got a solid score (12.75).
Last rotation was Bars. In training at Falcons I’d been spending lots of time on bars to make my routine better. I felt slightly nervous as warm up at the comp had not gone that well but I knew I had to do my very best routine and not be safe. I really went for it. I hit my handstands and did my swing half bonus moves (not many other girls did them!) and stuck the landing after my fly away. I felt awesome when I saw my score. It was a MASSIVE score of 14.0. I was top scorer. I then had to sit through the next round and hope no one beat me. The last two girls in the next round were doing swing halves but thankfully they didn’t get as big a score as me. I was British Champion!
Madi, Kayleigh and I had done all we could for the South West. We scored 189.450.
We were able to follow the results live online from Gymdata on our Mum and Dad’s phones. We knew we had just missed out on a medal (it was so nerve racking watching) coming 4th. There were 11 regional teams, so we did well.
My total individual score was 62.750, even with a fall on beam. I am so happy that I came 7th all around in Level 3 Compulsory in age. There were 45 girls competing.
I AM THE 7th BEST GYMNAST FOR MY AGE IN GREAT BRITAIN!!! Same position as last year.
I am also BRITISH BARS CHAMPION, and SILVER MEDALLIST for RANGE AND CONDITIONING! (I wish they had given out individual apparatus medals as I would have taken home a gold and silver!)
My club friend Kayleigh did a clean and brilliant comp coming 9th AA and 3rd on bars. My friend Madi from Bristol came an amazing 2nd AA.
Here is a photo of me and Kayleigh, and one with our fab coach Kelly.
It was a tough competition. Most of the other girls were really good. I said hello to several girls I know from the GB team. Next time I think I will go clean and plan to do even better! I’m excited for my new Range routine.
Out of the top 8, only 4 of us are in the GB 2017 team (there are 8 of us) , so there were a few new girls that got good marks at this comp. I need to keep on top of my game!
We stayed in our cottage for the weekend and had a family treat day to Alton Towers. I think I deserved it! It was so much fun. My favourite ride was the Spin Ball Wizard one. I liked the Enterprise where I sat in a cage with my Mum. I said when we were spinning upside down, ” It’s like doing a very big clear on bars!”
Back to training on Tuesday – I’ve got another competition in 5 weeks time!
I hope you liked reading my blog. Thank you for supporting me.
Hello. I’m going to tell you what’s been happening over the last few weeks.
Last weekend was the English Gymnastics Championships at Loughborough University. My 16 year old friend from Falcons, Taylor, was competing for the first time and I wanted to go and watch her and cheer her on! I also wanted to go and experience my first ever big national competition. We got up up 4.30am and Daddy drove me and Bella to the comp. It took 4 hours!
Taylor did really well. She came 16th all around, which is brilliant. (At one point she was 1st on bars!) I was happy to be there and to support my coach, Kelly too.
There were lots of famous gymnasts competing. I got to watch Claudia Fragapane and Becky Downie! It was so cool! Becky came 1st on bars but fell twice on beam. I felt a bit sad for her because as she is famous everyone was looking at her and going ‘oooh’. Claudia got a trophy for the best choreographed dance in her floor routine.
Bella and I got to meet Claudia and have our photo taken with her. I can’t believe we’ve seen her on TV competing at the Olympics and on TV dancing on Strictly Come Dancing and now met her in real life. It is crazy!
We also got to cheer on our Falcons boys, Joe and Bryon, as they were competing the same day. They were brilliant too. Bryon came 4th but Joe badly ripped his hand so couldn’t do as well as he hoped.
We stayed in a hotel after the competition and came home the next day.
Back in the gym, I’ve been working really hard this Easter holiday. We’ve been training 10am – 3pm nearly every day. I got a bit frustrated a few days ago as I lost my swing half on bars, and just couldn’t do it, but then the next day I tried to keep calm and relax and it came back! I managed 5 clean routines in a row. I’ve also had these pictures of me training on beam put onto Instagram.
This week we’ve had another Devon Elite training session, this time at Falcons. We got our new 2017 T shirts! It was nice to see my other friends.
On Friday we had an Easter egg hunt in the gym. Kelly had hidden them well! We did find them all in the end. I also found one for Georgia who was away on holiday. Happy Easter everyone – I’ve got two days off, so it’s time for chocolate!
I’m back again. I’ve just competed this weekend in a South West elite compulsory level 3 grade competition against 4 other people. These were the only girls in the whole of the SW that could do these hard skills.
Now, I’m going to start at the beginning. First thing was warm up, but I had a problem with a really sore knee. But I just had to wipe some tears away and get on with it. When I got over it, it started to go well. I started on range and conditioning and stuck it.
Then we moved on to vault. Normally vault is my best, but today it wasn’t quite right but at least I got a reasonable score.
Then it was bars. I didn’t quite hit perfect handstands but I played safe and stuck a good routine.
Then we went to beam, and that was incredible. I did a clean routine and was top scorer. (It starts about 2mins in.)
After beam I went to floor, my last apparatus. I managed a pretty good routine. I think there are things I can still work on though. It was the first time with my new music and routine. Mum said I smiled and performed it well. She said I was beautiful to watch. (It starts about 1 and half mins in.)
It was the presentations next. I came second behind Madi who is the British Champion! I was happy with my silver medal and my total scores. I passed my grade with Distinction. Kayleigh my club mate was great too and came 3rd also with a distinction. We are now going to go to National Finals at the end of April at Stoke on Trent. Thank you coach Kelly for all your great help. ☺
Today was an extra special day, as my sister Bella competed for the first time at this competition with me. She was doing compulsory grade 5 with her friend Lannah. They were awesome. Bella got a Bronze medal, and Lannah came 4th – both with distinctions too. Mum and Dad struggled to film me and Bella at the same time, they told me! I love my sister and I’m proud of her.
I was excited to get back in the gym the next day. I knew we would have some fun trying new skills and would not have to do routines. Today I managed a free forward walkover on the low beam! So happy.
It was another good day in the gym today. Free forward walkover, on the high beam this time with only one mat. Round off straight half off the beam. Three consecutive flics on the low beam. Pretty cool!!!
It’s time for another blog! The past couple of months have been really tough for me. I’ve had highs (I’ve achieved my bar routine with fly away, free walkover on floor, roundoff straight back on beam and other Level 3 skills) and big lows because I have a lot of pressure and I was feeling not very confident and upset. But I’m feeling much happier and positive now. My wonderful friend Francesca made me this pillow, which makes me smile.
In January I helped out at Devon Squad Trials in Exeter (I’d already secured my place) and I encouraged the other younger Falcons girls, including my sister, Bella. Bella was brilliant and is now in the Devon Elite Squad with me!
I’ve got new floor music and a new routine. Sarah has made up some great dance steps for me. It’s really fun to perform, but needs a lot of energy!
On Saturday we had a control competition at the gym to give us practice for the real thing in a few weeks time. It went quite well and I stuck all of my routines. I want to keep training hard to make all my skills as good as I can.
On Sunday I went with Molly, my gymnastic friend, and coaches Kelly and Katie to Fromeside Gymnastics Club near Bristol for an all day South West training clinic. It was an early start! It was good fun and I met many other gymnasts. The conditioning exercises were hard.
In the entrance to Falcons gym there is a photo display – the GB wall of fame they call it! I really like my pictures next to Adam and Joe, who are amazing gymnasts.
Hi guys, this is my second blog. I’m going to tell you all about my GB camp at Lilleshall last weekend. It was mine and my coach Kelly’s very first GB experience together.
I had to pack on Thursday night ready to travel up to Telford on Friday straight after gym at 5pm. I remember thinking to myself how hard it was going to be, and difficult, but I knew it would be fun at the same time – I just knew it! Probably I would take one step into the gym and look around and say ‘This is amazing’. I was a bit worried about my conditioning testing, but just hoped I had done enough in training to get a good score.
My family and I drove up on Friday evening, and stayed in a hotel. First thing on Saturday morning we drove to Lilleshall National Sport Centre. It was in the countryside and very beautiful. There was a very long driveway!
First we had a presentation to tell us all about the programme, then I said goodbye to Mum, Dad, Jack and Bella and went off with Kelly, my coach, the other 23 gymnasts and their coaches to the gym. We met the national coaches and they introduced themselves. One was called Nick, one was called Claire, and the other was Daniela – sometimes I couldn’t understand her that well because she was Russian. We then started training and tried to get used to the apparatus. I was quite scared, but as time went on I felt more comfortable and happy. I then started to smile!
Before long it was lunchtime! I had sausages, beans, potatoes, cucumber and salad.The puddings looked really nice, but we weren’t allowed to have any! I enjoyed my meal though, it was healthy and nutritious and gave me the energy I needed.
After lunch we went to the accommodation building to find out who we would be sharing a room with. I was going to be with Lili. (In the evening it was like a party because everybody wanted to come into our room!)
I made 5 new really good friends. They were called Madi, Beatrice, Lili, Amelie and Sophie.
In the gym, Nick did most of the speaking, and taught floor and vault, Claire coached bars and Daniela did beam. They all taught conditioning.
The gym was very BIG! One area of the gym was all red with lots of pits, and the other side of the gym was blue with normal gym hard floors. It had everything that we could ever need there. It was a very good gym! (You can see the entrance into the other pit room in the middle and at the back of this photo.)
I couldn’t believe I was training in the same place that Team GB train. I think the Senior GB gymnasts sometimes train there for 5 weeks on their camps. I was only there for 2 long days this time. It was brilliant. I really loved this chance to be with other GB girls like me, learning new skills.
Kelly, my coach, drove me all the way home on Sunday night. I slept part of the way as it was a long drive and I was tired from all the hours of training really hard. I got home at 9.30pm, I think, and I was really pleased to see my family and couldn’t stop talking about it all! I’m looking forward to the next camp.
I can’t wait to get my new GB Squad tracksuit and other clothes. I just have to wait a bit longer as they told us that they have only just changed their supplier to Quatro, so the process is going to take a bit longer than normal. I shall be waiting for the postman to arrive everyday!
Hi! This is my first blog, so it might not be perfect! I’m going to tell you what has been happening over this Christmas, and what I will be doing over the next couple of weeks as I start my 2017 gymnastics year. I’m going to make this year the best year of all.
Over Christmas I have been training, but I’ve also had time off for fun at home. It’s now time to get back to full gym training, and I know that I definitely have to work hard this year because I have an important Level 3 compulsory competition in March and my very first GB squad camp the first weekend in January. I need to get my flexibility and strength up ready for those things. At my GB camp I will be tested on different tasks to measure my fitness and flexibility and strength. I want to be at my best.
I’m going to go up to Lilleshall National Sports Centre, about 4 hours drive in the car, on Friday and I’m feeling scared, but more excited than scared! When we get there my family will stay over for one night, but will then leave me with my coach, Kelly, and the British Gymnastics national coaches for the weekend. I’ll be training with other girls that got into the GB squad as well. One of girls I know the most is my friend, Madi, and I hope I can share a room with her. My Mum and her Mum have already been texting about meeting up in the hotel.
Right, I need to go now because I need to practice at home my straddle lever to handstand.