A gymnast from Stoke Lodge who represented Great Britain at the European Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships in Germany at the end of September has returned from the competition with a cherished bronze medal.
Abigail Hipkiss of King Edmund Gym Club, who competed with Tiana McClurg in the women’s pair 13-19 age category, had travelled to Riesa with few expectations, but the pair rose to the occasion in commendable fashion as they claimed fourth place overall (out of nine high-class nations), in the knowledge that one of three qualification events undertaken, the balance routine, had reaped them a deserved bronze medal.
Although Abigail has won British titles in the past, she says she was “overjoyed” to achieve her lifetime ambition of representing Great Britain, and to then win a medal was “the icing on the cake”.
Abigail has been with King Edmund since the age of 18 months, when she attended gym tots classes. She trains for around 20 hours per week, over five days, increasing to around 28 hours per week in the build up to a major competition.
“Belonging to a club that can see you through from start to finish with great coaches has been a fantastic experience and long may it continue,” she enthuses.
Combining her hobby with work, Abigail is presently employed at Yate International Gymnastics Centre, home to King Edmund, on a government-sponsored apprenticeship scheme, run in conjunction with the club.
Abigail plans to continue training at the level she is at, allowing her to gain more experience and hopefully win another medal at a major tournament. She says she would like to continue her coaching career and stay in the sport after competing, so she can give something back to a sport she so clearly loves.
The King Edmund club runs recreational gym sessions at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre on Fridays between 3.55pm and 4.45pm. For more information, please phone 01454 320662.
Photos: 1 Abigail Hipkiss (left) and Tiana McClurg, pictured after being presented with their bronze medals. 2 Abigail and Tiana in action.
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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