Four girls win places in North Wales Women’s Artistic Development Squad

North Wales Squad members Bella, Amber, Ffion and Amelia

North Wales Squad members Bella, Amber, Ffion and Amelia

Four girls from the Advanced class have secured places in the first North Wales Women’s Artistic Development Squad organised by the Welsh Gymnastics Association.

Amber, Bella, Ffion and Amelia took part in a fitness selection trial at Wrexham in January and were successful along with girls from gym clubs at Wrexham, Bangor, and Ynys Mon.

Buckley Girls coaching director Stan Buckley said: “Congratulations girls you have taken the first step on the road to representing your country nationally.

“That journey will need the committed support of coaches, parents and your dedication to training. Good luck girls.”

Squad training sessions are being held monthly at Wrexham Olympic Gymnastics Club and the first takes place in mid February.

The squad will be led by Tina Williams who is also working with the Welsh Development Squads in Cardiff.

She said: “The gymnasts accepted into this squad took part in a trial which involved strength and flexibility testing.

“Overall, 16 juniors and 16 seniors were selected from clubs around north Wales including Buckley, Ynys Mon, Bangor andWrexham.

“These girls will take part in one session a month which will be based around development work for artistic gymnastics.

“They will train on vault, bars, beam and floor, with lots of focus on technique and preparation. It will also include strength and flexibility work.

“The squad aims to develop gymnastics in north Wales bringing its top junior and senior athletes together.”

Amelia, nine, described the trials as good fun but “a bit hard”.

“You had to do things like as many chin-ups you could in 30 seconds,” she said.

“My legs were hurting a bit after all the ‘pistol lifts’.”

Stan has some advice about the work to come for the girls – and says more coaches are needed if more girls are to reach their potential.

“There will be many times when the going gets tough but remember we are a team and can help each other through those times.”

He paid tribute to the girls’ coaches, adding “without the dedication of our small coaching staff none of this would have happened.”

Stan urged others to get involved with the coaching at the club.

“If you are interested in coaching you will be given every help and guidance,” he said.

“Please get in touch in the first instance via the Contact us section.

“Volunteers in every aspect are needed so please contact coach Ceri Sass for further details.”

UPDATE: We sent news of the girls’ success to the local papers. This is what the Flintshire Chronicle used on Thursday 7 February

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