Nino Severino: Future Olympians being created at Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club
In his latest column, Nino Severino sings the praises of Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club in Ipswich, which is producing potential Olympic stars of the future.
It’s no secret how much I respect the sport of gymnastics.
The respect I have for the children who commit their lives to this incredibly difficult and complex sport is immense – I know the sacrifices they make, as they dream of one day becoming an Olympic or World Champion.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Ipswich could potentially be developing the next generation of international gymnastic stars.
I often talk about hot beds of talent when I write about sport and I believe, at Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club, we actually have one – they are producing a pool of talent that is jaw-dropping.
As one great coach once said to me “results speak for themselves”, and without a doubt Pipers Vale are delivering the results.
Within the Pipers Vale Centre of Excellence building in Nacton, the performance coaching team quietly go about their business of building champions, and what an incredible job they are doing.
Senior Performance Coach Rebecca Hambling and Head of Women’s Gymnastics Josephine Hayes are committing themselves to a disciplined and structured coaching programme, which is clearly delivering!
During my visit to the centre last week, I did not need to look very far to see this incredible talent on display, as I watched a training session which included the three young gymnastics stars of the future focused on their routines.
The girls were Ellie Cornforth (10), Grace Wardley (10) and Aaliyah Manning (9), and I was informed that all three girls have been called up to represent Great Britain in the Home Nations Squad for 2019.
This is an outstanding achievement, not only for the girls, but for the coaches, who are clearly delivering their skills of gymnastics technical coaching at a very high level.
Developing young champions such as these three young gymnasts, is no coincidence – it takes a very structured approach, and an understanding of the coaching methods and principles placed at the very highest levels.
Both coaches committed themselves to a complete re-structuring of the performance programme back in 2016. This was a brave and intelligent decision, culminating in the development of three young gymnasts who are now on an pathway of excellence as internationals.
All three girls demonstrated their quality at the British Compulsory Championships in May 2018 and the British Age Group Championships in November 2018 and consistently strong competition results saw all three ranked in the top seven in the country to secure their selection.
The girls will represent Great Britain at national training camps throughout 2019. The training camps are held in the renowned Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire and the Ipswich youngsters will benefit from world class coaching and facilities to supplement their current training in Ipswich.
Young athletes such as Ellie, Grace and Aaliyah are not only making the sporting community of Ipswich proud, they are also setting a standard within the walls of Pipers Vale Gymnastics that will inspire the gymnasts around them.
They are showing, with hard work, focus and belief in yourself, true elite performance can be produced.
Both Jospehine and Rebecca are 100% committed to developing some of the best gymnasts in Great Britain, and this was reflected in the time they gave to a long meeting with me recently at The Hub at the University of Suffolk.
I’m very proud to say that the team of world-class sports scientists we house at our Centre of Excellence will be employed by the elite gymnastics coaches to add a very valuable facet to their already successful backroom staff.
All these young athletes will benefit from the valuable components that the modern-day sports science programme can offer – nutrition, psychology, bio-mechanics, physiology, injury prevention, and much, much more.
As each week goes by my role as the Director of The Hub makes me even more aware of the outstanding talent we nurture in our region and the exciting pool of young champions who could one day be our Olympians of the future!
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