PENARTH Gym Club are still raking in the trophies and, despite the upheaval of having to locate to new premises, are still producing champions.
At the annual Welsh Championships for gymnasts with special needs their members - who hail from Penarth, Barry, Cardiff and Chepstow - took home a clutch of medals. In the Junior section Dafydd Williams was declared Champion on Pommel Horse and Parallel Bars, and took silver for his accomplished Floor routine.
He was also the proud recipient of bronze medals on both Vault and High Bar. Clubmate David Melly took the top place on the rostrum for his Floorwork and High Bar performances, then Silver medals in the Vault and Parallel Bars sections and completed the set with Bronze medal on Pommel Horse.
These boys were in their first ever championship, so well done lads.
The Men's Championship events saw well-seasoned performers Gareth Lloyd, James Savory and Kiaran Parsons strut their stuff - and what fabulous performances they were!
The set work required is new on all apparatus and has taken a great deal of hard work to perfect. But they were true to form and took first three places in the 2012 Overall Welsh Championships. On the individual apparatus Gareth won Gold on Floor, Pommels, Vault, Parallel Bars and High Bar. He added a Silver to his haul for Vault which made him a clear winner for the overall Welsh title.
In Second place overall was James Savory who claimed the Champion's crown on Rings, Silver medals on Floor, Vault and Parallel Bars, and Bronze on Vault and for his High Bar routine (which seemed to be a bit underscored). Kiaran, who was in the Level 2 section for the first time, proudly won Silver medals on Vault and High Bar and Bronze on Floor, Rings, Parallel Bars and in the Overall Championship.
With all three men and both boys on the Champions' podium no-one could have been prouder than coaches Jeff Savory, Ceri Lloyd and Mel Parsons.
The same weekend, Penarth's mainstream senior girls were competing in Swansea at the Welsh Intermediate Championships.
To follow a term of school exams plus summer holidays with a National Championship is not the best prospect for success, but Natalie Gill, Grace Rees-Williams, Chloe Fletcher and Bethan Yapp did themselves and their club proud, taking Bronze, third team place. Congratulations also to Grace for being awarded the Gold medal for her performance on Asymmetric Bars and to coach Lesley McJennett.
Penarth Gymnastics Club is now located in a large unit on Ty Verlon Estate, Barry. It lays claim to being one of the best equipped gymnasia in South Wales for male and female gymnastics.
The interest generated by Olympic fever has shown an increase in applications for membership and has resulted in the club adding extra classes. Anyone keen to try this exciting sport can get details by telephoning 029 2070 3701 or 029 2070 5873.