Glasgow 2018 springboards amateur gymnasts into spotlight
Ahead of the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Senior Team final at the weekend, The SSE Hydro gymnastics competition floor was taken over on Saturday by more than 270 amateur gymnasts.
Nine gymnastics clubs from across Scotland enjoyed the chance offered by Scottish Gymnastics and Glasgow 2018 to somersault into the limelight at the European Championships competition venue, taking to the very same floor as some of Europe’s gymnastics elite. Aged from five to 47, the competitive and recreational gymnasts were given a one-off chance to showcase their skills on the European Championships floor, in front of a crowd of nearly 900 family and friends. Each group was given ten minutes to perform competitive or display routines in this once in a lifetime opportunity.
The audience was treated to a showcase of gymnastics skills similar to the hugely popular non-competitive annual Gymfest which began over 30 years ago to promote gymnastics for all - regardless of ability, age and gender. The initiative has been instrumental in helping to show the sport of gymnastics is accessible to all.
Gymfest is now the UK’s biggest gymnastics display festival and the biggest event on the Scottish Gymnastics calendar. Teams of gymnasts perform routines which are a unique blend of gymnastic skills, colourful costumes and clever choreography set to music, inspired by popular culture.
Scottish Gymnastics Club of the Year, Dynamite Gymnastics were first to take to the stage. Their young group (aged between six and eight) performed a Toy Story inspired routine, while their older group, the Sparklers, tumbled, balanced and danced their way through a Moana routine. One of the more diverse teams of the day, the Irvine Bay Gymnastics Club was a sight to behold as fifty gymnasts aged 5-47 came together for the first time in a one-off performance, set to the music of Queen. Young and old, experienced and novice alike came together to celebrate the sport.
To roundoff the show, the biggest group of the day from Hamilton Gymnastics Club exploded onto the stage, as 75 gymnasts performed ‘Our Greatest Show’, inspired by The Greatest Showman hit movie.
Glasgow 2018 European Championships Director Colin Hartley said: “Glasgow 2018 is invested in harnessing the legacy that sporting events of this scale can often leave behind, so we jumped at the chance to offer this unique experience to Scotland’s gymnastics clubs. Gymfest has been a fantastic enterprise by Scottish Gymnastics, making the sport more accessible across the board, so it’s been a real treat to give the gymnasts the experience of performing in a world class competition arena”.
Euan Lowe, Chief Executive of Scottish Gymnastics, added: “We would like to thank Glasgow 2018 European Championships for giving our member clubs the chance to perform at The SSE Hydro. It is always inspiring to see gymnasts of different ages enjoying working together and producing such skilful and entertaining performances. For the coaches and gymnasts, being able to enjoy the experience on the Championships floor in a world-class arena makes it all the more memorable.”