WGC Girls Squad Brings Home Bronze, Silver & Gold @ Chichester Invitational 4 Piece Competition

Sunday 18th March: WGC’s girls squad was out in force at the Chichester Invitational 4 Piece Competition which saw them bring home an outstanding 34 medals across all apparatus.

In round one we saw our first gold medal secured by the appropriately named Lucy Gould who topped her group after securing three silvers on floor, vault and beam accompanied by a bronze on the bars. She was swiftly followed by Sophie Brown in second who earn’t a silver overall after winning gold on beam and silver on the vault.

Next up in round one there was no larking about as Charlotte Larkham earnt a well-deserved silver in her group after bagging 3 silvers on vault, beam and bars and Ellie Hayward put in a stellar performance just coming short of the medals with a 5thplace rosette.

Still in round one but just missing out on the top three spots Katie Allen got gold on floor and silver on beam, Molly Brailsford secured silver on the vault and on the same piece Mimi Marshall bagged bronze. Amelia Ralfe and Freya Tobin were unlucky not to be amongst the medals but they’ve taken away some excellent experience and can hold their heads high performing awesomely on the day.

Forward rolling to round two where Cerys Wallek and Ruby Miles found themselves in a mega group of 20 gymnasts and finished the competition in 6thand 7thwith Cerys winning silver on bars and on the same piece Ruby achieved bronze as well as a splendid silver on floor.

The same round but in a different group we had four gymnasts competing and securely stapling herself in the top three was Jasmine Staple who took home a well deserved bronze medal overall after a successful silver on floor and a bronze on beam. Lucy Smith, Caitlin Whittington and Jessie Titmarsh all did WGC proud with superb work in a tough group – well done girls.

On to round 3 and if you thought 20 was a large group to be competing in, try 30. It wouldn’t have mattered how many gymnasts were competing as it wouldn’t have stopped Isabelle Rodgers from having a triumphant day earning a 4thplace rosette after winning gold on floor and silver on vault. Fellow team members Milly Grim and Maddie Keenan battled well for mid placed finishes and showcased some exquisite skills.

Round three also saw eight more medals and from just two gymnasts! Zita Ridgett stormed her group coming out on top with gold and medals in across all apparatus with a gold on beam, silver on vault and two bronzes on floor and bars. In the same group Merle Sykes just missed out on an overall medal but showed true class earning silvers on vault and bars and a bronze on floor.

Now, if you thought 30 gymnasts in one group was crazy, wait until we tell you how many were in one of the groups of round 4… 32 to be precise! After 4 gruelling rotations against a what would seem army of gymnasts, Aysha Hardy came in at 6thand earnt a brilliant bronze on the vault. In the same group and putting in a swell performance Esme Burholt secured silver on vault and achieved a mid-table finish accompanied by Lily Taylor and Aeryn Robertson. For such a large group it was also a very close group, the odd point here and there could have changed the standings completely so the girls have done themselves and our community immensely proud.

And last but by no means least, Amelia Grossmith-Long took home not one, not two but three medals with glorious gold on floor and two bronzes on vault and bars JUST missing out on an overall medal in her group.

What a magnificent medal haul that was – our girls have truly put Worthing on the map and have done us all proud! There’s been so much hard work leading up to this competition from all of our coaches but an especially big thank you to coach Jacque and our leadership academy girls Leilani and Megan who have been working closely with the girl’s squad and for attending on the day to make sure they were well prepared and ready to take on the rest of Sussex. Another thank you to the gymnast’s family and friends who were also in attendance and cheering them on – we couldn’t do it without your support both when it comes to training and competing.

A final thankyou to our ever-present admin staff who work around the clock to ensure everything is in place so we can attend these awesome events and to Chichester Gymnastics club for putting on a fantastic competition and hosting us – we’ll see you again next year!

23 girls from our local community competed in Chichester which is our largest showing of female gymnasts at a competition. This is an excellent achievement as in the past we have been known for predominantly producing boys. Our club is truly for everyone and is growing at an incredible rate, from our first steps classes to our adult’s classes its humbling to see the array of members from our community all coming together. We look forward to continuing this and welcoming more members for years to come.

As mentioned there has been another competition recently which we will update you on soon!

The Worthing Cup

At WGC we are always in the pursuit of better, from improving our members wellbeing to bolstering our team and facilities.

Understandably for many of our gymnasts it’s about gaining skills and improving their performance in the sport they love. Especially our MAG boys who compete at a national level and seek additional sessions.

Once a week and in the holidays the squad will travel up to Hawth Gymnastics and train on pieces of apparatus we don’t currently have access to. From this we have built a strong relationship with the team at Hawth, training side by side and making friends on the way. This has recently been recognised officially in the form of ‘The Worthing Cup’ which is awarded to the gymnast at Hawth who is the most supportive and encouraging to our boys as well as always being on hand with tips and advice.

This years winner is ex WGC gymnast Henry Clark (who’s mum is still very much at the core of our club)!henry

A big thank you to Henry and Hawth Gymnastics Club for sharing their knowledge and facilities – they are true advocates of British Gymnastics. We look forward to continuing our fruitful relationship and of course competing at competitions against one another.

Another thank you to our coaches and parents for the time and effort they put in to travelling to Crawley supporting our gymnasts dreams and of course for the many other ways you help our club and community.

We can’t wait for the day we can start hosting clubs at our future state of the art facility and improving on our Active Sussex Club of the year status.

It was all just a beam…

“GET ON THE BEAM!” Roared Heather as the disinclined boys attempted escape from her peripheral vision was foiled by the ever vigilant head coach.

“But it’s for gir-”

In the time it took to nearly finish his sentence, Great Britain had successfully conducted its first ever space programme: there was no official 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 countdown, let alone a word of warning, instead a sharp look, followed a swift swoop and the boy had taken off into the Earths stratosphere. NASA can keep their nuclear reactors and rocket boosters, this vessel, a child flung into space against his will, was powered by the internal combustion of Heathers core – an assertive yet environmentally friendly fuel formed of determination and passion for our club and community.

Now in orbit and trying to come to terms with what had just happened, the new found first ever Gymnastronaut radioed in “Heather, we have a problem”. A beam of light had appeared below the boy and if he didn’t already know his destiny, Heather shouting up from Earth “JUST GET ON IT!” without the use of a communications device would of now confirmed what he needed to do.

After descending through outer space and within a footstep of the gleaming beam, the world stood still and heard the words “That’s one small step for-” but faster than he was slung into space, the Gymnastronaut was abruptly interrupted by the head coach who bellowed “THOSE TOES BETTER BE POINTED”. Now with open hips, his leg straighter than the beam itself and toes stretching out of his skin he continued his announcement whilst touching down on the cosmic-stepping stone.

All be it uncoordinatedly but somehow adapting to the new found surroundings, he discovered an appreciation for how the alien species known only as ‘Girls’ were able to take on such a contraption. Inspired by the feat of the other-worldly beings, the boy found his composure, lifted his chin and began the pursuit along the beam of light… during the next step, he froze.  Unknowingly, the Gymnastronaut was about become a Guinness Universe Record holder by holding longest one leg balance of all time as all of sudden, memories of his lost brothers in intergalactic cootie wars against the federation of ‘Girls’ came flooding back to him. His admiration for ‘Girls’ and honour for his cootie riddled comrades clashed. His arms were heavy. His leg which would see him go down in cosmic history was trembling. His body started to sway. He looked down but what he thought was down was up. The beam glowing in all its glory began to fade as he fell into darkness but as the dark came, a more familiar bright light appeared… The boy rubbed his eyes; it was all just a dream…

He jumped out of bed, had breakfast and went to school like any other day. School finished and it was time for gymnastics – unquestionably his favourite time of the week. The boy arrived at the gym and what he saw would change him for the rest of his life: a brand new beam. He gulped, took a deep breath and yelled “I’M A GYMNASTRONAUT” and hurtled towards the beam. With a new found confidence from last night’s adventure, accompanied by an understanding that he couldn’t make the Guinness Universe Book of Records but instead would have a jolly good go at getting in The Guinness World Book of Records, he took a giant leap onto the beam as Neil Armstrong did the moon. But before he could get his golf clubs out, the mission was brought to an impromptu Holt when Head Coach Heather clamoured “GET OFF THE BEAM”.

Thats right ladies and gentleman, Worthing Gymnastics Club has acquired a brand new high beam! Not only will it benefit our girls in upcoming competitions but it will also help all ages and abilities and of course girls AND boys gain fundamental skills to help with their gymnastics, health and well being. Another sign of progress within are ever growing club.


After receiving a fruitful £8000 grant from British Gymnastics to help push their new freestyle gymnastics ‘FreeG’ which supports our innovative programme ‘GymKore’ (more on this soon), Head Coach Heather tentatively yet insistently requested that more equipment was to be stored in our already overflowing sheds…

In the words and ever so innocent mannerism of Oliver Twist himself, she asked “Please Sir, I want some more”. “MORE?!” the coaches and volunteer parents replied deeply scratching their craniums, pondering how the daily game of Gymnastics equipment Tetris would be complete upon the arrival of new pieces… but not only this they showed great concern in how they’d be able to fund the much anticipated chiropractor sessions caused by the additional hoisting.

But… Fingers now skinless from scoring their skulls, and unlike Bumble Beadle they refilled Heather’s bowls! Though sometimes tedious and somewhat taxing, setting up and packing away is far better than relaxing! It brings us together and helps the community, you’d be a fool to turn down £8000 opportunity!

Forward roll to this weekend just gone and if you were wondering, yes, we did manage to get ALL of the new equipment into our sheds and no, we a are not sure how…

As always, we cannot thank the parents enough for donating their time and pure muscle power when helping us set up and pack away an ENTIRE Gymnasium in 15 minutes flat, maybe 16 minutes with the new additions… but none the less, still quite a feat, maybe we should start up our own removals company? Any way, I digress…

A massive thank you to British Gymnastics for the grant, which has enabled us to grow once again! We cannot wait to try it all out this week!

Progress seems to be the running theme for our community club. We are looking forward to the day we find ourselves not worrying about space or back pain, as when we have our own venue we will be able to leave it allllll out. Apologies in advance to the Chiropractors of Worthing.



The Bloginning…

There have been three great inventions since the beginning of time: Fire, The Wheel and Worthing Gymnastics Club…

With this being our first bog since our Lord & Saviour, Head Coach & Founder, Heather Sampford “let there be Gymnastics!” on the yet unformed and desolate Worthing, we thought we would start at the very beginning…

Lets backwards roll a few years to September, 2011 – Heather had just finished loading her Mitsubishi Pick Up Truck aka ‘The Rust Bucket’ with the clubs ENTIRE arsenal of Gymnastics equipment. Each piece strategically plonked in the back (and crammed in the caddy), like a game of Tetris to ensure nothing was left behind. Though if something couldn’t fit, it was somehow strapped on with one of the many bungie cords Heather had handy, as if she were a mad scientist adding an arm or leg onto the body an unknowing victim…

Now loaded and with a cushion from the living room propped in the drivers seat to assist in ‘Big Hev’ seeing over the steering wheel, The Rust Bucket was ready for its first expedition.

She slammed the drivers door behind her to ensure it would stay closed, buckled her seat belt, that would ironically buckle under any pressure eliminating its main and only purpose and then pursued to force the key into the ignition. Once, twice and a third time the engine would not turn over – I will not repeat what was said or in fact screamed towards The Rust Bucket after the third occurrence but I will tell you that it is something that would never be said or whispered in our place of worship aka the Gymnasium. A fourth turn of the ignition accompanied by fierce kick of the accelerator and the beast was brought to life! Even with gritted teeth, she let out a roar of relief! Heather had not gone through the endless paper work, lesson planning and all round preparation for creating a Gymnastics club to be late on her very first day. With the engine chugging, she ground the Gaffa tapped gear stick into first, followed by an almighty turn of the wheel as if it were one of her majesty the queens navel fleet due to the H.M.S Rust Bucket lacking in both grip and power steering. Then off she went, Captain Heather could see that her vessel was on course for Worthing.

Bouncing along, hitting every bump in the road as if they were waves The Rust Bucket would lose countless pieces of equipment such as bean bags, hula hoops and on some occasions you might be lucky/unlucky enough to see a rouge crash mat flying down the A259. This of course was hard to miss so in turn the hazards were put on, Rust Bucket brought to an abrupt stop and a one woman search party sent out to recover and detain the escapist but this time with extra bungie cords.

On arrival to our first ever venue, St Andrews School for Boys Gymnasium, the earlier game of Tetris was dismantled and setting up was under way. An array of floor matts, mostly consisting of paving slab like Judo matts older than the school them selves, were slung out almost causing Heather a slipped disc or two – fortunately she has always been a grafter so this was just another day in the office. Next on the agenda was pulling out and securing the antique and rickety climbing frames, which I assume were installed when the educational system first introduced the cane – both of which I cannot see Ofsted approving of in this day and age! From here, the second hand Trampette was assembled, accompanied by two benches acting as a runway along with the traumatised crash matt. At this point you would think the crash matt would of had enough for one day, after being tied to a truck against its will and flung off the back at daring speeds down a duel carriage way, but oh no, the day had just begun, for Matthew’s destiny was to be struck with feet, hands, elbows and jumped upon for a whole evening. Yes, the crash matt has now been named, as I too feel the same sympathy you do from reading about its harrowing experience. Matthew is more than just a crash- I digress… Stood with hands on hips, inspecting the room, making sure nothing was out place, missed, left behind or fallen off of The Rust Bucket – Heather was ready for WGC’s first ever session.

Not quite sure of which entrance to come through, all six of WGC’s first ever Gymnasts and parents were coming towards Heather from all different directions like bad guys from a Bruce Lee film. Thankfully they were not armed with weapons but instead questions – there was no admin team in 2011 to take care of this, Heather was the whole club!

Questions out of the way, shoes and socks off and the session began. Gymnasts here, Gymnasts there, Gymnasts everywhere – it certainly seemed like there were more than six  gymnasts in attendance with bodies flying all over the place, health and safety would of had a field day! That being said, there were no broken bones and each child left thrilled with how the session went. Likewise were the parents who would say “See you next week!” as they left, helping Heathers drive to get to where the club is today.

Just as she did at home, Heather packed The Rust Bucket and off she went knowing that all the hard work and effort she put into creating this community club was well worth it. She arrived home, dismantled and packed away the equipment and was straight back to work taking on all of the admin duties. For a few years this daily cycle would be repeated but during these years the club would grow everyday, with the introduction of new gymnasts, new equipment, new coaches, new venues and new challenges.

Forward roll back to now. From 6 Gymnasts, the club now nearly has 350 students. From an old worn down gymnasium and having to store the equipment at Heathers house, the club now is able to Let a brand new sports hall at Bohunt and have storage for the equipment, showing its is a sustainable not for profit business. That in itself is an incredible achievement for this community club and its not only thanks to Heather, its thanks to the coaches, the volunteers, every person that has had an input in the club, the parents and of course the Gymnasts which is why the club is here.

Yes, we may have achieved so much already but have my word that we are yet to be on the 7th day of rest after Heather “Let there be gymnastics!”, as that day will come when Worthing Gymnastics club finds its own facility, it’s home.





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Worthing boys Aiden and Zak competed at the South East qualifiers on Sunday 21st September at Woking gymnastics club. The boys had an excellent competition, facing and over coming new challenges. They worked hard with great determination improving scores on all 6 pieces from last weeks competition at the London Open. Results Zak qualified for the South East team placed forth and Aiden placed tenth. Well done boys! You are an inspiration to your club members and we are all very proud of your outstanding achievements.