• By TNAG
  • October 23, 2017


Two teenage stars of Norfolk gymnastics have enjoyed international success at home and abroad. The pair, who train at Besthorpe club The Norfolk Academy of Gymnastics, were making their international debuts, Laura competing for the first time on foreign soil and Annie pulling on the Great Britain kit for the first time.

Sixteen year old Laura Cooke, from Thorpe End, Norwich, travelled to Leverkusen, Germany as part of a three strong England team contesting the 42nd annual Leverkusen Cup. Competing in front of a crowd of over a thousand in the Ostermann Arena, Laura held her nerve admirably to put in four clean performances across the apparatus which helped England to team silvers behind the first of three German national teams. It also saw her take the individual overall gold medal with a score of 49.10. She is the first English gymnast to take this title in the long history of the competition. The Norwich School pupil also picked up silver on the bars and bronze on floor. Head coach at the club, Sara-Jane Inglis also travelled to Germany as head coach for the England team and said of Laura’s performance, “Laura was excited at this opportunity but also visibly nervous and she did a fantastic job in putting those nerves aside and going calmly through her routines. This was particularly apparent on bars where her two team mates had suffered mistakes and she knew that a good performance from her was vital for the team, and her own shot at individual glory. It has been a pleasure to see Laura blossom into such an accomplished performer over the last few years and she absolutely deserves this success”.

Annie Young has just turned thirteen and has been a member of the Great Britain junior squad since January where she has impressed the national coaches with a skill level way beyond her years and phenomenal work ethic and desire. Annie was selected for the GB junior team at the international Rushmoor Rosebowl competition in Aldershot on the same weekend as Laura competed in Germany. Like Laura, Annie also put in clean routines on all apparatus to take the overall bronze medal in a field of around a hundred gymnasts. She also helped the GB junior team to silver medals in the team event behind their senior counterparts, and she qualified for apparatus finals on three pieces. Inglis said of her results, “Annie’s selection came as no surprise given how she continues to progress and develop, but for her to hit her routines in what was, for her a very different situation, competing for Great Britain and being without me at a competition for the first time, is a great achievement and shows how she is continuing to develop personally as well as gymnastically, as a gymnast who cane be relied upon to deliver for her countr when it counts. Here, where all of the gymnasts competed together irrespective of age, she beat a number of seasoned GB international senior athletes. Annie is a hugely exciting talent and most definitely one of the rising stars of British gymnastics”. Annie will gain a second GB outing when she travels to Liberic in the Czech republic in November for the prestigious Olympic Hopes tournament before heading for the British Espoir championships in Guildford in December.

Meanwhile The Norfolk Academy had more success at the regional championships in Ipswich where Keola Silver (at level 5, 9 years) and Lily Tranfield (level 2, 12-13 years) were crowned overall regional champions and the club took fifteen medals across the competition.

Categories: Competitions

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