We launched a Cover Star competition to celebrate our second birthday and the response was just great! Our overall winner was Milly, a gymnast from Spectrum Gymnastics Academy in Westerham, but all the entries deserve recognition, so we have featured them over the next few pages, enjoy!
WINNER: MILLY FROM SPECTRUM GYMNASTICS CLUB
Milly is a National level gymnast and trains at Spectrum Gymnastics Academy, Westerham. This April she competed against all the odds for the first time ever in the National Level Grade 4 competition at Guildford.
She has been training at SGA for the past three years. The club first opened in May 2016 at Churchill Primary School for three hours a week then moved to Valence School, Westerham in September 2016 and created more training hours and classes.
Milly now trains 17 hours a week under head coach Sarah Hills and has worked super hard to reach National Level after winning the South East title at a pre-competition at Regional Level 4 this year.
Spectrum GA is a ‘put out’ gymnastics club and this itself has a huge disadvantage for Gymnasts at this level as they don’t have the required ‘foam pits’ and ‘full competition equipment’ to train on. Despite this, Milly passed with a Commendation, which was a fantastic achievement and thoroughly deserved.
Spectrum is very excited to announce its move to a new premises at Lingfield Senior School, in September 2019. This will result in amazing new facilities for the club, including x3 full size competition bars, new vaulting table and a full 12×12 competition sized floor, one thing they did not have before.
Spectrum open their doors to new members over the summer with x2 courses at the new club 6th-9th Aug and 27th-30th Aug and now have a fabulous team of 13 coaches and offer recreational gymnastics classes for children aged 18 months right through to 16yrs+ as well as squads and teams that compete regionally.
We thought Milly’s photo was absolutely striking and Milly’s perseverance, hard work and dedication to be the best she can be, deserved our top spot! Well done Milly!
HIGHLY COMMENDED: SEVENOAKS SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING CLUB
The Sevenoaks Synchronised Swimming Club’s under-12 team recently finished in second place at the National Combo Cup which took place at the start of July at the London Aquatic Centre.
The team was made up of ten swimmers between the ages of 10 and 12 years old: Abigail Bampton, Angelina Bezuidenhout, Betty Black, Ella Francis, Fleur Kirk, Gemma Grobbelaar, Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Stanley Stiff, Lillie Horgan and Abbie White.
After attending competitions throughout May and June, the swimmers remained undefeated in both the Kent County and London Region.
The under-12 team became the first team to ever place in a national competition from Sevenoaks Synchronised Swimming Club.
At the Combo Cup they swam a routine for three minutes to various songs from Frozen [the animated film]. Their routine was coached and choreographed by Maisie Wright, an 18-year-old ex synchronised swimmer.
The team get just one hour a week with Maisie to practice their routine and so were ecstatic to beat teams from across the UK who train for up to five days a week.
Even more impressively, at competitions, the team are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool. In the split lift featured in the image above, Betty, is being held up by six swimmers who are furiously eggbeating beneath the surface. (Eggbeating is a special way of treading water which is commonly used by synchronised swimmers to keep them high out of the water during their routines.)
These synchronised swimmers have achieved a fantastic job this year and have finished a very close second to be on our front cover this month.
Their demonstration and the importance of team work, and how necessary it is to lift each other up, at just 12-years-old, they have demonstrated commitment, resilience and determination and deserve all your applause.
RUNNER-UP: SWANLEY RUGBY CLUB
Swanley Rugby Club are going from strength to strength. The grass roots rugby club are about to embark on their third season of rugby following two successful years gaining promotion on each occasion.
The club are building the foundations on becoming a truly all-inclusive club with the development of several youth teams, a women’s team and even a walking rugby team to boot!
RUNNER UP: LEWIS SYRETT, SEVENOAKS AMATUER BOXING CLUB
Lewis is a professional boxer who began his boxing career with Sevenoaks Amateur Boxing Club (ABC) under coach Paul Lynch. Lewis started boxing just before he turned 18 and stayed at the Sevenoaks club for 10 years. Now 30, Lewis turned profesional at the age of 27 and now has six professional contests under his belt.
He will be competing in the Ultimate Boxxer (sic) Competition on September 20th, which will be held at the O2 arena, in London, with the event being aired live on BT Sports.
Lewis very humbly wished to feature in Sevenoaks Sports magazine so that he could give Sevenoaks Amateur Boxing Club recognition and repay them for what they have taught him over the years, both inside and outside of boxing.
RUNNER-UP: ISABELLE FROM SWANLEY NETBALL CLUB
Isabelle is currently in Year 3, and plays many sports, and has recently fallen in love with netball. She loves the sense of togetherness she has experienced at Swanley Netball Club and the fantastic coaching they provide.
Although she is only eight years old, she recently won the ‘most improved player’ at the club’s awards evening, which has ignited a real passion for not only netball but all sports and being fit and healthy. Isabelle likes to encourage others to take part in sport and already offers advice to others on how to be healthy and more active, sport has given her this confidence which transpires into everyday life and has a positive affect on her and all her friends too.
Swanley Netball Club is a well established, England Netball Bronze accredited club, which offers coaching and competitive netball to females from school year three and upwards, with a varied range of skills and abilities.
RUNNER-UP: THE TENNIS ACADEMY
The Tennis Academy in Sevenoaks has been designing and implementing tennis programmes on park courts, clubs and at schools in the Sevenoaks area for over 20 years and during that time they have grown to have their own public facility in the heart of Sevenoaks and have coached numerous players and schools to county success.
Their programme is unique in that they endeavour to have a place for all tennis players, whether you just want to have a lesson once a week for fun, or you have higher aspirations to achieve performance success.
Tennis in the UK can be very difficult for coaches and clubs who are training outside in all weathers and the spotlight needs to be on tennis more as an all-year-round sport if it’s going to produce a greater crop of players.
The Tennis Academy are passionate about bringing tennis into schools and offer many schemes for schools to get involved at grassroots level as well as then coaching schools to medals at the county championships.
Their facility at Hollybush is open all day, all year round, for anyone to book a court and have a game when they want.
RUNNER-UP: SASKIA, TABLE TENNIS
Naturally talented Saskia, 13, from Knockholt, is a table tennis whizz and a name to keep an eye out for in the future.
Saskia began playing table tennis at the age of nine whilst at Amherst Primary School. She then progressed to playing with the Darenth Table Tennis Club in Dunton Green.
At the age of ten, Saskia was noticed by Mark Walsh, the Kent team coach whilst she was playing in the Kent Schools yearly tournament.
Saskia was selected to represent England in the U12 Schools International, where she won a Silver medal.
In January 2018 Saskia was invited to play in the National Cup, where she finished fourth and in June 2018 reached No.3 in GB rankings at U13.
Saskia now trains with top England coaches with the ultimate aim the 2020 Olympics.