As the end of the school year draws ever closer, the Dragons gymnasts have had a very busy term with three competitions to round off 2015-16. April 23rd & 24th saw the Dragons travelling to Singapore to compete in the UWCSEA Dover Gymnastics
April 23rd & 24th saw the Dragons travelling to Singapore to compete in the UWCSEA Dover Gymnastics Invitational. All the gymnasts represented themselves excellently, even overcoming attacks of dizziness and nerves to land solid scores on the various apparatus.
Audrey, who competed in the Level 2 Senior Girls’ team, recalled that: “We went by bus to UWC Dover and we were nervous as there was only 3 of us competing! We did our competition and everyone did so well!”
The Level 2 Senior Girls’ team came 7th overall, ahead of other teams with excellent track records. The Level 2 Junior Girls’ team unfortunately comprised of only two Dragons this time, and so were at a massive disadvantage in terms of overall score. However, Mia and Zoe rose to the challenge, with Zoe coming a hugely respectable 5th on vault, despite not having been to competition in over a year.
Meanwhile, in the Level 3 Senior Girls’ competition GIS came a solid 5th overall, just behind the host school, with Hayley earning Gold for her floor routine.
Lorcan was GIS’ sole representative this time for the Level 3 Boys’ team and was up against some excellent competition. Nevertheless, he did not let that phase him, coming 5th and 2nd on the parallel bars and high bar respectively.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for the gymnasts came for the Level 2 Boys’ team as, with everyone focused on doing their best in competition, no one had been paying attention to the scores when they were posted following each apparatus. It was truly rewarding to witness the shock, followed swiftly by elation, on all the boys’ faces as they were announced 2nd overall as a team! All the boys performed consistently, earning them the Silver, with Eddie also coming away with second place for his vault.
The Dragons gymnasts representing GIS at the UWCSEA Dover Invitational were:
WAG Level 2 Junior: Mia Layug (2G), Zoe Skinner (3L)
MAG Level 2: Eddie Berney (3P), Jonah Holloway (3L), Alexander Bouw (3W), Finlay Kay (3S), Kotaro Nakumura (3I)
WAG Level 2 Senior: Audrey Chamberlain (6L), Alisha Van Niekerk (5W), Niamh Carnegie (6S)
MAG Level 3: Lorcan Cahill (3G)
WAG Level 3 Senior Rui Wen Lim (8P), Nalini Pariag (7S), Hayley Yong (8M)
May 13th was the day of competition for Level 2 Junior and Senior girls at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong’s Gymnastics Invitational.
Naomi competed in the Level 2 Senior Girls’ team and shared these thoughts about the competition:
“I learnt a lot about gymnastics by watching the other teams…
…I think the most challenging part of the invitational (for me) was performing. I could almost feel the judge’s eyes boring into me. It was really, really hard to ignore…
…The part of the invitational that I enjoyed the most was the at the end where we had a friendly competition [with a] floor routine that each school made up…
…It was a really really good experience. We got a special bonus. The senior level 2 gymnasts got team second and Mia got bronze for bars! [Emma also came 4th on the balance beam, missing out on Bronze by 0.05 of a point!] I still don’t understand how we got second …but we did it.”
You can watch a video of the “friendly competition… floor routine” HERE (video courtesy of Tisha Layug.)
WAG Level 2 Junior: Mia Layug (2G), Emma Georgieva (3K)
WAG Level 2 Senior: Naomi Chan (6P), Audrey Chamberlain (6L), Alisha Van Niekerk (5W), Alexa Tan (5L)
The final competition of the school year was the SEASAC Junior Gymnastics event which also took place at CDNIS, and at which GIS sent a team of girls to compete at Level 3 Senior.
As Catherine and Maya explain, the gymnasts faced a number of challenges and disappointments:
“On Saturday and Sunday (1415 May), the senior level 3 gymnasts went to Hong Kong to represent GIS at the SEASAC competition hosted by CDNIS. On Saturday, there was the team competition, and on Sunday there was the individual competition. There were many ups and downs that we experienced throughout the trip. We enjoyed competing and watching our teammates perform. The trip wouldn’t have been enjoyable without the company of each other, to cheer and encourage us on. After the events were over, we had the opportunity to attend a gala dinner. The whole team enjoyed dressing up and eating at the fancy table covered in confetti.
However, we did have a few struggles along the way. In my opinion, our group struggled most at beam because once you fall off, it’s quite difficult to carry on the routine without losing focus. For the uneven bars, there had been a misunderstanding in the technique of the swings, which made some of us feel disappointed. Furthermore, 4 of us had gotten our skin ripped from the bars making it inconvenient and painful for the rest of the trip.
We learnt that not at every competition you will succeed. We all went and had fun, and winning a medal would have just been a bonus. This will help us in the future by letting us strive for more, but allow us to not be so hard on yourself when you don’t get satisfying results. Even though we didn’t win anything, we still became closer as a team, and had a good time.”
While the Level 3 Senior girls may not have experienced the same success in terms of individual medals at SEASAC as at previous competitions, they certainly learnt much about the resilience that all athletes must develop in order to continue competing at their highest standard. They also demonstrated the determination to do their best, given their high standards; the Level 3 Senior Girls’ team came 5th overall on day 1, ahead of a team from Bangkok, Thailand, which has consistently performed extremely well at previous competitions.
The Dragons representing GIS at the CDNIS Gymnastics Invitational were:
Hayley Yong (8M), Rui Wen Lim (8P), Maya Gan (8S), Dominique Bonne (9W), Elizabeth Newham (7P), Catherine Tan (7S)
Being part of the Dragons gymnastics team at GIS is a unique experience as this is one of the few sports that enable our younger students to represent their school at competitions international in South East Asia. Some of our current gymnasts have trained with us since they were in Year 1 and our youngest competitor, this year, is in Year 2!
With such a broad spread of ages across the team, it is always heartwarming to see the older students encouraging and guiding their younger teammates as they develop their skills in the sport. Equally, it is just as rewarding to see the development of our more seasoned gymnasts whose skills have improved tremendously over the few short years of the Dragons Gymnastics programme at GIS.
A huge “Well Done” to all the gymnasts who represented GIS at UWCSEA Dover and CDNIS!
The Dragons Gymnastics Coaching Team