I am an elite men's artistic gymnast and a member of Great Britain’s Senior Top Squad as part of the High Performance Programme. I am proud to say I have competed for Great Britain at junior World and European level. My break through year was in 2019 where I competed at no less than 7 internationals. I captained Team England at the Unni and Harald’s competition in Norway winning team silver and an individual all-around silver medal. I have represented Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku, Azerbaijan with the team coming a fantastic 4th. I also competed for Great Britain at the Junior World Championships in Gyor Hungary coming 23rd in the world all round. I train at Leeds Gymnastics Club 30+ hours a week, 6 days a week across all 6 pieces of artistic gymnastics apparatus: Floor, Pommel, Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars and High Bar. I am coached by Andy Butcher and Dave Murray.
I successfully studied a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science at Huddersfield New College and was awarded D*D*D*. My current focus is on my gymnastics with a longer term goal of studying to be a sports therapist.
2021 started with the continued Covid lockdown, but training has progressed well including some new skills being built, one of which a triple somersault on floor.
I was invited to my first Olympic trials at the end of February at Lilleshall. All my routines sorted, I then went and tweaked my back in the week prior on Pbars which caused me to simplify some of my routines so I could compete. It also caused me to pull back on some of my training. Frustrating but all part of gymnastics.
The trials were behind closed doors with 20 gymnasts competing. I was determined to compete on all pieces being my first senior competition whilst managing my back injury. I was pleased how I performed overall. A couple of PB's including a 14.2 on vault completing a 2.5 twist for the first time. The only real disappointment a fall on floor as I was hoping to repeat the 14.7 I had scored the week previous in a controlled comp at Leeds. Max Whitlock showed his quality with a superb pommel routine...
Back to training...
2020 was a challenging year for everyone with Covid-19 taking over. I had decided that following completion of my Studies in Sport & Exercise Science I was going to take a year to focus on my gymnastics. The focus for 2020 was the Junior European championships scheduled for May 27-31st back in Baku, Azerbaijan. I was selected to the 'Junior Euro's squad' and a plan was in place. My studies were going well at Huddersfield New College and balancing study and training at Leeds Gymnastics.
Covid and Lockdowns started to create chaos through the world. Baku was postponed to December which was disappointing, but still my complete focus. The first national lockdown was all new but I maintained full focus training at home and studying. I was fortunate to have lots of equipment at home and the weather was great so could train outside. I also got out running on the canal with a 5k time trail weekly with my dad getting down to 20 mins to help my stamina. I completed all my BTEC level 3 studies and achieved 3 distinction stars, equivalent to 3 A’level A*s and now have a confirmed place at Leeds Beckett University to study a BSc in Sport and Exercise Therapy from September 2021.
Halifax was put into lockdown and I was as a result not able to attend squad training with GB. What I could do is train hard at Leeds with my coaches and it was great that Andrei Popov (Lead Junior National coach) was able to come regularly to Leeds to coach me and see that my conditioning through lockdown I had got stronger and my skills were back to before lockdown.
In August with West Yorkshire about to go into full lockdown and the next European Squad taking place in 2 weeks time I was able to move to live with my uncle and family in Colgate near Horsham. I was grateful to Woking Gymnastics and Simon Elliot for letting me train with the guys there. I used it as an opportunity like a training camp where I could focus on my skills. It was great that I could then attend the European Squad camp - a really good weeks training with Paul Hall, Andrei. The Covid situation was getting worse worldwide and it was confirmed that the Euros would be moved from Baku. It was shortly post this when GB gymnastics made the decision to withdraw both junior and senior teams from the European Championships which was a huge disappointment. I quickly refocused and Dave and Andy talked me through there plan for the next 4 years which was exciting. Focus on new skills and getting some quality routines. In November I was invited to a 2024 Paris squad camp in December, which again disappointingly was cancelled. Looking forward to more stability in 2021.