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 have been supported by SportsAid throughout 2021 from the Entain Group. I am now grateful to the National Lottery for funding me to support all my training and travel expenses.
I successfully studied a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science at Huddersfield New College and was awarded D*D*D*. I am now studying a Sports and Exercise Therapy BSc degree at Leeds Beckett University.
Started 2022 well, balancing my gymnastics and studies at Leeds Beckett University well. I needed to be at Lillishall the National Training Centre every other week, so this was a tricky act, but I was grateful to the University accommodating exams, particularly the practicals - I’m studying for a BSc in Sport and Exercise Therapy.
Doha, Qatar - World Cup
In March I was selected for my 2nd World Cup and made my 2nd Final on floor. I qualified in 2nd behind Olympic Champion Israel’s Artem Dogopyat. Gymnastics a tough sport and a hand down in the final put me out of contention, but another great experience at World level.
Quick on the back of the trips out to the Middle East was the English Champs. My chance to show my ability against the best in England. A clean comp resulted in a Bronze All Round and a PB 81.35, with the highlight in my first full year as a senior, English Floor Champion with a score of 14.2, I also secured Bronze on the vault with an average score 14.175.
In April we were at the Liverpool M&S Arena. I had a mixed competition with an ankle injury starting to impact me, but 4 finals (Floor, Vault, Pommel and rings) with highlight a bronze on floor.
I was selected for a team competition in Germany - a good trip with some new skills put out in competition. The atmosphere was amazing and the team finished a respectable 4th. I was really enjoying the p-bars and it was the first time I was able to put some new elements together in competition which made for a good routine. My ankle was starting to cause me some pain which was concerning.
Post the British we decided I needed to see what the issue was with the recurring pain in my ankle. BG were great and acted quickly to sort MRI scans with the Dr and physio supporting me alongside the National coaches. The scan showed inflammation around my joint, so fortunately it wasn’t serious and no surgery required which was a relief, but an injection in my ankles to reduce the swelling and time off impact and landings.
Slovenia - World Cup
I was selected back in March to compete at the World Cup in Slovenia with the objective of medaling on floor and vault. I was still keen to compete, but in hindsight it probably came too early for me with the lack of repetition in the gym - 3 weeks full training insufficient time to get ready. It was a real positive competition away from my 2 strongest pieces, with a 9th position on rings (making 1st reserve for the final). On Parallel bars with some new work included in the routine, I came 11th just missing out on finals again. I had to be pleased given this is at world level and I was mixing it with the best in my first full year as a senior.
Commonwealth Games and Europeans
One of my objectives at the beginning of the year was to make the Commonwealth Games team for England and European Championship team. The squad is so strong so knew this was going to be tough with the Olympic team basically the England team. The year had started really strongly with my results at the English Champs. The injury and lack of time on the gym floor was frustrating, but was pleased to be selected at 1 of 3 reserves for the Commonwealth England Team. June and July I needed to get myself ready if I was to be asked to step up. I completed my Uni studies and exams at Leeds mid June and then on, during July, I was full time at Lilleshall training for the Commonwealth and Europeans. The European team was announced which was the same team as the England team, so a really strong team, but pleased I still was in the mix as reserve.
Switzerland - 4 way
In July the week before the Commonwealth Games we went out to Switzerland for a 4 way against some strong teams put out by Switzerland, Germany and France in their prep for the European Champs. A solid comp for me with some good work across the pieces. The key for me being out on the competition floor again. I was overall pleased how my work across all apparatus was progressing.
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 P-bars 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...
Osijek World Challange Cup
On the 12th-13th of June I competed at my first senior International, the Osijek World Challenge Cup in Croatia. I made history by becoming the FIRST British gymnast to complete a triple back somersault in competition on floor and also the youngest known on record worldwide. This is a skill only a hand full of gymnast in the world can execute. I qualified for the floor final with a score of 14.25 in 6th place against world class gymnasts, including a number bound for the Tokyo Olympics. In the final i came 8th.
On the 11th-12th of June i competed at the British Gymnastics Championships in Cardiff. This was my first year competing as a senior. I came 8th All round, taking a 4th place on the high bar, 6th place on parallel bars and 7th on floor. On the vault i opted for a single vault scoring ... which gave me the 3rd highest score. Lots of new skills and routines performed gaining more experience.
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.
Back to training
Halifax was put into lockdown and I was as a result not able to attend squad training with GB. What I could do was train 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.