Two gymnasts from Ilkeston Gymnastics Club are set to represent the area at the East Midlands Floor and Vault competition this weekend.

Nine-year-old Luke Pounder and 10-year-old Sam Beardsley will be competing against boys who have years of experience in men’s artistic, and who have previously been selected for national competitions.

The boys themselves only have five months of training behind them.

Head coach Nichol Oak Smith said: “I really think Sam and Luke will do the club proud in their competition tomorrow.  They have both been training really hard and they have thrown themselves into working on new equipment.”

Luke placed second at his last competition in Leicester at the end of last year
Luke placed second at a general competition in Leicester at the end of last year

This is the first specific men’s artistic competition the boys are able to enter now that their coach Nichol has upped and expanded her qualification knowledge.

Nichol passed her Level 2 Men’s Artistic qualification in August last year, and has been training the boys at their sessions at Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre ever since.

Luke’s mum, Joanne Pounder, said: “I am very proud of Luke and of the club in helping him be able to perform and get to where he is today. With the dedication from the club and Nichol, they have really helped him believe in himself and find the confidence to go to competition.”

“Luke really enjoys the sport and loves the friends he has made there, where you are made to feel a big part of a gymnastics family.”

For more information on the club and the sessions they run, visit Sandiacre Friesland’s website, or search for Ilkeston Gymnastics Squad on Facebook.