Coach ‘proud’ after Southwark Gymnastics Club clinch podium finish

Sports Desk (19 November, 2021)

It was the gymnasts' first competition in two years

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Southwark Gymnastics Club is celebrating another successful year after a top-three finish at the Team Gym British Championships.

Nehemiah Khan, Soda-pop Smith, Kalen Castello, Malaki Calliste, Tyrell Harris-Wallace and Michele Fotso, along with their coaches Levent Charles and Louise Mearns, all placed third on the podium.

“I am so proud of these young men,” Charles said. “This was their first competition in two years due to the pandemic and we’ve worked extremely hard on their physical and mental wellbeing since returning from lockdown.

“I think it’s important to highlight the fact that although one gymnast had a fall during a performance, these young kings remained positive, focused and driven for the final run.

“It’s an achievement in itself to get back up and perform the final run to the best of their abilities after a knock-back, but they still pushed through and made top three in the country.

“My job is not all about medals and trophies, it’s about teaching life lessons through sport that they can carry through life.

“Well done, champs – never give up.”

Meanwhile, along with their training, five of the six gymnasts – who are all aged between fourteen and sixteen – have also become qualified gymnastics coaches. They are currently working with their gymnasts to create the next generation of British champions.

Southwark Gymnastics Club currently has 876 members of the community actively taking part in various classes on a weekly basis at their three venues in Southwark: Brunswick Park Primary School, Charles Dickens Primary School and Camberwell Leisure Centre.

They have plans to expand to other venues to create more gymnastics spaces and job opportunities for members of the community.

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