Rising gymnasts head for national finals

SUCCESS: Avonbourne gymnasts Chloe Sarafopoulos, Ethan Spittles, George Sarafopoulos and Lucy Jordan

SUCCESS: Avonbourne gymnasts Chloe Sarafopoulos, Ethan Spittles, George Sarafopoulos and Lucy Jordan


TWO rising gymnastics stars from Bournemouth are set to compete in the finals of a prestigious national competition.

The achievement of acrobatic pair Ethan Spittles and George Sarafopoulos, both Avonbourne Gym Club members, will see them represent the south west against the country’s elite young gymnasts at May’s NDP Acrobatic Finals.

Having only worked together for five months, 10-year-old King’s Park Academy student George and 12-year-old Ethan, who attends the Bishop of Winchester, have had to adjust to each other quickly.

“Their progress has been rapid,” said Avonbourne Gym’s head coach Pat Mathie, explaining that the duo will have to complete a choreographed routine of pair balances and individual acrobatic skills to music.

“This is the first time in our club’s 13-year history that we’ve had an acrobatic pair qualify for the national finals.

“All of us are bursting with pride. To have formed such a successful partnership in such a short space of time is testament to their commitment, determination and natural ability.

“This is a completely new experience for us, but we will be doing what we always do, which is encourage them to work hard and, most importantly, to have fun and enjoy themselves.”

Avonbourne Gym Club’s latest success comes after their tumblers Chloe Sarafopoulos – George’s twin – and 11-year-old Lucy Jordan – a Stourfield Junior School student – qualified for the national semi-finals after triumphing at the south west preliminaries in March.

“It has always been evident that these girls had great potential,” said Mrs Mathie. “We are very excited for their future.”

The Avonbourne Gym Club is a community club with 250 members. They predominately train at Avonbourne College but have satellite venues at the Littledown Centre and Malmesbury Park School. Their facilities are limited, and apparatus is provided through club fundraising.

The NDP Acrobatic Finals will be held on May 14 and 15 at Stoke’s Fenton Manor Sports Complex.