Talented trio chosen to represent GB in Poland

GB gymnasts Olivia Huscroft (left), Millie Eaton (right) and Ruby Horsman (front).
GB gymnasts Olivia Huscroft (left), Millie Eaton (right) and Ruby Horsman (front).

LOCAL gymnasts Ruby Horsman and Olivia Huscroft have been selected to represent Team GB at the Acrobatic Gymnastics European Championships in Poland in October.

Ruby, 13, of Pontefract, and Olivia, 18, from Knottingley, form a partnership with Millie Eaton, 17, of Ossett. They are all members of Wakefield Gym Club.

The trio formed the partnership just over 12 months ago and they compete in the women’s aged 12 to 18 group.

They have consistently won medals this year, both at home and abroad, to earn selection for the Team GB trials.

The trials consisted of two separate trials, the first at British Gymnastics Headquarters at Lilleshall. The second was incorporated into the British Championships at Liverpool Echo Arena where they won a silver medal.

When the British squad was announced, the girls were picked as GB 1.

The type of sport the trio do is called acrobatic gymnastics, which is floor-based gymnastics.

The girls have three different routines, a tempo, a balance and a combined.

At competitions the tempo and balance form a qualifying stage, added together to decide who qualifies for the final. Normally eight go through, with all scores going back to zero and it’s then a straight shoot-out on the combined routine.

The girls train at Wakefield Thornes Park, four hours a day, six days a week.

Ruby attends Carleton High School and Olivia recently finished her A levels at Pontefract New College.

Unfortunately, the sport is not funded as it is not in the Olympics.

Even though the gymnasts will represent British Gymnastics and will wear exactly the same kit as Team GB athletes, they have to pay for their own kit, travel and accommodation.

It will cost approximately £1,400 to send each gymnast to the European Championships and they will be grateful for any help from local businesses.

At their own initiative, the girls have also set up a GoFundMe page at uk.gofundme.com to help raise funds towards the trip.

Two other Wakefield Gym Club partnerships have been selected for the GB team to compete in Poland.

They are Joseph Hill and Cheri-May Cunningham (11 to 16 mixed pair) and Olivia Procter and Evie Hancox (12 to 18 women’s pair).

Beth Miller, head of acrobatics at Wakefield, has also been chosen as part of the GB coaching team for the event.

Beth, alongside fellow coach and choreographer Alexandra Howden, work as a unit to produce some of the country’s best gymnasts.