We took a group of 5 boys to compete in the International Tournament in Porec, Croatia.   Jake Houtby competed in the senior (Absolute) category and Andrew Smith, Ben Taylor, Matthew Beverley and Sam Oldham were to compete in the junior (Pre-Junior) category.   Unfortunately Andy had a fall in the bus when we arrived at the hotel and injured his elbow so he was not able to compete.

       The competition is an international one involving women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnasts as well as the men’s artistic gymnasts.   In the senior competition, Jake was up against men from the Slovenian team who had recently trialled for places in their team for the world championships.   In the junior competition the boys were up against the Croatian number 1 under 14 year old plus other Croatian and Slovenian boys.

       The competition hall was spacious and well equipped (apart from some problems with a moving vault!) and the audience was loud and enthusiastic.   The all round competition took place on Friday and all the boys performed very well with Jake winning the senior competition and Sam winning the junior competition with Ben in 4th place and Matthew in 5th.   Jake, Sam and Ben qualified for all 6 apparatus finals on the Saturday and Matthew qualified for 3 finals and was 1st reserve for the other 3.

       In the senior apparatus finals, Jake took bronze on pommels and rings and silver on parallel bars and high bar.   In the junior apparatus finals, Sam took gold on floor, pommels and rings and silver on parallel bars, Ben took gold on vault and bronze on pommels and high bar with Matthew winning silver on high bar.

       The competition was very enjoyable and relaxed and everyone was very friendly and the accommodation and facilities were excellent – we are already planning next year’s trip!!