Yate Academy student James is national champion

March 26 2019
Yate Academy student James is national champion

A YATE gymnast has become a national champion.

James Puddy won gold on the parallel bars in the hotly-contested men’s under-16 category on March 17 at the 2019 Artistic British Championships, which took place at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena.

The 15-year-old Yate Academy student said: “It feels brilliant to be a British champion.

It was amazing to see my score come through and see that it was at the top – it just felt great.

My hopes for the future are to go as far as I can and make it to international competitions one day.”

James, who trains at based at Winterbourne’s Fromeside Gymnastics Club, was one of 490 participants from 91 clubs to take part in the four-day gymnastics spectacular, with youngsters travelling from all across the UK to compete.

In all, five boys from Fromeside took part in the event, and the club sent them on their way with a good luck message on social media, saying: “We are so proud to have you represent Fromeside.”

The gymnasts performed in front of a packed M&S Bank Arena, with the competition also broadcast live on the BBC.

The age of the gymnasts taking part ranged from 11 to 33 years old. Competitors also included five-time Olympic medallist Max Whitlock, who successfully defended his British pommel horse title.

Also competing was former European champion and newly crowned British all-around champion Ellie Downie, along with four-time Commonwealth champion Claudia Fragapane, from Longwell Green, who returned from injury to take silver on floor.

British Gymnastics chief executive Jane Allen said: “It’s been a remarkable four days at this year’s Artistic British Championships in Liverpool. I’ve really enjoyed seeing so many of the established names sharing the Arena with up-and-coming stars. The talent on display has been phenomenal and I’m very excited to see what the future looks like for gymnastics in Britain.”

The next major British Gymnastics event, the Gymnastics World Cup, was due to take place on Saturday March 23 in Birmingham and will see the best nations in the world competing for glory. Visit the tournament's website for more information.

Picture: James Puddy receives his gold medal