IDC Diamonds to shine on national stage

A NEW chapter in the shining history books of the IDC Diamonds club has been opened.At the weekend, the popular gymnastics and cheerleading club sent a record number of youngsters to compete in the regional team gym finals at Bracknell.

A NEW chapter in the shining history books of the IDC Diamonds club has been opened.

At the weekend, the popular gymnastics and cheerleading club sent a record number of youngsters to compete in the regional team gym finals at Bracknell.

And representing Lowestoft, Suffolk and the eastern region in this event, proud parents and club coaches looked on in amazement as the five groups that competed all excelled.

Head coach Anett Allsopp told The Journal: 'We have never had this many gymnasts to compete before and this was the biggest event for us so far at IDC.

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'The club not just represented our town, but our county and the eastern region in this competition as no other clubs in this region do Team Gym - so without our dedication, this region wouldn't have any teams in any Team Gym competitions,' she added.

With a total of 22 gymnasts in action throughout the action on Saturday, 32 teams from across the country battled it out in the arena between 8am and 6.30pm.

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Making up the successful IDC Diamonds squad were: Annabel Hood, Charlotte Mayne, Ellen Harness, Hannah Mayne, Katie Lyon, Milla Osborne, Mollie Chalk, Paige Barton and Shannon Dorling - who all competed in the Primary Team Gym group section for eight to 12-year-olds - Andrea Balls, Bethany Hood, Brooke Osborne, Georgia Lee, Katie Robinson, Nicole Allsopp, Shannon Scriven and Yasmine Lyon - who competed in the Junior Team Gym group section for 12 to 15-year-olds.

For the first time ever in the Diamonds history, two micro teams also took part in the regional finals - a micro Primary Team, which consisted of Annabel Hood, Milla Osborne and Shannon Dorling - and a micro Junior Team, which consisted of Bethany Hood, Brooke Osborne, Nicole Allsopp and Yasmine Lyon.

And bringing the curtain down on all the action, the club featured a Disability Team Gym squad, which featured Aymee Betts, Ben Sykes, Bethany Weston, Charlotte Green and Emma Sykes.

The club coaches were delighted with the final results as the Primary Team Gym group finished in eighth overall, the micro Primary Team came in a fine fourth, the Junior Team Gym group also finished fourth while the micro Junior Team came a superb second.

But pride of place was reserved for the Disability Team Gym squad who came first overall in what Mrs Alsopp described as a 'huge achievement' for the club.

'It wasn't just that they came in first position, they've never competed in regional competition before and the whole audience arena stood up and saluted them after the performance - it was brilliant,' she said.

The Disability Team Gym squad, who are coached by Samantha Lyon, Lauraine Osborne and chairman Shaun Allsopp, have now qualified for the national team gym finals, which will be held in Gloucester on May 8.

'The parents were all so supportive and appreciative of the youngsters, while the coaches who have worked with our competition squad enabled us all to have a fantastic day in Bracknell,' Mrs Allsopp said.

'The coaches Suzanne Harness, Andy Barton, Lauraine Osborne, Samantha Lyon, Shaun Allsopp (Chairman) all give up their own spare time to coach three times a week voluntarily, and I am so pleased that we have a great team at IDC.'

Also joining the IDC Diamonds is Level 5 high performance coach Marian Teodorescu. Formerly from Romania, he is an ex-international gymnast.

'He is a great asset to us, and after one week all of the children are very happy working with him,' Mrs Allsopp said. We are just really pleased that he can support our club.'

The club trains regularly at the Water Lane Sports Centre in Lowestoft, and they will be holding an open day on March 7 specifically for new recruits, the development group, special needs and an improvers class. The open day takes place between 10.30am to noon at the sports centre, and for more information call Annett on 07878 977 449.

The club's cheerleading section earlier this month held 'excellent' training sessions with professionals Hayley Hazard and Michaela Umbrose from Champion Cheer Academy.

'Their most famous squad is C.C. Palace Crystals and C.C. Pom Crazy and it was lovely to work with them,' Mrs Allsopp said.

The cheerleading section - boosted by five coaches and assistants at the club, who've recently passed new qualifications - will compete in the Midlands Classic in Telford in April, and IDC are looking for sponsorship to assist the club's talented youngsters compete, travel and train .

If you can help, telephone Annett on 07878 977 449.

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