A giant leap forwards

PUBLISHED: 11:42 23 March 2007 | UPDATED: 22:39 28 May 2010

Stevie Harrow has made massive progress since taking up gymnastics four years ago

Stevie Harrow has made massive progress since taking up gymnastics four years ago

A YOUNG Manea gymnast is making her way up the national rankings and towards a place at the Espoir British Championships. Stevie Harrow, 10, has made giant leaps forward since she started in the sport just four years ago. From the early days of training f

George in action

A YOUNG Manea gymnast is making her way up the national rankings and towards a place at the Espoir British Championships.

Stevie Harrow, 10, has made giant leaps forward since she started in the sport just four years ago.

From the early days of training for one hour a week at the Hudson Leisure Centre, in Wisbech, Stevie is now an established regional squad member and on the brink of a national top-30 ranking.

After training in Wisbech, trials with Huntingdon Olympic Gymnastics Club resulted in a fourth place finish in the county and a call-up to the Cambridgeshire squad.

And two years ago, Stevie impressed at a trial with Bury St Edmunds' Spectrum Gymnastics Club, where she is now trained by regional head coach Suzanne Mealham.

Impressive performances earned selection for the regional squad and Stevie has also been invited to compete in the Rushmoor Rose Bowl International event for the past two years.

But now Stevie is turning her attention to national elite level finals. This year is a crucial one for the youngster, who is aiming for an improvement in her age group ranking and achieving scores that will qualify her for a place in next year's Espoir British Gymnastics Championships.

Stevie competed in round one of the British Gymnastics Compulsory Level Two finals, in Liverpool, last week and her score of 49.1 was just 1.4 points short of an automatic pass mark.

The round one results ranks her 31st in the country but, with round two in June and an opportunity to better her round one score in November, Stevie can still rocket up the national rankings.

Scores from the two rounds will be combined to produce a final ranking, and indications are that Stevie is more than capable of becoming one of the top gymnasts in her age group.

Stevie's father, Steve said: "She is really determined to do well and the feedback from her coaches has been very encouraging.

"There were 27 gymnasts from all over the country in Liverpool and, although she was a little disappointed to miss out on the pass mark, Stevie is on track to do better in the second round.

"The major target for her is the Espoir British Championships next year and Stevie will also be taking part in the Rushmoor Rose Bowl International in October.

In the family

Stevie’s success has been an inspiration for younger brother George. The nine-year-old also competes for the Bury Spectrum Club. On Sunday, he finished a superb second in his first major competition, the Regional Setwork Qualifiers. George has been in the sport for only two years but now he can look forward to representing the Eastern Region in the National Development Programme Championships to be held in Newcastle, in May.

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