In a celebration of gymnastics of all ages and abilities, Leeds GymFest returned to the First Direct Arena in Leeds, where 1,300 gymnasts gathered to showcase their routines.
The Gryphon went with Leeds Student Television to the arena to witness the event, hosted by Leeds Gymnastic Club, where artistic, acrobatic, rhythmic and disability gymnasts were keen to not only perform, but meet Olympic medalist Nile Wilson.
The Leeds born athlete was a special guest at the event, with hundreds of gymnasts queuing for autographs and photos with the young starlet. All the money raised from the showcase is put straight back into the club, in a bid to increase weekly class capacities for children, and improve the equipment.
The importance of the event was emphasised by the office administrator Sarah Storey, who said it took 11 months to plan, with gymnasts all across the UK and Ireland coming to show their support and participate.
When speaking to a talented gymnast group called ‘Enigma’, they told us they had been training minimum twice a week for this one performance alone. With many of the top coaches in the UK in attendance at the event, it is for certain they will have been impressed with the developing talent.
With the day filled with leotards, laughter and lean bodies that filled us with envy, the event was a huge success. The performances ran from 10am in the morning all the way until 5.30pm, with the diverse routines entertaining a huge audience of 4,000 people in the arena.
Perhaps what is most impressive is the support gathered to help the gymnast community. From the appearance of Olympian Nile Wilson, to parents telling us they had woken at 5am to get their children to the event, it is safe to say that the inclusivity of everyone made us realise why the event has been running so successfully for 17 years.