Talented young gymnasts from Waterford’s Kilbarry Gymnastics Academy (KGA) had a very successful weekend at Gymnastics Ireland GymSTART at the Sports Ireland National Indoor Arena in Dublin, bringing home 17 medals in total, seven gold, eight silver and two bronze.

This was a remarkable achievement building on KGA’s recent success at the National Series last November and putting this growing Waterford gymnastic club firmly on the Gymnastic Ireland national map.

KGA’s younger members at Gym START

GymSTART is a programme designed to drive participation in the clubs by creating a safe, progressive and fun environment for all, from coaches and judges through to gymnasts and students. KGA sent 21 gymnasts from recreational to development groups ranging in age from 6 to 15 years old and the competition took place at the World class gymnastic facilities in the National Indoor Arena in Dublin.

Club director and head coach Maddie Croke was delighted with the results; “Over 20 of our gymnasts competed at their first ever GymSTART competition. It was an amazing full-filled day with a great bunch of gymnasts, coaches and judges. We hope to bring even more of our gymnasts next year. We are the only competitive Artistic Gymnastics Club in Waterford. We are always open to welcoming new gymnasts who are interested in competing in Gymnastic Ireland’s competitions such as GymSTART or the National Series – if you are a gymnast with some coached experience, get in contact and we can arrange a trial.”

A six-strong coaching team from KGA team travelled up to Dublin with the gymnasts; Maddie Croke, Racheal Egan, Lindsey Sheehan, Zuzia Bacela, Lily-Mei Flynn and Mia Flynn.

KGA’s Triumphant Teens

At Level 1 under 10 Pola Starosciak came 1st and Kate O’Mahony 2nd and in the over 10 category Grace Barry came 1st and Martha de Paor 2nd.

At Level 2 under 7 Madison Hamilton took 2nd place, in under 8 Sophia Power won 1st place and Ava Pierce 2nd place, under 10 Annabel Hayes won 1st place and at Under 9 Lily Byrne won 2nd place and Ellie Mae Aylward was highly commended in 4th place.

At Level 2 Over 10c Eve O’Donnell won 1st place and in Over 10d category it was a clean sweep for KGA with Shona Pidgeon taking 1st place, Lucy O’Shea taking 2nd and Sara Blysz taking 3rd place. In the over 10e category Gabriella Jones came first and Amber Griffin 2nd with Amy Whyte having a great competition in over 10a coming 6th.

At Level 3 Over 10e Emma Thompson came 3rd and in over 10f Toni Chilton came 2nd with Caoimhe O’Regan and Rachel Kelly having a super competition coming 11th and 7th.

 Clean sweep for KGA (at L2 over 10d) Lucy O’Shea, Shona Pidgeon and Sara Blysz

Kilbarry Gymnastic Academy was established in 1984 with new management taking over in 2020. The club runs classes for all levels of gymnasts from pre-schoolers to adults, with popular recreational classes for girls and boys as well as a development squad and a high-level competitive Women’s Artistic Gymnastics squad. You can find out more at Kilbarry Gymnastic Academy’s facebook and Instagram pages and at https://kilbarryg.wixsite.com/mysite.