WOODLEY-BASED Bulmershe Gymnastics Club are celebrating a hard-earned first after 15-year-old Finlay Morgan took an apparatus bronze at the British Championships in Liverpool.

Morgan, a men’s artistic gymnast who trains with senior coach, Mat Budsworth, qualified to the U16 pommel finals, and held his nerve to deliver a clean performance.

His routine was packed with difficulty, including complex travelling magyar and sivado elements which Morgan had not competed before at this level, and was rewarded with the bronze medal.

Budsworth was brimming with delight at the result, having coached the senior team for the last five years.

He commented: “This was a reminder of how far we've come at Bulmershe, and why I love this sport.

"For a small community gym to be able to field six competitors at this high-level competition is quite an achievement.

"I was extremely proud of them all as they put in some outstanding performances, culminating in our first ever national medalist. It's moments like this which make all the sacrifice and hard work worth it. Here's to many more.”

Meanwhile, the club’s younger girls (aged seven and eight) were enjoying success at the Berkshire Grades competition held at Pinewood Club in Wokingham, winning a clutch of medals.

Golds in the all-around competitions were secured by Bella Bunce in the Grade Six, Mia Stevenson in the Grade Five and Evgeniya Nikishina in the Compulsory Five out-of-age classifications, the latter just beating team-mate Tienna Oakman-Charles into the silver position.

Rylee Philips achieved bronze in the Grade Six, and all these girls qualified to join their senior squad friends at the regional finals in April.

At the Quatro “Witch of the West” competition, the women’s artistic gymnasts also swung to success, with Zennor Tejani winning the vault, bars and the all-around gold at national Grade Four.

Silver medals were won by Mia Stevenson in the club Grade Five competition and Amelie Bowles in the Compulsory Two grade.

Joining their team-mates on the podium in bronze medal position were Alice Bruun in the National Grade Two and Mollie Haswell in the Compulsory Grade Four.

Senior coach Katherine Golding was delighted with the results, noting the strength and depth among the women’s squad.

She commented: “As a coaching team we are so proud of these girls. They have had a terrific start to the competition season, and act as great role models for the rest of the club’s members.”