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Gymnastics: Buckley quartet set for North Wales Development squad

FOUR girls from Buckley Girls’ Gymnastics Club have secured places in the first North Wales Women’s Artistic Development Squad selected by the Welsh Gymnastics Association.

Young athletes from around the region took part in trials at Wrexham and Mountain Lane School pupil Ffion Whitley, plus clubmates Amber Amelia and Bella, who train at Buckley Leisure Centre, secured places in two squads comprising 16 juniors and 16 seniors.

The teams have been set up to help develop the potential of aspiring gymnasts in the north without the need to travel to South Wales.

Buckley club coaching director Stan Buckley said it was a good opportunity for the nine- and 10-year-old girls.

He said: “This squad will give an opportunity for our talented gymnasts to progress without the arduous travel to south Wales.

“Buckley Girls GC have represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games and GB international.

“With our committed coaching staff and support of Welsh Gymnastics, we will gain that representation once again.”

Squad training is due to be held monthly at Wrexham Olympic Gymnastics Club and the first session takes place in mid February.

The North Wales squad will be led by Tina Williams who is also working with the Welsh Development Squads in Cardiff.

She said: “They will train on vault, bars, beam and floor, with lots of focus on technique and preparation. It will also include strength and flexibility work.

“The squad aims to develop gymnastics in North Wales bringing its top junior and senior athletes together.”

Amelia, nine, a pupil of Ysgol Sychdyn near Mold, described the trial as good fun.

“You had to do things like as many chin-ups as you could in 30 seconds,” she said. “My legs were hurting a bit after all the pistol lifts.”

Mr Buckley paid tribute to Buckley coaches including Ceri Sass and Danielle Wrigley.

“Without the dedication of our small coaching staff none of this would have happened,” he said.