Inspirational Gymnast Wins Again by Mei Thum, City of London Freemen’s School

13 year old Abi Spratt was crowned first place in her category in the Floor and Vault Meapa Invitational gymnastics competition last weekend, making this the third time in a row that she has made it onto the podium at a competition. Abi is a talented young gymnast who is currently a member of the senior county squad at her local gymnastics club – Leatherhead and Dorking. She has been training in gymnastics for an impressive ten years and was previously a member of the regional squad at her club. From an extremely young age, Abi proved her potential in gymnastics by placing second in a regional competition at only six years old. Fast-forward to today and Abi is still making incredible achievements as a gymnast although she explains that this does not come without hard work and risk.

The competition took place at the Meapa Gymnastics Club where Abi Spratt competed in the Bronze 2008-2011 category. She explains the training and pressure she had to face in preparation for the competition “there’s a lot of pressure to do well and make sure everything’s alright for the competition. I didn’t want to hurt myself or anything.” Injury is a significant risk to gymnasts like Abi particularly due to the risky nature of the sport. Abi’s training in the build up to the competition consisted of 6 hours a week which is a challenge in itself without juggling schoolwork and other commitments alongside it.

Abi recalls her feelings when the competition began “I somehow managed to not get too nervous. When it started I was so worried I was going to be shaking.” Despite any initial doubts, Abi soared through her floor and vault routines, performing to a very high standard. However, at the time, Abi explains she didn’t feel completely at ease. “I found the spring board was very bouncy! … and I didn’t stick the landing on my vault.” As the competition drew to an end, Abi felt she may not have placed and so was all the more overjoyed as the winners were announced “I was really surprised when I won … It was really good.” Although it’s easy to focus on small imperfections for any athlete, Abi’s win highlighted her incredible talent and made her hard work and determination feel truly worthwhile.

With her recent top-of-the-podium position, Abi’s hard work in her gymnastics training does not stop there, as her high-scoring performance may mean that she will qualify to compete in the silver category. She explains “The silver category is harder but I’m hoping I will qualify” and describes her additional upcoming plans “I’ve got quite a few competitions at the start of next year… so that will be good to work towards.” Many more achievements are undoubtedly on the horizon for this inspirational young gymnast whose passion for gymnastics and determination to push herself to the best of her abilities is evident. Congratulations and best of luck in your future competitions Abi!

London Herald