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FIFTH WEEK BLUES

Fifth week is a notoriously difficult time in Oxford but at OU Gym we’re dispelling the gloomy weather and problem sheets with our shiny #darkblue leos! On Wednesday, five Oxford University students and two of our training partners from Oxford Brookes travelled to Leicestershire for the annual Loughborough Open and conquered their fifth week blues in style.

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Oxford Women: Gabbie, Liza, Leanne and Beth

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Brookes’ Women: Emma and Mollie

The competition was a great opportunity to test newly-learnt skills and completed routines before we head to BUCS in just over a week and prepare for the showdown of Varsity in eighth week. Fantastic performances all round, so check out the match report from our Women’s Captain Beth:

16776324_10154358794169067_642622961_oAlso this week, our Secretary Gabbie and President Serena have been featured on the Students of Oxford campaign to profile some of the blues’ squads in the run-up to Varsity and spread their stories: check out the page here

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Dab it, Squat it, Stretch Out

Welcome to Third Week – follow the link for some #MotivationMonday. Don’t we all love a stuck landing and a bit of dabbing?

Training is as busy as ever: there’s Mondays at Iffley (with brand new paralletes and therabands), free conditioning on Tuesdays (Kat promises lever preps this week, yay), and Abingdon sessions on Thursdays and Saturdays, so check out our Times page for all the info you need. As always, sessions are open to all and, if it’s your first time at OU Gym, come along for your two free sessions whenever you can make it. It’s been great to see so many new and familiar faces and lots of improvements being made by everyone!

In fact, check out some of our recent #skillsunday and #failfriday posts on our Twitter  and don’t miss Gabbie’s lovely leaps, Liza’s punch fronts (with varying landings) and some interesting attempts at pommel from Alex and Sid. Plenty more where they came from, and also plenty of social fun organised for you this week, with another crewdate on Friday – this time with Touch Rugby at Wok n Roll, email natalie.liu@queens.ox.ac.uk if you’re interested.

We’re getting very excited for the competition season that kicks off in just sixteen days! Routines are being pieced together and team spirit is reaching new heights, with some tremendous twisting by the lads at training this week and the imminent arrival of sparkling new stash. Our first comp is the Loughborough Open on 15th February, but in the meantime we’ll be counting down the #RoadtoVarsity, with quotes, posters, interviews and smashing skills. Stay tuned for more, and keep up to date with the #darkblue movement via Students of Oxford‘s campaign celebrating all things studenty-sporty.

Train hard, keep smiling and, if in doubt, squat it out.

(Or be like Sam ‘Turtleneck’ Barnett and stretch out, with a little help from Tricker)

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This week’s Caption Competition?

 

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Happy Hilary!

 

After wishing you all a merry Michaelmas, it’s time to welcome everyone back for a happy Hilary term –  hope you’ve had a great break and made lots of new year’s resolutions (maybe even including flipping around)! We’re always welcoming new members, regardless of your ability or experience, so feel free to pop along to any session and fill in the membership form if you’d like to join us after your first two free sessions. There’s lots for everyone this term so do check out our website and social media pages for updates.

Firstly, here’s the latest Termcard which has all the details of training sessions, bus timetable, and competition dates. As you can see, the Loughborough Open is held on the 15th February: this is a really friendly competition held in a beautiful gym (trust me, it’s green, it’s really bouncy and makes you feel great) so even if you’ve never competed before, it’s an ideal place to start – and there are four difficulty levels to pick from. For now, here’s the short Info Pack and full details about transport etc. will be available soon.

Also, the hype begins for BUCS, held over the weekend of 25th-26th February (6th/7th week), and Varsity on March 5th– the highlight of Hilary! Those in contention for Varsity team selection have already been notified but there’s still so much to get involved with and excited for: our girls and guys are going to need lots of support and it promises to be a really fun day out in Cambridge watching some excellent gymnastics. Again, lots of info to come over the next few weeks, including the return of our cool #darkblue T-shirts 😉

Finally, just a reminder that our popular Conditioning session has changed TIME and VENUE! It’s now Tuesday evening, 8-9pm, for some post-dinner calorie burning and strength building. Meet on Logic Lane, just off the High Street and we will walk down together.

Before that, though, we’ve got our first training session this Saturday of 0th week (14th Jan) – back at Abingdon from 5.15-7.30, we’ll be meeting to catch the bus at St Aldates at 4.40pm. See you there!

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Merry Michaelmas!

We’ve hit the end of our term, and I hope everyone is looking forward to some well earned rest at some point in the Christmas period. My main message is to say a big thank you to all our members and friends for having such a great time with us. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves!

Right from when we met some of you for the first time at Freshers Fair, and then caught up with returning members back at training, I’ve been so pleased by the amount of enthusiasm on show. Skills are shaping up really nicely and I hope you’ve had fun whatever it is you’re working on. It was lovely to gather together and enjoy the wonderful view from the Varsity Club during our Freshers’ Welcome Drinks or the food at Maxwells for our Christmas Dinner

wow the crowds at the Oxford University Sciences Ball

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Mollie just chillin mid-air

and show off all manners of really important skills during our protein shake themed team-building challenge night.

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What a planche Tom! (Or is it a worm?)

I’ve been impressed plenty of times, for certain.

Training attendance has been great, and we will be continuing next term with Mondays at Iffley, Thursdays and Saturdays at Abingdon and a new conditioning session on Tuesdays. Whatever your preference, I hope you feel encouraged to come (back) down! You can join us at any point during the year.

One big thank you must go to Mash, who has coached our Thursday sessions for the last couple of years and will unfortunately be leaving us after Christmas. Your enthusiasm and unfailing drive is an inspiration to all areas of my degree, and you are able to cheer me up when I am coming to gym for relief of any other stress. You are incredibly hard working and kind and we will certainly miss you very much. I hope you’ll pop back soon and see us, but we’re all rooting for you and make sure to look after yourself.

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Thanks so much Mash – stylish in stash as always!

If any qualified gymnastics coaches based in Oxfordshire are looking for an exciting opportunity to get involved with us, or if any readers know of somebody who fits the above description please do get in touch with me (serena.chang@queens.ox.ac.uk); we’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Our Cuppers competition was also a treat for me, to see everybody coming together and giving it a go. My thanks go to our judges, photographer and supporters for helping to pull together a very enjoyable day and complete our very cool #MannequinChallenge – check it out HERE!!

In the meantime, we’re looking forward to the competition season next term. We will keep reminders coming for next term’s dates. It’s definitely going to be jam-packed as ever, so all that remains is to wish you all a brilliant Christmas in the run up to that. You’re all stars!

All the best,

Serena

(President)

Cuppers Results!!

Well done to everyone who competed yesterday and did their colleges/university proud! Thanks so much to our judges Serena Chang, Miriam Reason and Matt Bullimore, and all the gymnasts for being amazing 🙂 Lots of pictures and videos to follow, but for now here’s the all important scores – huge congratulations to Univ, led to victory single handedly by Beth Andrew!

Cuppers Results 2016

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Saturday 19th November. Bus @ 4.40pm from H5 St Aldates — Abingdon Gym Club.

Both beginners and experienced gymnasts of all abilities assemble to win points for their college in the hope of getting a drink out of a tarnished old cup. Sign up here!

You can do a vault (either to piled up mats or over the traditional table with a springboard or a trampette) and any eight moves on floor – for example, a full spin, a split leap cat leap, a handstand forward roll, one armed cartwheel, a back walkover, a round off. Don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form or social media if you have any questions and come down to training in the meantime for some practice and any routine-related advice!

Bring your friends to support you, to enjoy the foam pit and the gymnastics skillz on show,  and to compete if you can persuade them – your college wins by points simply by participation – and then we’ll have lots of social fun afterwards.

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It’s gonna be lit. Just sayin’

Freaky Fourth Week

Fourth week is on the horizon – we’re nearly half way through term, which means it’s HALLOWEEN and not long until Cuppers!

We’ve got a nice long Saturday session coming up tomorrow (29th Oct), meet us at the H5 bus stop on St Aldates at 4.40, and then H-a-l-l-o-w-e-e-n training on Monday night 9-10.30 at Iffley. Feel free to dress up – I’ve never seen a cartwheeling pumpkin before but it would be very cool 😀

CUPPERS will be held at Abingdon Gym during one of our usual training sessions on Saturday 19th November (6th week). We’re always welcoming beginners and new members to any of our sessions and Cuppers is a great way to get involved. You really really don’t need to be strong or flexible to have a lot of fun and surprise yourself by trying some new skills! In fact, simply by being there and taking part, you’ll win valuable points for your college so do persuade as many of your friends as possible to come along 🙂 There’s a trophy up for grabs!

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