Time for Trinity Term

So the new term has begun! And despite exams looming, the crew are back in the gym and training: whether it be to smash their new goals or just have a little fun.

Squad up

The list goes on…

This week we’ve seen some exciting preparations for by our Balliol Ball performers, who’ll be flipping and dancing in front of spectators on Saturday the 6th. Keep an eye out for sneak peeks of their routines on social media!

Squash Rehearsal

A sneek peek from one of our secret training venues…

This week also saw the official Blues Presentation Evening for our top athletes, so a shout out to our Blues Recipients this year: Jamie Carpenter and Sid Baines from our Men’s team, and Beth Andrews from the Women’s. Another two of our gymnasts, Grant Cox-Sehmi and Alex Koziell, also received half-blues. Congrats to them and all our athletes who have been working hard this year!

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Grant, Beth, Sid and Jamie

Next week holds some May-Day celebrations (will we stay awake this time?) followed swiftly by our Annual General Meeting, for which our new President Natalie is organising some delicious PIZZA.

That’s all for now~

Over and Out

We’ve come to the end of a packed Hilary term and as we begin to look for a new committee, here’s a fond farewell message from our President:

Dear All,

I can’t quite believe that my time on an OU Gym Committee is coming to an end – perhaps that’s why I still feel the need to start my sentences as if I’m writing an email!

It really has been such a significant part of my degree to be part of this Club and this really is a testament to all its members. I hope, whether you’ve come down to one session or twenty or just are planning to in the future that you feel the same! You’ve been such a lovely bunch of people and have done us all proud.

This term I have to give particular congratulations to our competitive squad, who have been true dark Blue athletes in the face of adVARSITY (pun credit to Katrina). As match reports came in from Loughborough Open (15th Feb), I was struck by how supportive you all were to everyone else, and so willing to cheer each other on. There was even more of the same from BUCS (25th/26th Feb) a couple of weeks later.

And when it came to the big day, the 30th Oxford-Cambridge Varsity match, you really pulled it off. I think even Cambridge would agree with me in saying this was the highest standard of respectable, dignified and impressive gymnastics seen at a Varsity match for a long time. We’re also so happy that we had such a great crowd of spectators which made all the difference! You guys are fab.

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Team Dark Blue (or is it pink?) at Varsity 2k17

Individual mentions should go to: Beth Andrew who has led the women’s team ferociously this term, driving all over the country, she’s been a terrific organisational help, lead sessions and to top it off she brought back her own individual medal and Full Blue from Varsity. It’s also been a pleasure to have Erin Hylton on loan from the States for a year, her floor routine will never fail to wow a crowd. Highest Varsity floor score was well deserved. Caitlin, we don’t know how you rowed Torpids, got blades, and still pulled off a sterling beam routine at Varsity. Gabbie and Liza – you have both done so much for the Club and all the teams, and it was a pleasure to watch you pulling off new skills on the big day.

Women’s B team – you are such champions! Congratulations for winning such a solid victory and Shoeing Some Tabs. And extra massive well done to our medallists Leanne (GOLD) and Sadie (SILVER), who put forward such a high standard of gymnastics it’s no wonder the scores were so impressive! Jess, Yiyi and Lottie also had brilliant performances, sealing the team competition victory with style.

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Womens B team champs!

Men – what a year it’s been. It’s been a saga and a half pulling together a team, but honestly anyone who was part of this process should be really proud. Our final selection; Jamie, Sid, Alex K, Grant, Jack and James were a force to be reckoned with and had phenomenal fighting spirit. Extra congratulations to Jamie (SILVER) and Sid for year-round exciting performances, and to Alex who says after driving a full minibus, the competition was actually a relief!

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Mens BUCS squad

The Club has also loved welcoming our external training partners, who may be from the world of work, Oxford Brookes or other exciting walks of life! You add great things to the training atmosphere, but especially those who have competed with us this year (Clare-Marie, Mollie, Emma) you deserve lots of congratulations for really great form.

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Our lovely training partners

Overall, it’s been a highly memorable term and full of fun as well as competition training. Our Stick It and Stir Fry film night was one highlight, along with our lovely team dinner at the end of the year. Thank you, as ever to Nat for being an organisational queen. In the upcoming term, we’re looking forward to plenty more fun too – ball performances, trying new skills, conditioning in Uni parks with glorious weather (touch wood) and more that we probably haven’t even thought of yet. The next Committee certainly has a lot to look forward to.

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What a crazy club – we love you all! 

And with that I will be signing off, for the final time! We recently received a message from a former OU Gym president praising the Club’s recent achievements which have gone from strength to strength in the last year (her words!). I can’t tell you how much of an honour it’s been to be part of that. The outgoing committee should be really proud of themselves too. We should also give bundles of thanks to Chris, our coach, who does an unbelievable amount for the Club. We couldn’t manage without you, Chris!

I will be back soon to visit I hope – if you’ll have me!

Love and best wishes,

Serena

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?

 

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!

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