Varsity Match 2019

On Sunday 17th February, more than twenty of Oxford’s finest gymnasts headed cross country to Marriotts Gym in Stevenage for the much-awaited 32nd Varsity Match. The competition was fierce but friendly, all teams performed really well, and the results were close.

The Women’s A team began on bars, not their favourite apparatus, but everyone competed cleanly before moving onto beam, where Kelsey Fenner built on her sixth place performance at BUCS to execute another beautiful, clean routine with a stuck backwalkover-flic series. Amelia Bowman gave a gutsy performance, competing this event for the very first time, and also delivered a really strong floor routine, showing off her fantastic flexibility and musicality; there were excellent floor scores from long standing team members Živa Alif and Katrina Kelly; and the rotation finished in the best way possible, with Women’s Captain Leanne Smith’s super leaps and crowd pleasing choreography!

On to vault and the women rounded off their competition with a clean series of handsprings and half-ons, which brought  the final scores to a nineteen point victory to Cambridge, led by three times Varsity champion Eleanor Clifford, with Fi Chang in second place, and a joint third place for Oxford teammates Leanne and Kelsey who both had clean rounds and did the dark blue team proud!

Leanne+Kelsey Medals

In the Women’s B team event, there was a clean sweep for Oxford with Jess Mason, Natalie Liu and Katie Miles taking the top three all-around places after a series of strong (and sassy) floor routines and some lovely vaults. There was excellent bar work from Tiri Hughes in her first Varsity, a vault debut from Jenelle Marcelle, and a (rare) series of stuck beam routines too!

Women's B

Ably led by Men’s Captain Alex Koziell, who set a personal best score in his fourth varsity, the Men’s A team put in a commanding and consistent performance, hunting down Cambridge, who were led by former Commonwealth gymnast Jack Neill, on every event. Grant Cox Sehmi showed his flair for pommels and contributed great scores on parallel bars and floor. Lewis Walker also demonstrated great consistency in his first Varsity and his heroics on high bar will long go down in history (for all the right reasons!). After a rather longer car journey than anticipated, Jamie Carpenter proved his mettle as a former Scottish national champion by competing fresh (from his run out of the car park) to pull out an elegant tumbling set, smooth parallel bar work, a winning rings performance, and a great full twisting Tsukahara on vault.

 

Despite training restrictions for the men on vault this term, both the A and B teams produced some lovely vaults, including a tidy Tsukahara from former captain Sid Baines (who also stormed his parallel bars and pommels sets) and stuck handsprings from experienced B team member Jack Mustafa, who placed second all-around. There were also great landings from Saad Rana and George Lee, who, in his competitive debut, went on to take bronze in the B team all around. The Men’s B team – Jack, George, Saad, Tim Riley, Rory Edwards and Anthony Poole – celebrated a magnificent victory, beating Cambridge by an impressive eighteen points; the first time an Oxford Men’s team has won at a varsity competition in living memory!

 

 

Men's AMen's B

With victories for both B teams, and great performances from the A teams (especially the Men who were within 5 points of Cambridge – exceptional considering the margin was 100 points just three years ago!), we look forward to Varsity 2020 back on home soil. Well done to everyone who participated, and thanks and congrats to the judges and the Cambridge committee for arranging a great day and a lovely meal at Zizzi’s afterwards!

Blues Performance Scheme

We are thrilled to announce that OUGYM have recently been awarded a place on the Blues Performance Scheme for the coming year! The scheme is run by Oxford University Sport and offers specialist training and resources to exceptional teams of athletes.


This includes professional support with strength and fitness, sports psychology, and nutrition.

The support is available to our top competitive gymnasts, who will use it to supplement their training towards the various competitions in our calendar, including the Varsity competition in Hilary Term.

We are very grateful to OUSport for this opportunity, and we hope it will give our gymnasts the best chance at success in all their sporting endeavours in the year ahead!

The Varsity Match 2018

Gymnastics Varsity 2018 has undoubtedly been the best competition yet. With the introduction of a Men’s B team competition, the standard of gymnastics has never been higher.

The final result was a Cambridge victory but this was by no means an easy win. Oxford put forward their strongest teams, achieving individual all-around medals in both the Men’s and Women’s A team competitions and a record-breaking number of Blues:

Full Blues

Half Blues

Meg Buckley – 2nd in WAG AA
Katrina Kelly – 3rd in WAG AA
Sid Baines (c)
Jamie Carpenter – 3rd in MAG AA
Grant Cox-Sehmi
Alex Koziell
Eric LeGresley
Liza Hadley
Leanne Smith (c)

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Thank you to everyone for all of your hard work in the run up to Varsity and well done on all of your performances, we are proud of you all! We had a great day competing alongside you, so we hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did!

Leanne Smith, Women’s Captain 2017/18

 

Competition to make the teams was fierce and I don’t think our club has ever brought such a talented, amazing group of gymnasts to a Varsity match. I’m so proud of everyone’s individual performances and this is tangibly reflected in the closing of the gap of overall scores against Cambridge. So, tabs, you better watch out – we’re hot on your heels!

The inaugural Men’s B team competition is yet another tangible result of how far OUGym has come since I joined in 2015. From struggling to find a complete Men’s A team to struggling to choose who would make the B team! Even more warming is the fact that this progress has been noticed not only by club members, but by Varsity judges who return year on year and were so impressed by the standard of our men this year. Special thanks to Matt Green and Stephen Anyon, who make the long trip down from Preston each year to judge for us – we hope to welcome you both within other aspects of the club in future years!

Another massive thank you has to go to Serena Chang (President 2016/17) who did so much for the club during her time on Committee and has continued to support us after graduating: judging at both Cuppers and Varsity and providing valuable advice for the Women after the competition. OUGym provides such a supportive environment, where your team-mates are also your best friends, and I’m honoured to be a part of it.

Further thanks go our wonderfully supportive coach, Chris Seelig; all the other judges: Tracy Seelig, Philip Davis, Annie Muston and David Ho; our photographers: YueJin Oh and Zak Szymonski; and all spectators who helped create such a supportive environment. Varsity is undoubtedly the highlight of OUGym’s year and the day wouldn’t have been possible without you and I hope you all had as much fun as we did.

Thanks to Oxford’s amazing captains, Leanne Smith and Sid Baines, whom event organisation would have been impossible without. Both I and your teams have so much love and respect for you – thank you from everyone for being super captains and giving up much of your own training time to help everyone else’s routines flourish. Thanks to Sadie Robertson for taking on the arduous task of adding up scores and for Megan Gosling’s hilarious commentary. Last but definitely not least, thanks to Jess Mason for organising a super buffet social to satiate us all after a long competition – it was the perfect way to finish off the day! The OUGym committee is made up of the kindest, most helpful and most fun group of people and I’d thoroughly recommend applying!

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OUGym Committee 2017/18

Final scores can be found below – congratulations again for the astounding number of Blues awarded this year and for all those who achieved individual medals!

Final Varsity Scores

Varsity 2018 was certainly the highlight of my time at OUGym. Congrats to everyone who competed and exceeded my expectations in the standard of gymnastics. Final thanks to all club members for providing such a supportive network both at the competition and during the lead-up to it. I hope that the standard of gymnastics at Oxford only goes up from here.

Christmas Dinner & Socials!

Over my two-and-a-bit years at OU Gymnastics, I’ve learned that the people you train with are as big of a factor as the training itself.

Time spent together, both inside and outside the gym, is what motivates us to leap higher, turn faster, and become stronger. It takes the best parts of what makes us human, and uses them to burn a fire that get’s passed down from member to member, even when times change and some of us have long gone…

Without any doubt, the team would be A LOT different without our socials. From nights out, to nights in, rowdy dinners or maybe just getting together to watch cheesy gymnastics movies – pretty much anyone has some place or time that they will enjoy with us!

Our most recent was the OuGym Christmas dinner!

group shot

Plenty of FUN (as usual) was had for the festive season. Secret Santas delivered presents to their fellow teammates. The very merry of us were given away by their rosy cheeks, and although the group who went to the club afterwards were disappointed by the lack of Christmas music, they still partied like it was Oxmas 2017!

Hope to see you at the next social!

~Ougym

Cuppers 2017!

A huge congratulations to all who came down to take part in our inter-college competition this year!

From beginners to advanced, we’re so proud of anyone and everyone who had the courage to step up to the floor or take on the vault and simply take part in such an amazing sport. You smashed it guys!

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(The victorious Queen’s Team with their cup)

This year saw a victory from Queen’s, and 2nd and third place to St Johns and Christ Church respectively. Scores, courtesy of our wonderful judges are here: Gymnastics-Cuppers-Scores-2017

We hope you all enjoyed yourselves, and that this served as a nice warm up for some of bigger, exciting competitions in Hilary such as Varsity and the Birmingham Open.

Until then, keep on flippin’!

~Ougym

It’s Results Day! Ready for the New Term?

Congratulations to everyone who has received their exam results – we’re so excited to welcome you to OU Gym in October!17191207_1137554473037038_5760376867550207261_n

Last year was a blast – we doubled our membership, and the levels of fun we had more than quadrupled. Our gymnasts achieved so much; whether it was their first backward roll, back tucks or double backs!

We look forward to seeing new members of all abilities joining us: we have a lot on offer for both experienced gymnasts and complete beginners.

Some things you should be excited about:

  • NEW EQUIPMENT: The previously stark training at Iffley is getting an upgrade! Expect new crash mats, springboards, and a mushroom – perfect for learning or perfecting new skills!
  • FREE CONDITIONING: Our absolutely priceless conditioning sessions will be making a return. Tuesdays 20:00-21:00. Our experienced Men’s and Women’s Captains (and perhaps other committee members) will have you burning away that University fresher’s booze belly!
  • SOCIALLLS! Our new social secretary, Jess, has already begun organising our reputably fun, wild and epic social events. Under supervision of Natalie, out previous social secretary (now President), there’s now doubt we’re going to have as much fun as ever!
  • NEW SKILLS. WOWS AND AMAZEMENT: existing members who train in the summer often come back with a whole array of new skills to show off and teach. Some people we know for sure are going to train hard and level up, but we also get some awesome and unexpected surprises each year… I for one have a few aces up my sleeve 😉

And of course… be excited about, and excited by our 2017 VARSITY SHOWREEL, released TODAY!

Over and out!

2017 Photoshoot!

OUGym are coming to the end of quite honestly one of our most successful years yet. We’ve seen progress in all aspects of the club, from our massive membership increase… to top-quality displays not only in competitions, but also as stunt performers in numerous Oxford Balls.

It’s not surprising, then, that when photographer Leon Kong produced these brilliant photographs, he captured a vibrant, frivolous and close atmosphere.

Here are some, the rest can be found on our facebook page. I hope the smiles on their faces put a smile on yours!

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Here’s to another great year!