On the 5th and 6th of February some of our gymnasts participated in the annual BUCS Gymnastics Competition, taking place at New College Leicester gym! We met with Lucy and Alex, our Women and Men captains, to chat about the team’s performance at the event and the overall experience!
Who competed and in which grades?
Lucy (L): For the women’s team we had a great turnout, with eight competitors across various Grades: five in Grade 3, two in Grade 2 and one in Grade 1.
Alex (A): There were five competitors for the men’s team, all in Grade 2. It was great, as we got to do our rotations together and be there to support each other.
Are you and the people who competed happy with the results achieved?
L: I am extremely happy with how the day went for everybody! This was the first competition for everyone since Covid, and for some of us it was the first Artistic Gymnastics competition ever! We had many clean performances and everyone pulled off a routine they were satisfied with.
A: We all stepped up and pulled off a routine, with some of us even winning a medal! Despite a fall on the high bar, I was pleased to pluck up the courage to get back up there! It was nice to compete above a hard floor, rather than a squishy foam pit.
Did people achieve the goals they set for themselves?
L: Our goal as a team was to present some solid routines and enjoy being back on the competition floor whilst cheering each other, and we definitely achieved that!
A: Ben definitely met his goal, getting a medal for his impressive rings routine! Others also had some amazing performances: David left with high rankings on all his apparatus and a Silver Medal on parallel bars! Congratulations also go to Lewis for his Silver on Pommel Horse and 5th place All-Around and to Ollie for his 6th place on Rings!
How do you feel coming back to BUCS after the long gap due to the pandemic?
L: It was great to be back on the competition floor and seeing everyone getting back up to pre-pandemic standard! People introduced new skills in their routines or relearned skills and they were all successfully presented, which was amazing.
A: I feel more motivated than ever to keep training and regain the momentum I was gathering pre-pandemic!
How was the overall experience for the team?
L: Overall we had lots of fun! Although it was a long and tiring day, everyone enjoyed watching each other competing and the performances of gymnasts from other universities. It really was an incredible day of gymnastics!
A: During the competition we were a very cohesive team and supportive of each other. I didn’t feel nervous and I think I can speak for all of us when saying that it was great fun!
Did you meet gymnasts from other universities who you already knew? How was interacting and competing again?
L: At BUCS Oxford and Cambridge put their rivalry aside and we were friends for the day: in the Grade 2 competition we were going round together and it was great to have that extra cheer from each other! There were lots of new friendly faces, and I caught up with an old teammate from home, which was lovely. Overall being able to interact with other clubs again was really positive and we can’t wait for it to continue!
A: Having not done BUCS for a while, there were a lot of new faces and I made some new friends. I look forward to seeing them again in the years to come!
How was the venue? What was the structure of the day like for your team?
L: We competed on Saturday and we were up bright and early, arriving in time for the doors to open. We had competitors in almost every round so it was a long and busy day of warm ups and competitions, and we got back to Oxford late at night. Luckily everyone came prepared with lots of snacks to fuel us and time passed by quickly whilst watching the competition!
A: We competed on Sunday and we were well organised. We arrived with plenty of time and we got hyped up watching the insane Grade 1 competitors. Some of them had competed on the international stage! After that, we got our heads down, warmed up and got on with our competition. The day flew by and, before we knew it, we were on our way back, delighted with how the day went.
Varsity is coming up next week, how do you feel about it? Did the members’ self-confidence grow after participating in BUCS?
L: I think that BUCS motivated everyone to get back on track and make sure we are on top of our game for varsity. Everyone now knows they can perform some great routines – all we can do is improve. It was great to spend the day all together as a team, supporting and cheering – we can’t wait to do this again at Varsity!
A: The BUCS experience was an overall confidence booster! We gained confidence not only in our athletic abilities but on our overall morale as a team.
Could you share with us a funny or wholesome moment from the competition?
L: An highlight was definitely Lina deciding to take a nap in an ‘empty room’, only to then wake up to gymnasts running around her and warming up! It was wholesome to see everyone competing in their matching leos for the first time.
A: Of course, the inevitable moment of intimately patching up a teammate’s hand with tape and plasters, after he sustained a rather large blister on parallel bars!