JUMP Floor & Vault medallists

JUMP! Championships are springboard for success for north-east gymnasts

A group of north-east gymnasts had a spring in their step after winning a sweep of medals at the recent JUMP! Floor & Vault Championships at Cumbernauld. Each of the 20 boys and girls from ETKO Sports Academy returned to Aberdeenshire with a medal, after competing against youngsters from 17 different clubs.

Teams from Oldmeldrum-based ETKO Sports Academy triumphed across the boys’ 10-11 beginners, girls’ 10-11 intermediate and girls’ 12-13 intermediate age categories. There were further individual gold medals in the boys’ competition for Charlie Mahoney (9 years beginners), Innes Morrison (10-11 beginners) and Finlay Robinson (12-13 beginners). Within the girls’ event, Naomi McLaughlin and Niah McIntosh took the podium top spots in the 10-11 beginners and intermediate categories respectively, with Madelyn Mair also striking gold in the 12-13 intermediate competition.

All the young gymnasts who attended the event train within ETKO Sports Academy’s purpose-built centre, which is fully equipped with a sprung floor for practising routines, plus competition-standard apparatus. They were accompanied to the competition by head coach Laura Etko, who is also the founder and director of ETKO Sports Academy, along with instructors Dan Griffiths and Grant McKay, who lead and manage ETKO’s boys’ gymnastics programme.

Reflecting on the results, Laura said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome to this event. I am extremely pleased for our gymnasts and their instructors, as these performances are the culmination of many hours of diligent training.

“Our thanks also go to our gymnasts’ families, who make a considerable commitment to getting their children to and from training – not to mention attending competitions further afield. Without their support, achievements like this simply wouldn’t happen.”

ETKO Sports Academy offers a range of sporting opportunities for all ages and abilities, from baby gym through to teen and adult fitness classes. The company was founded in 2008 by former international gymnast Laura Etko and her husband Vio, a veteran world champion in wrestling. Around 1,000 members visit the facility each week to participate in a variety of sports including gymnastics, running, wrestling and group exercise classes.