Sugarloaf Gymnast Niamh Hutchinson has won bronze for Ireland at the Celtic Cup in Perth, Scotland. Niamh, aged 13 was selected through a trial process to represent Ireland at the annual competition between Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man. Niamh and her coach Sharon endured a gruelling trial process which saw them travel often to Cork, Belfast and Limerick for long days of trial competitions, as well as having prior training commitments to the Gymnastics Ireland 2020 Olympic Start Squad of which Niamh is a member of. Between these training sessions in Galway, competitions and trials, they spent weekend after weekend travelling the country as well as fitting in their usual 15 hours a week training.
The team was represented by gymnasts from across Ireland. Niamh was one of the most experienced of the team, having made her international debut for Ireland at the 2013 Celtic Cup on the Isle of Man. The team had a relatively clean competition, with a few minor mistakes but pulled together as a team to persevere. Niamh competed in the All Around competition – on Vault, Bars, Floor and Beam. She secured the highest score on Vault for the Irish Team, which ranked her in 7th place, a mere .60 away from first place. She also achieved a personal best on Vault with her score of 12.550.
The team won bronze for Ireland, the first Minor (U13) Women’s team to do so since 2011 where only 3 teams competed. They show cased some of the strongest Irish Women’s Artistic performances to date for this competition. It was a tough event, with the Irish gymnasts competing against Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all of whom train in full time gymnastics facilities, training in excess of 20 hours per week. The final standings were Wales in first place,Scotland in second, Ireland in third and Northern Ireland in fourth.
Check out some photos from the competition.