COVENTRY teenager Aidan Taylor secured his first national title after triumphing at the National Schools Elite Championships representing Central Galaxy Coventry Trampoline Club.
Aidan, aged 13, from Allesley Green is currently in Year 8 at Heart of England School and topped the podium in the Years 7 to 9 elite boys’ category in Macclesfield – the highest level of the competition for his age group.
The teenager had to learn two routines each made up of 10 different somersault skills and had to link all 10 somersaults together whilst ensuring he performed the moves neatly with straight arms and pointed toes staying as close to the middle of the trampoline as possible.
Aidan said: “I was nervous before the competition but also excited to be doing a new routine. This was the most difficult routine I have done so far and it was challenging but I knew I could do all of the skills in it.
“When I finished each routine, I was happy that I had completed all the skills and pleased that I had done my best. I was excited to see where I had finished but I had to wait until everyone had competed. To win was amazing! I was so excited – ecstatic!
“It was the first time I have been able to represent my secondary school as COVID meant that the competition wasn’t allowed last year. I was really proud to be representing Heart of England School at a national event.
“I am still excited about having won my first national title and so proud of what I have achieved for myself, my school and my trampoline club.
“My next step is to learn more new skills. I want to make my routines neater and then add in any new skills I learn.”
Aidan’s coach Andy Cuming added: “We are so proud of his work ethic. He learned a new routine and achieved a personal best with his difficulty level.”
And the Central Galaxy club member aspires to be like his idol, Team GB Olympian Bryony Page, and worked hard at home during the lockdowns to keep himself strong and flexible.
He built back his skills when the club reopened and then pushed himself to master new skills and polish his performances.
Across the country, hundreds of school children compete in three rounds of competition to see who will be named the National School’s Champion.
Aidan had already won the zonal round of this competition in January, but he had one more challenge to earn the national title he was so determined to gain – competing against the best boys from schools across the UK.
He is now training to try and secure a place at the British Gymnastics National Championships later this year.