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14 June 2021
We are delighted to announce that our very own Michaela (Kyla) Cook, who is one of our fantastic Teaching Assistants here at The Beacon, has been selected to represent Great Britain in the 2021 Acrobatic World Championships! Britain will have representation from two women’s groups at the Championships, which are set to take place in Geneva, Switzerland in July this year.
Kyla is a member of the Richmond Gymnastics Association (RGA), which is an award-winning charity founded in 1960, delivering over 1,800 children and young people. She is busy training for the Championships at the headquarters in Kew, as well as at six satellite centres within the Richmond borough. Kyla, amongst 8 other Richmond gymnasts, has been selected from London’s top acrobats to face opponents from more than 40 nations across three age categories.
This week, a few of our keen gymnasts in Year 5 were lucky enough to take part in a mini-coaching session with Kyla in our Sports Hall! Here is a report from Kyla on what the boys learnt:
We began the session with a quick warm up and stretch prior to me giving the boys some guidance with their positions, followed by some individual stretches. We started with the basics, such as a forward roll, and worked our way up to the harder exercises. I challenged at each stage, such as finishing a forward roll in a straddle or pike stand. We did backward rolls, cartwheels, handstands and headstands. I taught the boys some basic Acro Skills – starting off with what’s known as ‘bunk bed’, where the boys all swapped with each other. We then practised our basic counterbalance skills, progressing to a harder version of leap frogs. I finished the session with a spot of conditioning to help the boys perfect their positioning.
To see what they got up to in this inspiring session, please see the gallery below.
Here is a short Q&A with Kyla and her team:
How did it feel to have so many of your gymnasts selected?
Head of Acrobatics:
Considering the challenges of this last year, we’re really pleased to have four partnerships selected to
represent Great Britain. The clubs is so proud of all our gymnasts, and we’re all excited and looking forward to
What are you most looking forward to about the World Champs?
Head of Acrobatics:
We’re really looking forward to being at Worlds and enjoying the buzz of international competition again.
How did it feel to be selected for the World Championships squad?
With Covid it’s been difficult and training was different. But now that we’re back in the gym and the
competition is happening this year, it’s really exciting!
It felt very good and really exciting. I’m quite proud!
It felt great because our hard work had paid off.
How important have your club been in developing you as a gymnast and your career?
I’ve been here my whole life since I was a baby. Pretty important as I wouldn’t be here without Richmond!
I was originally at Harefield for 12 years but there was no partnership available for me there, so I moved to
Richmond just before Covid. I was bit nervous when I first started but I’ve settled in now. Richmond has been
so important and has allowed me to get where I wanted to go in gymnastics
Like Tegan, I’ve been here since I was a baby as well so yeh, the club has been very important.
What do you love most about gymnastics? What are the benefits you’ve experienced?
I really like the people. I like coming here to be with “my people”. I like the social aspect as well as the
competitions and the travelling to loads of different places. Getting through a hard session is so satisfying
when you feel like you’ve accomplished something.
I love competing because of the adrenalin you get and being able to do things that other people can’t. It has also really helped increase my social skills.
I enjoy pushing through the hard sessions, going to competitions and meeting people from different places.
Gymnastics really helps with a lot of things like team building, and it teaches you to be organised
We are immensely proud of Kyla’s achievements and wish her all the best of luck in the Championships later this year!
Please click here to read more about the competition and please also see the video below for a sneak peak of her training!