Published: March 12, 2012
Olympics joy for 'delighted' Burnham-On-Sea gymnastics coach

A 'dream has come true' for Burnham-On-Sea gymnastics coach Sarah Moon, who is set to take Britain's Rhythmic Gymnastics Senior Group to this summer's Olympic Games.

Sarah - a former King Alfred School student who lives in Burnham - has coached the team at Bath University for the past year and is thrilled they have qualified to compete in this summer's London 2012 Olympics.

It comes after a tense few weeks for her and the team after they just missed out on qualification in January.

They attended the Olympic Gymnastics Test Event at the O2 in London and just missed their required benchmark score set by British Gymnastics by 0.2 of a mark. They were told they would not be going to the Olympics, but there was confusion as to whether the score had applied to two or three days of competition.

They then performed their two routines on the third day and stormed the required mark by two whole marks. This led to an appeal being put forward to try and secure a wild card place at The Olympics due to the misunderstanding on British Gymnastics Policy.

Over the past few days, the team has won their appeal and they will definitely be going to the 2012 Olympics, the first time a British rhythmic gymnastics group has entered.

Sarah's mother, Sandra, who lives in Burnham, told "The girls have worked very hard for this and are all really excited and pleased to be going to the Olympics."

"It has been Sarah's dream for 24 years to get to the Olympics. We are so pleased and proud of the team and Sarah."

Sarah is lead coach with the City of Bath Rhythmic Gymnastics Club, as well as being the coach for the GB team and the Great Britain Senior Group. She is an international brevet judge and was awarded the Sports Coach UK Community Coach of the Year in 2007. She went to the 2010 Commonwealth Games as the official England Rhythmic Gymnastics team coach.

The team issued a statement after the judgement, saying: "We would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has given us support and encouragement over the past six weeks. It has been truly gratifying to realise that so many people are wishing us well from around the world!"

"Our aim now is to do justice to the faith and support that so many have shown in us by completing our Olympic qualification process and becoming the first rhythmic gymnastics group ever to represent Great Britain at an Olympic Games. We hope that in doing so, our efforts will continue to raise the profile of this sport that we love so much and will encourage more young girls in Britain to take it up."

Pictured: Top, Burnhan's Sarah Moon who will be going to the Olympics this summer and, above, her team in action (Pics: Graham Hussey)

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