Retired Olympic swimmer Chris Cook made a splash at Next Dimension Gymnastic Academy, Tunbridge Wells, when he visited the Key Steps gymnastic event on Monday (23rd April).
More than 100 children from primary schools in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and West Kent competed to qualify for a place at the Kent School Games Key Steps Gymnastics Final at Maidstone Leisure Centre on 1st June.
Chris, who competed for Great Britain for nearly ten years and who has been double commonwealth champion, world and European medallist and British and Commonwealth record holder, posted a photograph of the academy on Twitter, saying: “We need facilities like this in the UK. This is a gymnastics facility in Tunbridge Wells, hosting a primary gym comp!” He later added: “I’ve had a great day with the staff from @NDGAUK – great bunch! With outstanding facilities! Keep inspiring young ones!!!”
The winning schools that will now progress through to the final to represent Tonbridge and West Kent are Chiddingstone Primary in the Year 3 and 4 category and Hever Primary in the Year 5 and 6 category. The winning schools that will be representing Tunbridge Wells in the final are St James’ Infants in the Year 1 and 2 category, Rusthall St Pauls Primary and Bidborough Primary in the Year 3 and 4 category and St James’ Junior School in the Year 5 and 6 competition.
Jo Heath, School Games Organiser for The Tonbridge and West Kent School Sports Partnership, said: “It was fantastic to have Chris’ support for Key Steps. He really motivated the children and encouraged them to follow their dreams and realise their ambitions. The competitors performed to a very high standard and we hope the event will have inspired some future Olympians! We wish all of our winners the best of luck in the final.”