Local gymnasts top the podium as South Tyneside champions

28th February 2024



Pupils at St. Bede’s Catholic Primary School, South Shields, demonstrated no problem springing into action when it came to their recent gymnastics competition.


In fact, pupils at the Primary school, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, did so well that they were named South Tyneside Champions 2024.


Well done, everyone! We’re beaming for you.


This is only the beginning of what’s to come!

Year 1 and Year 2 pupils formed a gymnastics team for the event at The Urban Factory, Hebburn.


The children each learned a gymnastics routine to perform individually before the expert judges, including forward and teddy bear rolls, step turns, stretch jumps, back supports and many more movements and balances.


Woah, we feel dizzy just reading that! What an incredible achievement.


The St Bede’s pupils soon stretched to the top of the leaderboard with their accurate and fluent routines.


Up next, the gymnasts will represent South Tyneside in the Gymnastics County Finals in June, in what promises to be an exciting opportunity for the children.


Even the parents got involved

Brian McVittie, Coach and Y3 teacher, said: “These pupils were competing in their first ever gymnastics competition, so for them to scoop the top prize was extra special.


“The children came up against a lot of strong competition, but held their own and the dedication they showed to regularly attend after school training sessions in the build up to the event certainly paid off.


“Many of the children even practised with their parents at home, which helped them to put in their best performances on the day.”


Darci Palmer, St. Bede’s Y1 and Y2 gymnastics captain, aged seven, said: “We all enjoyed being in a team with our friends and we were all cheering together when it was announced that we had come first.”


Hollie Backhurst, vice-captain of the Y1 and Y2 gymnastics team, aged six, added: “We are all really excited for the County Finals in June where we will be representing South Tyneside and St. Bede’s - it will be great fun!”


The South Shields school was ‘going for gold’ all day. At the same event, they also had further success in the Year 3 and Year 4 Individual competition.


In this age category, St. Bede’s children made a clean sweep of all the medals claiming first, second and third! Unstoppable!


The Y3 and Y4 team enjoyed similar success by claiming 3rd spot in the team event, missing out on top spot by a mere half a point. Still winners in our eyes!


A great activity for children to get involved in

Many of the St. Bede’s gymnasts stay involved in the sport by attending local community sessions at the Urban Factory and South Tyneside Gymnastics Centre.


Chris Zarraga, Director of Schools North East, said: “Huge congratulations to St Bede’s for their impeccable efforts across the entirety of the gymnastics competition.


“Gymnastics is no easy sport, but it is a powerful one. It stimulates cognitive growth, encourages confidence, and fosters teamwork. We’re sure all those involved will be seeing the benefits for years to come.”


Mr McVittie added: “We hope other children get involved in their local gymnastics clubs, where they can have fun meeting new friends and develop new skills.”


St Bede’s Catholic Primary School is a Schools North East Partner School. If you’d like to find out more about our Partner Programme, click here.


We love to hear good news from North East Schools, to share your news with Schools North East please tag @SchoolsNE on Twitter or fill in this short form.