November 2017: James helps gymnastics team to fourth place in national competition

GYMNAST James Peacock helped his North West team to fourth place in a national competition.

Student James, 13, from Turn Village, earned his place in the regional team after competing in the North West Election Trial in Wigan.

He is currently at Level 5 and managed to secure one of just four places in the team.

In the national final in Birmingham, James completed a set routine on pommel, rings, high bar, parallel bars, floor and vault as well a routine to show how strong and flexible he is.

In the team competition the best three out of the four scores from each competitor in each of the disciplines were combined.

Out of the eight teams taking part, the North West team was in fourth place, just 0.7 points behind third place.

James said: “When I was at the lower Level 1 and Level 2 grades, I also got through to represent the North West, but I didn’t do as well.

“At the lower level they take six people for the team, but as you get older and to a higher level there are less people who are committed to training and less taken forward for the team.

“I am best on the rings, and got my highest points score for my routine on the rings, probably because I have good upper body strength and I enjoy it. My weakest is floor.”

He has been a member of Bury Gymnastics Club for more than eight years and trains four times a week – three days after school with a double session on a Saturday from 11am to 1.30pm then after lunch he trains until 5.30pm.

James was cheered on in Birmingham by his parents Richard and Kaye and his younger sister Sally, eight, and his Auntie Rachel.

He said: “I enjoy gymnastics because I like learning new moves. Next year I will be Level 6, which is the highest I can go, and I hope to be able to represent the North West again.

“It is harder to get a place on the team the higher the level you compete at.

James is also an accomplished trampolinist and for the last two years has represented his school in the national schools’ final.

Last year the team won the North West competition and was second in the national final – they hope to be successful again in this year’s competition.

The Year 9 student hopes to be an engineer in the future.