PICTURE: A picture to accompany this media release can be downloaded HERE
A Year 9 student at West Hatch High School has been crowned national champion at the British Gymnastics Acrobatics finals in Stoke-on-Trent.
Samuel Bangs started gymnastics in 2014 with JayBee Gymnastics Club, Havering, and has competed at national level in Acrobatic Gymnastics since 2016.
Samuel joined Hendon Gymnastics Club Acro squad in November last year and, with team mate Jacob Santhouse, won gold at the Spelthorne Acro Cup in February before also taking the gold medal at the Tigers international Acro competition in April.
The pair then won gold at the London Gymnastics regionals and secured a place at the British Gymnastics NDP (national development programme) Acrobatic finals in Stoke-on-Trent last month when they were up against stiff competition from Ireland, Scotland, and South West of England and gave a flawless routine, securing gold and the National Champion title.
Samuel's father Gary said: "Samuel`s commitment and enthusiasm to gymnastics is admirable. His training schedule means he has very limited time for other activities with friends but he has stayed committed to his sport.
"Seeing Samuel win gold and becoming National Champion is something very special, and makes all those long journeys worth it.
"I am so very proud of him."
Samuel's coach Perdie Millard said: "Samuel’s enthusiasm, drive and work ethic towards his training this competition season has paid off.
"He has been a fantastic role model to the younger boys of our squad at Hendon Gymnastics Club!
"With some amazing results throughout the season it was a lovely achievement to be crowned Grade 4 men's pairs national champions 2019.
"I’m so unbelievably proud of both boys for how far they have come in a short space of time and I look forward to seeing what’s to come for the both of them."
West Hatch High School headteacher Daniel Leonard said: "This is a major achievement and one that the school is very proud of."