DEERNESS Gymnastics Academy enjoyed a silver lining to their efforts in the European Acrobatics Championships in Portugal, with all 10 competitors finishing runners-up.
The Ushaw Moor-based club took the silver medals in four categories - senior men’s pair, 11-16 years men’s group, 12-18 years women’s pair and 12-18 years mixed pair - plus snapping up two individual silver medals for the men’s pair, as Great Britain’s best battled for podium places.
All 10 Deerness gymnasts are also current British champions.
Belmont 17-year-old Tim Pritchard and Alex Houston (20) from Consett secured silver in the senior men’s pair, foillowing on from silvers two years ago and in this year’s World Games in Colombia.
Abbi Greaves (12) from Ushaw Moor and Darlington’s Chelsea Fisher (16) also claimed silvers, competing together for the first time in an international competition in the 12-18 age category for women’s pairs.
Millie Nesbitt (14) from Durham and Spennymoor’s Liam Sneath (16) picked up silvers in the 12-18 age category for mixed pairs.
Millie won a World Championship bronze medal in 2012 and a silver at the Europeans in 2011 as part of a trio, while Liam previously won a silver medal in the European age group championships in 2009.
In the 11-16 age men’s four, Michael Gill (15) from Ponteland, Nathan Brady (15) from Durham, Stuart Napier (14) from Durham and Finn Gavin (11) from Alnwick, sealed runners-up places.
The 10 are coached by Stuart Thompson and Karl Wharton, who coached Deerness’s senior men’s group to become World champions in 2012.
* Full report and pictures in today’s Sunderland Echo