Harriers gymnasts return from China World Champions.


My name is Mrs Teresa Cross and I am writing regarding the recent bronze medal success of my daughter, her partner and the head coach of a small gymnastics club, (Harriers Acrobatic Gymnastics, based in Patchway) at the 2016 Acrobatic World Championships in China.


Many local papers and TV/Radio have reported about other gymnastic clubs in the South West and their success for team GB at the recent Acrobatic World Championships in Putain, China. This is of course fantastic for them and well deserved however I would like to tell you about our little less well known club which I think is a lovely underdog success story and one I hope you will agree could be published.


Harriers Acrobatics Gymnastics club is a relatively small club with very limited facilities. We train in Patchway Community College sports hall & Stoke Lodge Primary school hall on mats, as do not have a sprung floor, and can only train for approximately 12 hours per week as opposed to 20+ hours in other clubs.

Despite these limitations, my Daughter Kenedi Cross, aged 15, and her partner Vada Finniear, aged 18, were invited to trial for team GB last September for the mixed pair junior category (age group 12-18) 2015 European Championships in Riesa, Germany.   This was due to their successes in previous major competitions such as winning Gold in the British Championships in Liverpool, The Pat Wade Classic in Stoke on Trent and The Turin Cup in Italy all in 2015.  We were all ecstatic at their successful trial and consequent selection for team GB. This was a first for our Acrobatic club in its 35 year history.  The pair went on to qualify in 4th place but due to an injury in warm up they were unable to compete in the finals.  This was a massive disappointment for the kids and the club.  However with lots of hard work, determination  and as they say ‘blood, sweat and tears’ they got back up to full fitness and were again selected to trial for the World Championships in March/April 2016 in Putain China along with the clubs senior mixed pair James Routley and Katie Allen. Unfortunately Katie sustained an injury and the pair were devastated at being unable to trial or compete alongside GB in the World Cup Series.


 Kenedi and Vada completed two separate trials and were again successful and selected along with Sarah Bateman (as a GB coach) the head coach for Harriers.  This was again a first for Harriers in not only having gymnasts but also a coach selected for team GB!!! The support from not only the coaches and gymnasts but other parents was amazing!  They arranged for a Facebook Go-fund-me page to be set up and with their and family support, most of the funding was raised to help get them to China!


12 pairs from around the world competed over two days in the qualifying rounds.  Kenedi and Vada went on to qualify for the finals in 5th place after achieving the highest score for their balance routine in their category!!


8 pairs including the European champions from Portugal (who had qualified in 1st position) went through to the finals.  It was a nail-biting final with Kenedi and Vada in 3rd position with just the Portuguese Euro champions to go! I can honestly say it was the longest few minutes of our lives waiting for their score!!   When the scores came up and it was confirmed that two gymnasts from our little club had achieved a bronze medal it was emotional celebrations all around!

Vada and Kenedi said “we are so proud of our achievements, our coach Sarah and our club! It just goes to show that despite very limited training facilities, through sheer hard work, dedicated coaches and an amazing supportive club dreams really can come true!”


Sarah Bateman, head coach said “not only am I pleased for the gymnasts achieving their bronze medals but also for the club and it’s dedicated coaches.  So often we look at where the gymnasts are now and forget where it all began and the preparation and hard work along the way from both gymnasts and coaches.”


Harriers are currently looking for premises to enable the club to grow, raise standards and facilitate their training needs in line with other well established clubs across the country.  If you are a local business that has premises/warehouse space that may be able to accommodate our club please contact Sarah via our website for further information.

Local gymnasts off to European Championships


Harriers Acrobatic Gymnastics Club, based at Patchway Sports Centre, is celebrating the selection of two of its gymnasts to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Riesa, Germany later this month.


Vada Finniear, 18, from Pucklechurch, and Kenedi Cross, 14, from Patchway, have worked together as a partnership for the past two years. They have already achieved huge success including the Pat Wade Tournament in November 2014, after which they stepped up their training in an effort to be selected to trial for Great Britain.


Following the GB trials, Sarah Bateman, Harrier’s head coach, was congratulated on the success of Vada and Kenedi by the GB national coach, who stated that the pair had been the most improved gymnasts in the six months of the GB selection process. Harriers’ Kansas Bateman, also received excellent feedback from the GB coach for her choreography of Vada and Kenedi’s routines.


Continued at Bradley Stoke Journal


Patchway Sports Centre

Hempton Lane



BS32 4AJ

Little Stoke Primary School

Little Stoke Lane

Little Stoke


BS34 6HY


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