Following her first competition for Great Britain this last weekend, GB junior gymnast Louise McColgan shares her experiences with British Gymnewstics. Telling us how she felt being picked for her first international, her experiences competing as part of the British team, as well as sharing her floor secrets and hopes for EYOF.
1. How and when were you told you had been selected to represent Great Britain, can you describe how you felt?
I was told just before the Easter break. It was my coach Claire Rankin that showed me the email about it. I honestly don’t know how I felt. I was just over the moon.
2. Were you excited to receive your GB kit, what did you get, and was it sent to you in advance?
I was so happy when I received my GB kit as I also found out that was my training kit too. It was sent out to me around the middle of the Easter break we got 2 tracksuits one representative and one was a training tracksuit. We got 2 t-shirts and a polo shirt, a rain jacket, 3 warm up leotards and a competition leotard.
3. Did you come down from Scotland to travel with the team, or had you been training together at Lilleshall before setting off?
We had been training at the Academy gymnastics club (Me, Lucy Stanhope, Phoebe Turner and Abigail Solari). But Maisie Methuen and Georgia-Mae Fenton met us at the train station.
4. Have you ever competed abroad before? Are there are there any differences in the competition format that you noticed?
There wasn’t really any difference in format really but i have competed abroad before but not very far (Ireland).
5. Did you find you had any extra nerves at all due to the new higher level of competition?
No, i didn’t really feel nervous. My mum is the one that usually gets nervous.
6. Was this the first time you have ever competed without your personal coach on the floor with you? How did you find this, were you able to adjust easily?
Yes, this is the first time I have ever competed without my coach before. Yes i found that I adjusted very well to the coaches who wear going as i had time to work with them before the competition.
6. Beam didn’t quite go your way, but you did really well to get back on each time and work confidently without looking like the falls affected you at all. You also looked calm and positive after the routine which is a great example for all young gymnasts out there. Could you share what you said to yourself after the falls, and when the routine was over?
I just said to my self that I didn’t have to worry about it any more as that piece was over with now, and I had my best piece coming up which was floor. So I just had to calm myself down.
7. You have upgraded on every piece this year, can you tell us a little about your upgrades, and how you feel they went in the competition?
My upgrades are really big but I feel that they went really well and that I competed them really well.
8.You have gained a lot of fans for your floor work, and performed your routine beautifully in France. Can you tell us a little about how your music is chosen, and who comes up with your choreography? Have you always been comfortable with the performance aspect on floor? What would you say to younger gymnasts who are struggling with confidence on the presentation side?
Daniella Nanova (choreographer) chose my music but it was a rhythmic piece so we had to get it cut from 4 mins to 1.30 mins, that was the hardest part. Daniella also did the choreography which I love. I would say to younger gymnasts that in your dance just try and let go and feel your music rather than tensing up just try and relax.
9. What were the most positive parts of the competition for you, what are you most proud of?
The most positive parts were getting team silver and also getting a PB on floor (13.750). I am also proud of getting my PB and all my team mates who also did very well.
10. What’s next for you, are you planning any more upgrades for this year? What competitions are you aiming for?
I am hoping to add a few more upgrades to routines on vault and bars but floor and beam will probably stay the same. I have a trial for EYOF (European youth Olympic festival) I am not guaranteed a place but I am going to try my hardest to place up high.