SOUTH Essex youngsters Hayden Skinner and Douglas Turnbull have followed in the footsteps of their famous club-mate Max Whitlock by becoming British floor champions.
Hayden took gold with a score of 14.200 in the under-14 category and added a joint bronze medal on the pommel with 12.800.
The 13-year-old, who is coached by Matt Jackson, was also fourth in the all-around section, only missing out on a podium place to three competitors all older than him.
Doug, 12, took gold on the floor in the under-12s competition with a score of 13.350 and was eighth in the all-around competition at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
It meant Hayden and Doug have emulated the success of South Essex’s London 2012 hero Max Whitlock, who took a floor gold medal – and the all-around title – at the senior British Championships at Liverpool’s Echo Arena in March.
South Essex’s head coach Scott Hann said it bodes well for the future of a club which now boasts Great Britain squad members from ages 21 (Reiss Beckford) right the way down to 12 (Douglas Turnball).
Hann said: “We’re very proud of Hayden and Doug, who are both important members of our team here.
“It’s really nice to see them follow in Max’s footsteps by becoming British floor champions, and our coach Matt Jackson has done some great work in that area.
“It also shows the terrific strength in depth we have with our male gymnasts.
“We have high hopes for our top guys at the Olympics in Rio in 2016, and with the likes of Hayden and Skinner coming through we are now looking in good health for 2020 and beyond.”
South Essex’s Josephine Tang, 13, was also in action and acquitted herself well at the Espoir British Championships.
Hann said: “It was great to see Josephine getting experience like this and we’re very keen to find new girls to join us and help us build up that area at the club.”