December 4, 2015 Newsletter

Max SPOTY nominee

MAX WHITLOCK has been nominated for the BBC’S Sports Personality of the Year award for the second year in a row.

The South Essex superstar will bid to become the first-ever gymnast to win the coveted prize at the glittering ceremony in Belfast on Sunday, December 20.

Max, from Basildon, who was also on the SPOTY short-list in 2014, is in the running again after becoming the first man to win a gold for Great Britain at the World Gymnastics Championships.

The 22-year-old was pommel horse champion in Glasgow in November, just pipping team-mate Louis Smith to the top prize, and also came home with team and floor silver medals.

Max with 2016 SPOTY nominees
Whitlock, in the middle on the left, with the other 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominees.

Max will be up against the likes of athletics star Jessica Ennis-Hill, tennis hero Andy Murray and F1 champion Lewis Hamilton in a field of 12.

Max’s club and country team-mate Brinn Bevan, 18, is also one of ten to be nominated for the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

Brinn was part of the British team which won world silver in Glasgow but has just suffered a broken leg (you can find an update on that below).

Brinn’s rivals include fellow gymnast Ellie Downie and Northampton cricket star Sam Curran.

The public vote for their favourite on the night when details- including phone numbers for each nominee – are announced during the programme, along with how to vote online.

BRINN BEVAN will try to battle back from a broken leg and win a place at next year’s Olympic Games in Brazil.

The 18-year-old suffered a break of the tibia and fibula in his left leg a freak accident in his warm up for the British Teams Championships on November 21.

Brinn had an awkward landing after attempting a double-twist Yurchenko and needed immediate surgery on the injury.

It was a devastating  blow for the first year senior after the high of winning a team silver at the World Championships in October, and left his dream of competing at Rio 2016 hanging by a thread.

But Brinn has always been a battler and revealed soon after that he still hopes to win a place for Great Britain at next year’s big event.

He said: “The most important thing for me is getting back to full fitness so I can carry on my gymnastics career.

“I don’t think the Olympic Games is fully out of reach, it will be tough but there’s still a small chance I can push for a place in the team.”

* You can watch Brinn’s first two video blogs following his injury here:


SOUTH ESSEX is looking for local businesses to supply raffle prizes for its annual Gymnanza display on Saturday, December 19.

The club is a registered charity and uses the hugely-popular event for vital fundraising. This year’s theme is ‘A Night at the Movies’ and details are available by clicking on this link.

Previous donations have included hampers, beauty products and cinema tickets, and if you can help this year then please get in touch.

For further information or to donate a prize please call 01268 722479 or email

JOSEPH SAWYER and Douglas Turnbull led South Essex’s medal charge at the East Region Voluntary Competition at Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club, Ipswich, on November 29.

In the Under-12 section, Joseph was second overall behind Huntingdon’s Niall Hooton, and won individual medals on rings, vault and parallel bars.

SEGC’s Joseph Pearce also competed on the pommel horse, rings and parallel bars in the Under-12 category.

Eight of the club’s gymnasts were in action in the Under-14 competition, in which Douglas was second overall behind Huntingdon’s Jake Jarman.

Douglas picked up medals on the pommel, parallel-bars and and high bar.

SEGC’s Drew Ladell was second on the floor and Luke Morrison, Nathan Adams, Harrison Langridge, Joshua Ashman, Charlie Woodward and Josh Underwood were also in action.