Swindon AdvertiserRHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS: Funding casts doubt over future of Olympian Jade (From Swindon Advertiser)

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RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS: Funding casts doubt over future of Olympian Jade

Swindon Advertiser: DREAM TEAM: Jade Faulkner, third from the left, with her GB colleagues DREAM TEAM: Jade Faulkner, third from the left, with her GB colleagues

SWINDON’S Jade Faulkner says she is unsure whether the history-making Great Britain rhythmic gymnastics group will continue, writes JED GORE.

Faulkner competed at the Olympics alongside her teammates this summer - the first GB group ever to feature at a Games - an incredible feat considering they were self-funded.

GB also had to overcome controversy surrounding whether or not they had achieved the qualifying mark in time to make it, which they did following an appeal.

Ultimately it all proved worthwhile as Great Britain took on the world’s best in London and although they finished 12th out of 12 teams, the legacy the team left for the sport in the UK was far more important.

Now former Esprit gymnast Faulkner is desperate to go to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and subsequently the Rio Olympics, but she explained this possibility was currently up in the air.

“It depends on funding and it depends on British Gymnastics and the RG (rhythmic gymnastics) group, but I would obviously love to continue,” she said.

“It would be the ultimate goal to achieve qualification by right rather than by a host nation place, but we will just have to see how it goes. It really depends on our situation.”

Faulkner competed at the National Rhythmic Gymnastics Group Championships in Walsall last Saturday, where she won gold in the senior category with City of Bath A.

That team included fellow GB athletes Rachel Smith, Lynne Hutchinson and Annie Bartlett and Faulkner was pleased to compete for the first time since London.

“We were really happy to show everyone what we have been working on for the last few months and what we have achieved since the Games,” she said.

“We wanted to start a group again and show everyone that we can do a group in Great Britain and how good it can be.”

Just behind City of Bath was a team from Esprit, while the Swindon-based club’s junior pink group of Gabriela Caruso, Lauren Hoard, Maya Lucas, Ellie Morse and Ashleigh West took silver behind City of Canterbury, but did seal the National Group League title with a consistent performance.

Scores of 19.3 and 16.975 represented a third solid competition in a row for the youngsters after good performances in the first two rounds of the National League.

The espoir group (under 10s and 12s) finished the league in a promising fifth place.

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