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RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS: Faulkner goes solo
JADE Faulkner might not be entirely sure what the future holds for her in rhythmic gymnastics, but for now the Swindon star is just happy to be continuing with the sport she loves.
The 18-year-old was part of the first Great Britain team ever to compete at an Olympic Games last summer, and subsequently went on to win gold at the National Rhythmic Gymnastics Group Championships in December alongside several of her GB teammates.
However, the Olympic group, which made it to London 2012 despite being self-funded, has since disbanded due to concerns over financing the journey towards another major championship.
Therefore, ex-Esprit gymnast Faulkner has reverted back to individual training at Team Bath and has her sights set on impressing at the British Championships, which take place in Stoke-on-Trent in June.
“The group always knew that after the Olympics it was all going to change,” said Faulkner.
“We had to give up so much and it was impossible to keep doing that for the next four years if we wanted to go to Rio.
“I was hoping a group could form but unfortunately it didn't. I've decided to go to individual training because there isn't enough funding to carry on with the group and there's not enough gymnasts that want to do it.
“I think it's better to do individual and carry on with the sport rather than completely give up, so now I'm training for nationals and we'll see what happens.
“I love the sport and I used to do individual before the group, so it wasn't a big decision.
“I'm not sure what I'll do next year, maybe take another year out before I go to uni and carry on training. It really depends on funding and what standard I'm at.
“British Gymnastics have decided not to send anyone to Europeans or worlds this year, so I guess all efforts are going into training for next year.
“Hopefully I can go to the Commonwealths (in 2013), but it depends what standard I'm at.”
Faulkner is mentored by coach Sarah Moon and admits it was strange going back to individual training.
“It did take some getting used to,” she said.
“All seven of us used to have the whole carpet to ourselves and we used to train all day.
“When I was planning to do individual I forgot that there would be 30 other kids all trying to get on the carpet. I forgot I'd have to go back to school and all those other things.
“So now I'm training in the evenings with Sarah Moon. She just loves the sport and is a really great coach because she's so enthusiastic all the time.”