A team of three farmers have taken to the gymnastics mat after having been inspired by the efforts of the athletes during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The three men, all from the Eglish area, decided to take up rhythmic gymnastics after seeing England Scotland and Wales pick up an impressive 34 medals between them. Since converting part of his hen shed into a ‘state of art’ gymnasium, 38-year old Joe Carson and the team have been learning and perfecting their moves.
The 20-stone bachelor, who specialises in ball and hoop, said,
“Those wemmin doin’ the high kicks and suchlike on the rhythmic gymnastics at the Commonwealth Games was amazin’ hi. In fact, I spent a few afternoons watching it on the telly beating out a rhythm of my own. They’re a class act. That’s why I took it up. And I’m carrying a little bit of holiday weight at the moment so I could probably so with trimming down a wee bit. But if we keep going, who knows, it might be us next year at the Commonwealth Games. It’s in Brazil, right?”
“We’ve still a few problems to sort out”, said 42-year old Francie Boyle, “But we’re working on them. Plunkett Muldoon [who specialises in ball and hoop] tried to leap off the floor to do a mid-air straddle, and he landed with his full weight on top of a whole lock of chickens. His leotard was in a right mess. To be honest, the chickens didn’t look great either”.
Boyle also incurred the wrath of the other two members of the team for making a mess of the brand new white gymnast flooring at the Coventry based gymnastics facility they were practicing in on weekends.
“Aye, that’s right”, said a shame-faced Boyle, who most enjoys working with ribbon. “I traipsed slurry all the way over the brand new padded matting when I was trying to get into an arabesque. I suppose I should have taken the wellies off first but I’m a slave to my corns this time of year. And I suppose I need to invest in some proper ribbon. Using blue rope just gets all tangled up”.
The lack of proper equipment has been an ongoing issue following a group practice training session where a mix-up in choreography resulted in Carson nearly getting garroted with a 10-foot length of baler twine when Boyle was attempting a pivot.
The group are also considering commandeering Boyle’s daughter’s paddling pool so that they can take up synchronised swimming.