GYMNASTICS: Huntingdon star Bernji Eyre bound for the Commonwealth Games after securing place in Wales team

Benji Eyre (left) pictured with fellow Huntingdon Gymnastics Club rising star Jake Jarman.

Benji Eyre (left) pictured with fellow Huntingdon Gymnastics Club rising star Jake Jarman. - Credit: Archant

Local lad Benji Eyre is on his way to the Commonwealth Games.

The 19 year-old Huntingdon Gymnastics Club star has been selected to represent Wales on the Gold Coast of Australia next month.

Eyre, from Hemingfords, sealed his spot by winning the all-around silver medal at the recent Welsh Senior Championships.

He took up gymnastics at the age of six and is now following in the footsteps of past Huntingdon stars Dan Keatings and Louis Smith, who scooped seven Commonwealth medals between them.

“We’re all delighted for Benji,” said Huntingdon Gymnastics Club head coach Paul Hall.

“He’s worked very hard along with his coach, Ben Howells, for the last six months to make his dream of being selected for the Commonwealth Games become a reality.

“Benji is a capable gymnast and he should be targeting the all-around individual final in Australia. Wales will certainly be fighting for a top-five placing in the team standings as well.

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“Benji’s aim will be to perform consistently and make finals, but he has an outside chance of a medal.

“Competing in the Commonwealth Games will be great experience at this stage of his career as he follows in the footsteps of the likes of Dan and Louis.”

Eyre has taken time out of his studies to focus on earning a place in the Wales team. He is heading off to Loughborough University later this year and being picked for the World Student Games in 2019 is a future target.

Eyre flies out to Australia on March 19 and he’ll be followed a couple of days later by Hall, who is part of Scotland’s coaching team for the Commonwealth Games which run from April 4 to April 15.

Before then, Eyre is one of a dozen Huntingdon Gymnastics Club talents competing in the British Championships this week.

The local club’s best hope of a medal is Jake Jarman, who steps up into the Under 18 category after winning the all-around crown at Under 16 level last year.

And club chief Hall is delighted to see such a strong Huntingdon representation at the Echo Arena, in Liverpool from tomorrow (Thursday) until Sunday.

Hall added: “The standard in Britain continues to go up so we’re very proud to have so many gymnasts taking part. We’re hoping Jake can fight for a medal again.”