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Olympic dream in sight for gymnastic judge

Dr John Elgy who is a lecturer in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Aston University and lives in Redditch, has earnt his International Judging Brevet, qualifying him to judge any world class gymnastic event including the Olympic Games and World Championships.

The 55 year old former gymnast and gymnastics coach has been heavily involved in judging gymnastics for a number of years and has judged international competitions, both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. These included the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the recent Gymnastics World Cup Finals in Birmingham.

It is a requirement of the International Judging Brevet that every four years all national and international judges have to re qualify for the qualification during a four day course. This year it was held in January at the national sports centre in Lilleshall, Shropshire. The intense course consisted of a number of challenging tasks which included memorising over 100 pages of rules and regulations, as well as being able to recognise at least 600 individual gymnastic skills.

‘This proved to be particularly difficult, as the skills demonstrated are not always done well and sometimes can be hard to recognise, especially on video,’ said John.

John, who is responsible for setting up and running the Geographical Information Systems degree at Aston as well as chairing the Sport and Recreation Committee at the University, had to pass both a practical and theory exam in order to gain the prestigious qualification.

‘With good performances in the practical and theory paper, I achieved a mark of 86.3 per cent, which is comfortably over the 85 per cent required of a grade 2 International Brevet,’ said John.

Since a grade 1 International Judging Brevet is reserved for only the top 25 judges in the world, John was very pleased with his excellent performance and hopes to be selected as a judge for the 2012 Olympic games held in London.

His next judging event will be the UK trials for the Junior European Championships on 11th February, followed by judging an international competition on 26th February in Nottingham.

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