Lucie Colebeck Retires

Taking a Final Tumble

Lucie Colbeck

European tumbling champion Lucie Colebeck has announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics.

There aren’t many sports that include natural retirements at the tender age of 22, but Gymnastics can certainly fall into that category. On closer analysis, however, the Pinewood Gymnastics Club stalwart has spent most of her early life as an athlete, and as a regular in the British tumbling team. Given all of this, she’s packed a fantastic amount into a colourful gymnastics career. It’s also true to say she has been one of our most successful athletes in her niche, winning a number of medals at both European and World levels.

Outstanding Athlete of The Year

Two years ago, Lucie was named Outstanding Athlete of the Year at the British Gymnastics national awards ceremony. She was recognised at the time for 15 years of amazing discipline. This included winning a silver medal at the World Championships, by being named the top athlete from the ‘non-Olympic’ category.

Through the years this excellent role model has combined her training with coaching both at Pinewood and several local schools, including Ludgrove in Wokingham. Tumbling may not be an Olympic discipline, but that hasn’t stopped her progress as a great exponent of the art. And it’s true to say she’s helped raise the bar in terms of high standards.

A Titled Presence

Lucie has experienced 12 British Championships, five Europeans, seven Worlds and a World Games. In this time, she’s won eight British and European titles, a couple World age titles, six World championship medals and a World Games medal. But more than that, she’s been a tremendous example to those starting out in the sport and can move on to new things with her head held high at what has been an emotional time.

Lucie said: “The gym family is something I absolutely love about being part of the Great Britain team. Each and every one of them is brilliant. It’s been amazing.”

“Personal triumph is not done with one person alone. It involves a whole bunch of people; coaches, judges, teammates, friends and family. Many, many individuals are involved in the road to success and there are lots of people I have to thank for their constant support, including my parents who have been fantastic.”

Tumbling Explained

To succeed long-term at Tumbling means marrying together the skills of artistic gymnastics and trampolining. In certain cases, a 52-metre-long spring track is utilised, and now the exercise is regulated, codified, performed and judged using acrobatic equipment of the same standard. A total of eight skills are used together by both male and female athletes.

The discipline has been an Olympic event only once, at the Olympics of 1932. It was a demonstration event in both 1996 and 2000. It is, however, one of the main events at the World Games and an annual World Championships event held in conjunction with the ever-popular Trampoline World Championships. Make no mistake, it’s a thrilling discipline to watch with exciting twists and turns, and no end of personal skill.

Getting a Taste

Many clubs offer tumbling taster sessions for anyone who would like to get involved, with an emphasis on simply enjoying the discipline. Recreational tumbling classes can be hugely enjoyable, and if you want to take things further, their coaches can offer the right advice and guidance. You can start from as young as eight years, and you know what they say? ‘It’s never too early to take up gymnastics’. Finding your local club online might be a good place to begin.

Looking Back

“The first time I jumped on the track I fell in love; fell in love for the first time and this will certainly be the hardest heartbreak I’ll have.”

“Getting to be a part of so many spectacular things that I would never have imagined this sport would allow me to do, the Common Wealth Games and the Olympic Games; I mean, WOW. To have the opportunity to go to Rio and show the world the art of tumbling was a massive honour and something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”


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