Ash has been involved in gymnastics for 15 years, starting as an energetic child who didn’t leave an armchair or table top unscaled. After 2 sessions at his local leisure centre, he was sent to the City of Leeds Gymnastics Club on the campus of Leeds Metropolitan University. From 1 hour a week to 30+, he eventually managed to make the Great Britain Elite Performance Squad where he began traveling the world collecting medals and trophies for his country.
As a junior I travelled most of Europe competing for GBR. I was lucky enough to visit many countries, such as; France, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Russia.
As a junior I travelled most of Europe competing for GBR. I was lucky enough to visit many countries, such as; France, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Chez Republic, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Russia. My medal count grew fast. I continued my winning streak by securing gold at the 2008 British Championships; along with Parallel Bars and Horizontal Bar Masters bronze medals at the age of 16. During the latter end of my junior career I attained my greatest Junior Title: The Australian Youth Olympic Champion along with Team gold, Parallel Bars gold and Horizontal Bar bronze. However, shortly afterwards my trail of victory was put to a standstill when unfortunately I snapped my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in my left knee with severe Cartilage damage: whilst competing in Japan. Marking the end of my junior success.
Inbetween stage/Injury stage
My long rehabilitation of 9 months completing tedious strength and conditioning exercises and physiotherapy work paid off, as I came back to take 3rd place at the 2010 British Championships with an additional bronze on Pommel Horse and Parallel Bars and a silver on the Horizontal Bar. Following this into the Masters final the next day I took gold on the Parallel Bars, to re affirm my position in GBR Gymnastics. I finally had the opportunity to break into the senior circuit with a Grand Prix World Cup event in Glasgow, Scotland where I managed to secure a place in the final.
Whilst enrolled in a University Degree I was eligible to compete at the World University Games, following a trial at the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS). I secured my place in the team alongside my Leeds training partners Mathew Firth and Sam Fern. Unfortunately 1 week before flying to China I snapped my achilles tendon; forcing me back into 12 months of rehabilitation.
After a quiet 2012 of rehabilitation, building difficulty to my routines and developing injury prevention programs for my leg I created a plan, a vision, with my personal coach Chris Low. After discussing the unavoidability that I will not compete floor and vault again due to my injuries, we decided to target Parallel Bars and the Horizontal Bar for future competitions, whilst still training Pommel Horse and Rings to help with team events.
2013 was a fresh start for me; I managed to secure my place in the Senior European Championships in Moscow, Russia. Here I qualified for the Horizontal Bar final, fortifying my long awaited position with the top senior gymnasts in Britain, Europe and the world. I sustained my spot as top Parallel Bars worker and was selected to compete at the world Championships in Antwerp, Belgium; where I completed my highest value and hardest routine under the most pressure, securing a top 15th place in the world above many experienced and reputable gymnasts.
Most recently I became both British and Masters Champion on the Parallel Bars, whilst also taking Masters Gold on the Horizontal Bar; at the 2015 British Championships in the ECHO Arena, Liverpool.
Ash outside Gymnastics
Several years ago I put together a ‘Bucket List’ of things I want to do in my life. Some are common, such as Skydiving and to Bungee jump, but others are unique; solve a 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube in less than 60 seconds, own a Bearded Dragon and score 180 in three darts. Having targets and goals outside of gymnastics helps me unwind and distract me from those not so good sessions. I finally managed to graduate from Leeds Metropolitan University with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree, whilst full time training; this was difficult at times, especially during heavy competition periods, but has given me invaluable knowledge I have applied to my gymnastics.