By Carl Field
Welsh women’s artistic gymnasts Ruby Evans and Evie Flage-Donovan have been backed to make the most of their first Olympic experience.
The pair have been selected as part of Team GB for the 2022 Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) taking place in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia this month.
The Clwb Cymru Caerdydd duo, both 15, are among six British gymnasts who are part of a squad of 40 young athletes who will compete for Team GB at the event from 24 to 30 July.
Along with Evans and Flage-Donovan, fellow women’s artistic gymnast Abigail Martin from South Devon has also been selected, while the three men’s artistic gymnasts named are Danny Crouch, Reuben Ward and Oakley Banks.
It’s yet more recognition for double junior British champion Evans, who attends Ysgol Plasmawr, and junior British beam champion Flage-Donovan, who is from Newport and attends Lliswerry High School.
Following the EYOF, they will be part of the British women’s artistic junior team for the 2022 Artistic European Championships in Munich, Germany next month.
— Welsh Gymnastics (@WelshGymnastics) July 14, 2022
Nationalcoach Tracey Skirton-Davies, who is one of four selected officials who will also travel to Banská Bystrica with Team GB, said: “The coaching team are delighted for the girls to be able to experience a multi-sport games.
“It will be an amazing experience to become part of Team GB and to have two girls representing Wales is an added bonus.”
Banská Bystrica 2022 will see around 3,500 athletes and officials represent 48 European nations across 10 Olympic sports.
As well as gymnastics, Team GB’s athletes, who will all be aged 13-18 at the event, will compete in four other sports: badminton, cycling, judo and swimming.
Ruby Evans of Clwb Cymru Caerdydd is your 2021 Junior Women’s Artistic British Champion 🏆
Take a look at this amazing vault performed by Ruby. Amazing stuff! 👏
— British Gymnastics (@BritGymnastics) November 28, 2021
Athletics, basketball, handball, tennis and volleyball complete the sporting programme.
EYOFs play an important role in the development of young British athletes, providing crucial multi-sport event experience and guiding them towards realising their Olympic ambitions.
Many athletes who have competed for Team GB at a summer EYOF have gone on to compete at an Olympic Games, including two medal winning gymnasts from Rio 2016 in Nile Wilson and Amy Tinkler (both Utrecht 2013).