Friends reunited to pass on their top tips to European contenders.
Byline: GYMNASTICS By LESLEY BROWNE firstname.lastname@example.org
FORMER world gold medal-winning team-mates Chris Porter and Damien Walters were reunited to help nurture Britain's European Championship hopefuls.
Porter, now head coach at the City of Birmingham Gymnastics Club, and Walters, head of coaching at Derby City Gymnastics Club, brought their top tumblers together for a joint training session in Birmingham as part of the countdown for the European Senior and Junior Championships event in Baku, Azerbaijan, in April.
The workout at the GMAC (Gymnastics and Martial Arts Centre) was part of the preparations for the European Championship trial taking place at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire on February 24, in which both clubs have gymnasts aged nine to 21 competing. Porter and Walters are no strangers to success on the global stage. They represented the GB senior men's tumbling team at the 2003 World Tumbling Championships in Hannover, Germany, and, alongside Robert Small and Robert Proctor, collected gold ahead of Russia and France.
Last November, Team GB took world gold for the first time since then with their coaching proteges - Birmingham's Kallum Mulhall and Derby's Greg Townley - joining Kristof Wilerton and Elliott Brown to take first place in the WAGC and Senior World Championships in Bulgaria.
"Chris is right to be proud of his squad and takes every opportunity to provide pre-competition experiences for his and other gymnasts," said Phil Barrow, City of Birmingham gymnastics development officer and international performance coach.
"Interestingly, a growing crop of youngsters on the programme are now working at world-class performance level, which makes us all extremely proud of Chris and his talented tumblers, who had the opportunity to draw on Damian Walters' considerable experience."
As well as being head coach at the City of Birmingham, Porter is also a national squad coach, national talent development squad and aspiring talent squad coach. One of his strengths is his absolute determination to share his expertise with as many other people in the sport of tumbling as possible.
He also regularly puts on performance pathway coaching sessions at the GMAC, attended by numerous top-level coaches from across the country.
Since 2007 Walters has developed his career as a professional stunt man working on Hollywood blockbusters, some of the biggest action films in recent history, and has pioneered some of the most iconic stunts in cinema history. He has worked alongside Colin Firth in Kingsman: The Secret Service and has also featured in iconic exchanges with James Bond in Skyfall.