How I Started
My mum tells the story of me forever climbing and hanging on to everything I could and everything I shouldn’t! So, at the age of 2 & 1/2 years old my journey as an Artistic Gymnast began. At the age of 5, I was selected into my first development squad & began to regularly train 15-19 hrs per week. School, travelling & training became my life. But at the age of 7, after moving to a new club, my little gymnastics world crumbled when I was released from the artistic squad being told that my strength development was slower than other gymnasts my age & that I ‘would never become the gymnast that the coach & my parents wanted me to be. My parents obviously didn’t share the truth with me as they knew the upset it had already caused me. After much discussion, it was advised to move across to Tumbling where I met my existing coach – Chris Porter. From that point, I have never looked back. I maintained a 15 hours per week training schedule around school with not much other time to do anything else however, I loved gymnastics so at that age, it was no sacrifice. I developed a real love for Tumbling & my coach really invested in me by ensuring I was constantly working on getting the basics right. I had great success in many competitions from the start but my first hurdle came when I had qualified to compete in my first British Championships at 9 years old. It was the biggest competition I had competed in so far & was at the NIA, Birmingham. I was so excited!! The preliminary stages of the competition went great but I allowed the nerves to get to me on finals day & I didn’t even make it to the end of the track after pulling out of one of my runs mid-way through & landing on my neck! This was to be my first lesson in failure.
My Greatest Achievement
My greatest achievement to date is definitely the 2019 World Championships where I and my 3 teammates have crowned team world champions and I also finished 5th in my first senior worlds individual final. As this was my first senior world championship I was very excited to take this step up to the senior competition from winning the 17-21 world age competition the previous year. We flew out to Tokyo, Japan where the 2019 world championships were held, which was an amazing travelling experience in itself, and had a great 4 days of training before the individual prelims in which we all competed to each try and secure both a spot in the individual final which only two per country can make a final at any time but also the team final as well. Prelims was a great success as I not only put down two great scores to help secure our spot in the team final in 1st place, but to my surprise, I also managed to bag myself one of the two individual final spots by qualifying in 6th place so as you can imagine I was extremely happy to have the opportunity to compete twice more. That same evening was the team final where out of the 4 man team only 3 compete with all 3 scores being totalled to give a final overall score. We had previously discussed who would be competing and what order we would compete in which ended up with me not only going up last out of the GB lads but due to the competition layout I would be the last person to compete out of the whole final so as you can imagine there was a lot of pressure. My two teammates put out two amazing passes which relieved a bit of the pressure but then it was my turn to put my hand up and follow the plan. My pass was very clean and scored very well which meant it was just enough to crown us with the Team world champion title which was amazing. However, and my teammate Elliot could not relax as two days later we had to both compete in the individual final. The day came and I planned to go all out for the final and put out two of the hardest passes I could do as I was confident I could execute them well and put up two big scores. As planned both passes went extremely well which was enough to secure my 5th place and I couldn't be any happier with my performance in my first Senior World Individual final. The whole competition was an unbelievable experience which I plan to improve upon in future competitions to come.
My Greatest Challenge
Fortunately, 2017 was a quiet year for the competition which meant that I could really focus on getting back to who I was as a gymnast & as a competitor all while focusing on the up & coming Worlds Championships. I had been working so hard & on paper, this title was mine to lose. Pre-training out in Bulgaria was going well but then I dislocated my shoulder at the end of a training run. The pain was unreal but the physio was on hand to look after me & this wasn’t going to stop me from achieving one of my goals. With my family & teammates in the crowd, I stepped up to complete my first run in the preliminary rounds. It started well with a nice clean transition (double straight somersault in the middle of the routine), however, I had travelled too far in this move which meant that as I continued, I was fast running out of track to fit the rest of my moves in. As I took off for my end skill, I realised that I was taking off on the landing mat but due to the speed I was going it was too late to change the move. As a result, I crashed both on my face while jarring my injured shoulder. I was upset, annoyed & angry all at once & a little bit embarrassed as I pulled myself off the mat. My coach tried to say all the right things to bring my head back into the competition as I still had another run to compete but at that moment, it was hard. I took a few minutes to sit & try to refocus & made my mind up to go out & compete for the next run, which I did. My second run went near to perfect & I scored the highest in the competition but it wasn’t enough. For the first time ever, I didn't make finals. This moment was devastating for me & then to sit in the audience watching & supporting my teammates who had made finals, was heartbreaking. I was happy for them but upset about my loss as watching my final from the crowd was something I was not used to.
In my free time, I take part in numerous activities such as kickboxing, high diving, tricking and parkour all in preparation for my joining the British stunt register as my future career as a stunt performer. I also spend a lot of time collecting clips of all these activities to put together for showreels to send out to agent its and clients.
My favourite foods will have to include steaks, curries, jerk chicken and rice and a classic Sunday roast!
Within the gymnastics world my goals are to;
- medal individually at a senior world championships
-medal individually and as a team at senior European championships
- compete and medal at the world games in 2022 (our Olympic equivalent)
- win the British championships
Outside of gymnastics, I am pursuing a career as a stunt performer therefore my goals for that will be to make it onto the British stunt register, complete many years of stunt contracts as my dream is to do stunts for marvel. after all this I would like to pursue a career as a stunt coordinator who creates and oversees all stunts that take place on set.
‘We have had a wonderful day and one I think our children will remember for a long time! They were so inspired by hearing Jaydon and watching some of his videos.
Jaydon was brilliant and just lovely. We were so grateful that he could travel all the way from Birmingham!
Our school have never raised more than £300 for an event before so to have raised over £1000 was just awesome and showed how excited they were to be a part of this day.
Thanks again for reaching out to me about this great event. I won’t be a part of this school next year but I know they would love to have the opportunity to do it again’
Lucy Ryder PE Lead, Margaret Wix Primary School
Raised £ 1170.34