Double success for young Retford gymnast

Finlay Matthews receives his award from Chris Bowden, of sponsor McDonald's.
Finlay Matthews receives his award from Chris Bowden, of sponsor McDonald's.

A Retford gymnast is celebrating double success – after securing a gold medal on the mat and a regional honour off it.

Nine-year-old Finlay Matthews secured individual apparatus gold for his floor performance while representing Retford Gymnastic Club at the London Open.

And he has now been named individual young sports player of the year at the Worksop Community Awards, run by our sister title the Worksop Guardian.

Announcing his award, ceremony host Sam Ogrizovic said: “Despite being aged just nine, Finlay is a dedicated and talented gymnast.

“This year, the Worksop schoolboy has racked up numerous medals at regional and national competitions, especially for his floor, vault and rings routines for Retford Gymnastics Club.

“His most recent achievement is finishing fourth at the London Open with a gold medal after an impressive score of 9.8 for his floor performance.

Finlay Matthews with his gold medal.

Finlay Matthews with his gold medal.

“He is now hoping to be selected for the national finals in November.”

On receving his award, Finlay, a pupil at Redlands Primary School in Worksop, said he would like to compete at the Olympics.

It was a night of triumph at the community awards for the Matthews family – as Finlay’s younger brother Bailey won the special award.

The eight-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, was honoured after coming to national attention when pushed away his walking frame to complete the last 20 metres of a children’s triatholon unaided as hundreds cheered him across the finish line.

The schoolboy has racked up numerous medals at regional and national competitions.

Sam Ogrizovic, awards host