A group of local gymnasts jumped the pond from Dartmouth to England to compete for the very first time internationally.

The "power team" group from Bay State Gymnastics Academy in Dartmouth flew out to the United Kingdom on Thursday, March 9th for their very first competition of the year in the town of Eastleigh in Hampshire, England. Ten girls were invited to compete against other teams in their age bracket along with their coach and gym manager Rachel Hallett as guests of the competition.

"Another U.S. team went over last year and we were asked if were interested in going this year," Hallett said, "The rules were different, so we had to learn and train using the U.K. rules to compete for the age bracket of 13-18."

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Before the competition, the girls got the chance to do a lot of sightseeing on Friday and a little on Saturday before heading to Eastleigh to compete on Sunday against 12 other junior teams. However, since Bay State Academy was there as guests to the competition, they only scored accordingly but could not place.

"This was more for international exposure," Hallett explained, "Also, this was my first time as well and it was very exciting. A career highlight for me and I am so beyond proud of everything the girls can do. These are the hardest skills they've ever had to compete and to be able to do that in a different country for the first time this year is very impressive."

Among the skills were tumbling, and multi-twisting/double flipping on the mini-tramp in rapid-fire fashion. Also, a choreographed floor routine that was designated to each gymnast's current skill level was performed together as a group.

Bay State Gymnastics is back home on Ventura Drive and will be hosting teams next weekend from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and North Shore Boston for a qualifying event for the U.S. Nationals.

Best of luck, ladies!

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