Cambridge University Gymnastics' men's captain, Will ChapmanConnor Doyle with permission for varsity

Who is your sporting idol?

It would have to be Louis Smith – seeing him in the 2012 London Olympics was really inspirational for me and he’s just come back into the Commonwealth gymnastics team!

What is your best sporting moment?

My best sporting moment would be landing my vault for the first time ever at the Varsity competition last year. I’m not sure how it looked to the judges but felt great for me.

Worst sporting moment?

Hard to choose from the many embarrassing fails, but breaking my ankle in a foam pit has to be up there.

Why gymnastics?

I love how it incorporates all aspects of full-body strength, power, balance and flexibility. Plus, it is quite fun to learn new flips and tricks.

Favourite event?

Parallel bars. I always feel good training on them.

Least favourite event?

Rings. I’m just not strong enough.

Do you ever get dizzy doing flips and tricks, or is it just something you’re used to?

I would say I’m mostly used to it now, but I’ll never get used to getting winded all the time.

What would be your go-to skill to impress with at a party?

Standing backflip is always a popular one.

Is it tricky to balance training for multiple bits of apparatus?

It can be, especially with the requirements of full-body conditioning, however, this can also make training more fun, as if one apparatus gets tiring, you can just move on to a different one that focuses elsewhere.

Where would be best for a beginner to start?

All our sessions at the sport centre are really beginner-friendly and slowly build up the basic skills required for gymnastics!

Any pre-competition rituals?

I don’t like to be superstitious but pre-competition usually involves a lot of warming up and a lot more caffeine.

What makes the gymnastics team the best?

From a completely unbiased perspective, everyone is very friendly and supportive, with all abilities encouraged! We are also very social outside of training, so everyone builds strong friendships along with their gymnastics skills.

Who should we look out for this year?


Mountain View

Captain’s Corner: Handball

Izzie Hackett for sure, returning as women’s captain from her year abroad, she’s fired up and ready to reclaim varsity!

What is the best bit about being captain?

Leading the conditioning.

Worst bit about being captain?

Having to also (mostly) do the conditioning.

Varsity predictions?

Looks to be a close battle this year, but I’m confident we can reclaim our victory.

Where can we follow gymnastics in Cambridge?

@lightbluegym on Instagram and Facebook where we post all the information you need and regular updates as to what we get up to!