BLENHEIM PALACE, 1 NOVEMBER 1997

“Travis Pike has an enormous gift . . .  I am proud that the children in the performance were Rhythmic Gymnasts.” 
John Atkinson, MBE, Executive Director of British Gymnastics
The British Amateur Gymnastics Association was well-represented at both the banquet and the show. The young lady at the top left of the picture is Rose Meredith's sister, Kate.  From left to right on the far side of the table, John Atkinson, thrice British Olympic Team coach, President of the International Gymnastics Federation Sports Aerobics Commission and Chairman of the British Olympic Association Coaches Steering Group, with his gracious wife Vera (Marinova) Atkinson, British Gymnastics' publicist, twice World Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics and former head of Bulgarian National Television Sports, then Marion Sands, founder and one of the City of Coventry Rhythmic Gymnastic Club coaches, Marion's mother, Mary Frazer and Marion's two daughters, Lara Knight and GRUMPUSS Choreographer Alitia Sands.   From left to right on the near side of the table, another of Coventry's gymnastics coaches, Ann Edwards with her husband Gareth and the couple on the near right were among my 20 guests from the Save the Children Fund — in aid of which, GRUMPUSS had turned in a solid £10,000 by the night of the premiere and had another £10,000 pledged — which, I daresay, is not bad for an unknown Yank who just crawled out from under a rock.

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