July 15, 2022, by brzbs1
Commonwealth Athlete in Focus: Frank Baines
Frank Baines has already had a very successful year in gymnastics, particularly when representing the #GreenandGold in BUCS competition. The highlight of Frank’s achievements came in early February when he competed at the BUCS Gymnastics Championships, both individually and as part of the overall University of Nottingham Gymnastics team. At the event Frank was awarded silver medals on Pommel and P-Bars, as well as gold on Floor, Rings, and High Bar. His exceptional performance gave him a score of 66.95 and a gold medal, beating reigning British Champion Joshua Nathan in the process. These efforts, alongside his team mates high scores, also aided the University of Nottingham in becoming 2021-22 BUCS Champions in Men’s Artistic Gymnastics.
Following up on his successes this year, we are delighted that Frank has been selected for Team Scotland at this summer’s Commonwealth Games. These will not be Frank’s first Commonwealths however, as he represented his country at both the 2018 and 2014 editions of the games. Not only did he compete at these games, Frank was also highly successful winning two bronze medals in 2018 (team and parrallel bars), and a silver medal in 2014 (team). The 2014 Commonwealth Games were also special for Frank as these were held in Glasgow and as such were a home games for the high-flying gymnast.
Whilst preparing for the gymnastic competition which begins on the 29th July and end on the 2nd August, we briefly caught up with Frank about his Commonwealth experiences as well as his time at the University of Nottingham.
How have your preparations been going for this summer’s games?
So far my preparations have been going very well. We’re a few weeks out from our first competition and we have several training camps as part of Team Scotland in the coming weeks where we will do a lot of the fine tuning and last minute preparations for our competitions!
Has your successful BUCS season helped these preparations?
I think that this years BUCS competitions have certainly helped in my preparation for these games. BUCS was my first competition this year and I managed to kick off my season well with a good performance and result as we ultimately won the team gold, and I won the individual gold too to become a double national champion.
Editor’s note – On winning these gold medals and national titles Frank said “I’m really pleased to have come away with the team gold. The first competition of the calendar year is always a bit nerve wracking so I’m happy that I posted a good result, and I can take this confidence forwards into the upcoming national competitions.”
What are your aims for these Commonwealths?
My primary aim is to do a good job for the team and hopefully we will be able to push for a medal in the Team Final. If I have a good qualification there’s a good chance that I’ll be in a final or two, so fingers crossed everything goes well.
What have your previous experiences been like at Commonwealth Games and are you expecting anything different this summer?
My previous Commonwealth experiences have been brilliant but very different. Obviously it was absolutely fantastic to compete in front of a home crowd at Glasgow 2014. Being at the Gold Coast in 2018 was so enjoyable. We spent a month in Australia and all the locals and helpers at the events were so welcoming to the international athletes – I certainly enjoyed the sunshine out there too! I expect Birmingham to be more similar to Glasgow, but it should be a very fun & friendly competition that I am looking forward to.
How long have you been studying at the University of Nottingham? What are you studying and how have you found the experience of being at the university combining study with sport?
I’ve been studying Physiotherapy at the University of Nottingham for a year and I’ve really enjoyed my first year. The course is highly interesting and I’ve managed to continue training at a high level alongside my studies due to the help of the sports scholarship that I was fortunate enough to receive from the University.
We thank Frank for his time and everyone at University of Nottingham Sport wishes him the very best of luck this summer.
You can find out more about University of Nottingham Sport at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and keep up to date with the #GreenandGold’s achievements by visiting our dedicated Commonwealth web page.
Find out more about performance sport and combining your studies with elite university sport at the University of Nottingham here.
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