Paula Moulton and Gary Lyness travelled to Lohja, just outside Helsinki in Finland last weekend to represent Great Britain at the IPC Suomi Open Championship.

Paula and Gary2

The competition organised by the Finnish Wheelchair Dance Association was the first international competition to be organised in Finland and comprised of the Suomi Open Championship, the Finnish National Championship and the IPC Approved Suomi Open.

Dancers from over 10 countries were in attendance in the fantastic venue of the Susi Training Centre at Kisakallio.  The floor was a joy to dance on!

The first day saw the beginners and amateur level dancers take to the floor followed by the IPC Competition with the Single Men, Combi Standard and finally the Duo Latin couples.

Day 2 of the competition saw Great Britain take to the floor with Paula dancing in the Single Ladies, just missing out on the final by one point, placing 7th.

Paula and Gary3

The Latin Combi 2 competition was fiercely fought at the top by the Russian couples with Paula and Gary placing 5th in the final, a great result for them after getting back on to the competition floor after almost a year following injury and illness.  Paula said “we danced well for our first competition of the year and were very pleased with our performance.  The competition was well organised and all credit goes to Finland for hosting such a major event for the first time”.

Patrick McGeough, CEO of the WDSA (UK), the national governing body for wheelchair dance sport, said, “It’s great to see Paula and Gary competing abroad and showing other nations what we can do here in the UK. I really look forward to seeing them compete again at the end of May and I hope the couple can be an inspiration to athletes at a grassroots level in our sport!”

You can see photos from the event on their Facebook page.

Gary and Paula’s next outing will be at the end of May in Frankfurt at the IPC Mainhatten Cup.