Tumbler Tia takes a top spot

Gymnast Tia Barrett
Gymnast Tia Barrett

A dream will come true for young gymnast Tia Barrett when she represents the region in a national tournament.

The nine-year-old, from Hipsburn, will represent the North of England at the semi-finals of the NDP (National Development Programme) Tumbling Championships later this year.

She got her place in the national semis after winning her category in the recent North of England Championships, held in Hartlepool.

Now she faces tough competition in two semi-finals in Peterborough in May, and Sheffield in June for the chance to go forward to the national finals.

Tia started gymnastics at Willowburn Leisure Centre in Alnwick, and was then a member of Berwick Gymnastics Club.

A year ago, she moved to Deerness Gymnastics Academy in Durham to pursue her passion for tumbling.

Her commitment to her sport involves travelling around 450 miles, four nights a week, to get to and from training, but the youngster says she would go every day of the week if her parents and coach would let her.

Since moving to Deerness, Tia’s achievements have included winning two gold medals and one bronze and also the Most Improved Tumbler of the Year for age nine to 10 at the academy’s annual awards ceremony.

Tumbling is all about somersaults, flips and twists – and linking them all together, one after the other.