A young gymnast from Alnwick is China-bound this week to take part in an international event.
Finn Gavin, aged 14, is part of a six-strong team from a Durham-based squad, who willtravel with the Great Britain Acrobatic Gymnastics Team to China to compete in the World Acrobatic Age Group Championships.
Finn, along with Ryan Dury, aged 19 from Middlesbrough, Michael Gill, aged 17 from Ponteland and Nathan Brady, aged 17 from Durhamare the current British champions.
Last year they competed in the European Championships for Great Britain and three of them hold World Championship gold medals after winning 12-18 age group two years ago.
They are all members of the Deerness Gymnastics Academy in Durham, and they are beingaccompanied on their trip by head coach Stuart Thompson, who last year was named as British Gymnastics’ ‘Coach of the Year.’
Stuart said: “There is a lot of hard work put in by gymnasts, parents and coaches to reach this standard of gymnastics. Just to be selected is a great achievement but we are training hard and focussed on performing at our best in China and hopefully that will bring the club and country success.
“Acrobatics is not a high profile sport but we have hundreds of children and young people participating at all levels at Deerness Gymnastics Academy every week and not only will they be showing their support but will also be inspired by these six gymnasts.”
Participants in acrobatic gymnastics do not receive funding at age-group level, even when representing Great Britain, which has meant the gymnasts raising the funds to cover their training, travel and competition costs themselves.
Deerness Gymnastics Academy, which has Matt Baker as its patron, has become one of Britain’s top gymnastics clubs over the past twenty years, with over 100 international gymnasts with more than seventy World and European medallists, including 15 World and European Champions in its roll of honour. It is not only one of the most successful clubs in Great Britain but it is also recognised on the International scene as one of the top clubs in the world.