South Tyneside gymnasts flying high thanks to generosity of Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust

Three South Tyneside gymnasts are set to represent their country in Israel thanks to an incredible donation from the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 1:46 pm
Updated Monday, 7th October 2019, 7:38 pm

Lauren Conlin, 18, Hannah Smith, 12, both from South Shields, and 15-year-old Olivia Parker, from Hebburn, have been named as part of the Great British team for the Acrobatic Gymnastic European Championships held in Israel this October.

Senior coach Ian Said was also selected as the Great Britain team manager and since then the club has been fundraising to pay for the likes of travel costs and expenses while competing abroad.

Olivia Parker, Lauren Conlin and Hannah Smith.

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And now they have received a generous donation from the charity set up in memory of Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry who were killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack in May 2017.

The charity helps young people to follow their dreams in sports and performance.

Chloe’s mum Lisa Rutherford said: “It is fantastic what they are doing and they have achieved a lot already.

“So we are really pleased to be able to support the gymnasts by helping them make up the shortfall in fundraising to enable them to go.

Lisa and Mark Rutherford with the South Tyneside Gymnastics Club athletes.

“We wish them all the best of luck.”

The club’s 11-16 trio Chloe Heley, 15, Ruby Oliver, 11, from South Shields, and Megan Neal, 13, from Sunderland, were also announced as the non-travelling first reserve for the Acrobatic European Age Group competition.

The girls all competed in the British Championships, along with women’s pair Lillie Gladman, 12 and Morgan Nelson, 15 both from Sunderland.

The two trios took the silver medals in their category, while the women’s pair were awarded the bronze.

South Tyneside Gymnastics Club athletes Olivia Parker, Lauren Conlin and Hannah Smith.

On the donation, Ian commented: “It is absolutely fantastic and we just couldn’t believe it.

“For these parents to be going through what they are going through and to be doing something like this, it is just inspirational.

“It’s amazing, they have just gone above and beyond.”