A group of gymnasts from South Tyneside have been selected to represent their country later this year.
Five members of South Tyneside Gymnastics Club have been chosen for Great Britain in the European Championships, which will take place in Riesa, Germany, in September.
It continues the remarkable success of the club, which is based at the Gymnastics Centre behind Temple Park Leisure Centre, off John Reid Road, South Shields.
It has had gymnasts in Great Britain squads at all major championships since 2007, winning medals along the way. This time, Erin Mattinson, 19, Lauren Emmerson, 15, and Lucy Atkinson, 13, will compete in the 13-19 women’s trio, while Lauren Said, 14, and Vienna Ramsey, 11, have been selected for the 11-16 women’s pair. Sue Mattinson, secretary of the club, said: “We are absolutely thrilled for them.
“Championships like this are always massive opportunities, and the sort of occasions the girls work for. They’ve got the British Championships before that, so the gymnasts will be in full training over the summer. There won’t be much of a holiday for them.
“They make massive sacrifices, but this is what they work for.”
Championships like this are always massive opportunities, and the sort of occasions the girls work forSue Mattinson
The gymnasts, who train up to 20 hours a week, will compete at the British Championships in Liverpool on August 1 and 2.
The Europeans will be Lauren Said and Vienna Ramsey’s first taste of a major competition but the others have all enjoyed big success before.
They won bronze at last year’s World Championships and silver at the Europeans the year before, while Lauren Emmerson and Erin Mattinson won women’s pair silver at the Worlds in 2012, and in the Europeans a year earlier.
Mrs Mattinson added: “Since 2007, we’ve had gymnasts in squads for European and World Championships every year.
“A lot of it is to do with the temperament of the girls and the amount of work they put in”