Belfast gymnastics club to represent GB at World Gymnaestrada in Austria
A gymnastics club from Belfast will be representing their country this summer when they take part in World Gymnaestrada in Dornbirn, Austria from 7-13 July.
World Gymnaestrada is the largest global gymnastics festival and this year over 23,000 individuals from a record breaking 60 countries will join forces in Austria to take part in the week-long, non-competitive festival.
800 British gymnasts will be taking part, the largest team taken to date and nearly double the number who participated in Helsinki at the last Gymnaestrada in 2015.
This weekend Abbey Gymnastics Club collected their team kit at the national rehearsal day in Nottingham, where Great Britain’s delegation came together for the final time before they travel to the event.
This will be the first time a team from Northern Ireland has been involved in Gymnaestrada and for Abbey Gymnastics Club, a real privilege.
The club’s Head Coach, Alison McMullan said: "It’s super exciting to be the first team from Northern Ireland to go to Gymnaestrada and such a privilege to represent Great Britain. We’ve never gone abroad as a team so it’s so exciting to perform in Austria.
"Lots of our gymnasts would never otherwise get to represent their nation and we can’t wait to get out there."
The event takes place every four years and is a fantastic opportunity for the world gymnastics community to unite and celebrate their sport.
The Great Britain team will include gymnasts from 30 British Gymnastics affiliated clubs, with participants ranging from 6 years old to their 60s.
Olympic bronze medallist Amy Tinkler joined the rehearsals to share her experiences of competing for Great Britain and show her support for the teams.
Tinkler said: "Competing for your country is a huge honour and every gymnast should be so proud of themselves for achieving such recognition. Watching the rehearsals has been amazing, the performances all looked incredible and the commitment and passion of the gymnasts and coaches is clear to see.
"I know everyone will do Great Britain proud and hope everyone has a memorable Gymnaestrada experience!"
She was joined by British Gymnastics CEO, Jane Allen who delivered a speech to wish them luck ahead of the event.
"I was truly inspired this weekend by the passion and energy shown from the gymnasts involved in Gymnaestrad," said Allen. "It was brilliant to see such an engaged group of gymnasts and it will be a real honour for them to represent their country on the world stage.
"Gymnaestrada is a very unique event and brilliant opportunity for gymnasts and fans from all over the world to celebrate our sport in a non-competitive way, so I look forward to seeing their performances in Austria this July."
Belfast Telegraph Digital