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Olympian inspires young gymnasts

Posted onPosted on 12th Apr
Olympian inspires young gymnasts

Ellie Downie, one of the most successful female artistic gymnasts in British history, passed on tips to youngsters at Oak Tree Leisure Centre, Mansfield.

Ellie, 18, picked prizedraw winners for the centre’s Commonwealth Games Sporting Challenge, answered questions about her career and gave tips on healthy eating.

The challenge included a range of free taster sessions to encourage and inspire people of all ages to become more active.

The winner of the over-12s prize was Eweline, who won a one-month gym pass. She said she tried out different sports with her children, Tomasz ,(8), and Emilia, (5), during the challenge. She said it was a great opportunity to try new activities and Tomasz enjoyed tennis so much that he is going to start playing regularly.

The under-12s winner, Harry Gilbert, received a one-month swim pass.

The leisure centre, run by Serco Leisure on behalf of the Mansfield District Leisure Trust (MDLT), added a Jump Into Gymnastics programme to its events a year ago and has more than 100 children, aged 4-11, regularly attending sessions.

Ellie was the first GB gymnast to win a European all-around gold medal and represented her country at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Darren Kissane, commercial manager of MDLT, said: “It was a great chance for our Jump Into Gymnastics children to get a close up look at a GB gymnastics superstar.

“This can only help to inspire the next generation of local youngsters to get involved in this great sport.”
Ellie, whose visit was part of her opening a new Aldi store in Mansfield, said: “I live and train fairly close by so it’s nice to be able to support and give back to the local community.

“Hopefully I can inspire other children in Mansfield to try the sport and, who knows, one may even become a future Olympian.”

Aldi is donating fresh fruit to the leisure centre as part of its Get Set to Eat Fresh initiative, which aims to encourage children aged 5 to 14 to develop a love for fresh, healthy food.
Places are available on the leisure centre’s gymnastics programme by calling 0345 0000231.