Youth sport - gymnastics: Ashleigh is the best in the south west

Youth sport - gymnastics: Ashleigh is the best in the south west

WINNER: Ashleigh Waldron

ACE: Ashleigh Waldron

First published in Sport Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

GYMNASTICS starlet Ashleigh Waldron saw off all-comers as she triumphed in the South West FIG Senior Challenge Cup in Bristol.

The Littledown Gymnastics Club member not only tasted success in the all-round competition, but also collected gold for uneven bars, silver for beam and bronze for floor.

In scooping the overall title, the 16-year-old followed in the footsteps of former Littledown member Rachel Matton, who won the competition in 2007.

"Winning the South West Challenge Cup was a lovely surprise,” said Waldron.

“I felt that I had done a good uneven bars routine which was my first rotation.

“That motivated me going forward but I didn't think I would be able to win against the other strong competitors.”

Waldron started out in gymnastics at Littledown at the age of eight and displayed an aptitude for the sport early on.

Since then she has gone on to experience great success, qualifying for national finals and representing both Dorset and the south west region on a number of occasions.

In the past couple of months alone, Waldron has taken part in four competitions and won 10 medals and a trophy in the process.

Her coach at Littledown, Sharon Williams, revealed that the teenager had been an exceptional talent to work with over the last eight years.

Williams said: “I'm very proud of Ashleigh and her achievements with Littledown Gymnastics Club, especially the Challenge Cup this month.”

Waldron was part of the four- strong south west team that in April became British champions at national grade five level.

Three years ago, she and the south west placed second in the International Rose Bowl.

Waldron is also a member of the Dorset squad that meets for train- ing around six times annually with gymnasts competing for their county during the year.

The teenager was due to strut her stuff at the National Chal- lenge Cup in Guildford, Surrey last weekend after triumphing in the south west event.

Littledown caters for girls aged four and over and offers classes to beginners, recreational and elite gymnasts. For more details visit littledowngymclub.co.uk.

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