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Gym girl aims for Games

PUBLISHED: 12:08 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:18 14 July 2010

Young gym prospect Bethany.

Young gym prospect Bethany.

A talented young Norfolk gymnast is a step closer to achieving her dream of representing the Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Nine-year-old Bethany Harmer, of Silfield, is one of just 10 youngsters in the country in her age group to have been chosen for the national team - the Great Britain Development Squad.

A talented young Norfolk gymnast is a step closer to achieving her dream of representing the Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Nine-year-old Bethany Harmer, of Silfield, is one of just 10 youngsters in the country in her age group to have been chosen for the national team - the Great Britain Development Squad.

And with an invitation to take part in trials for the British Schools Team coming up next month, Bethany's parents are appealing for sponsorship.

“The more competitions she enters the more expensive it all gets - from the competition leotards, which cost £90 each, through to travel and overnight expenses, not to mention coaching fees. We're not a wealthy family and we're worried that lack of financial support could stop Bethany from achieving her full potential,” said mum Heather, a childminder.

One local business - Rosedale Funeral Home - has already pledged £500 to help Bethany's bid to maximise her chances of competing at the very top of her sport.

“As a family business we're proud to support local young people like Bethany who are working so hard to fulfil their dreams. Bethany has made huge progress in the last year and we're urging other local businesses to help her on her way,” said Rosedale Funeral Director Andrew Free.

Bethany trains for some 20 hours a week at The Norfolk Academy of Gymnastics in Besthorpe, where she is a member of the elite competition squad. Head coach Sarah-Jane Inglis said that Bethany showed great potential:

“Bethany is without a doubt one of the most talented gymnasts who has ever walked through the doors of the club. She has all of the natural attributes to make it to the very top of the sport. She is strong, flexible, determined, beautifully artistic and has nerves of steel.

“She has attracted praise from everyone in the gymnastics world that has encountered her and all agree she has an extremely bright future ahead of her,” she added.

Bethany took up gymnastics as a three year-old, first taking part in her regional and national competitions just 18 months ago.

“You imagine that financial support is available to help talented youngsters but that just doesn't seem to be the case and we're appealing to local people to help us keep Bethany on course for Rio,” added Heather Harmer.

Rosedale Funeral Home is an independent business with close links to local schools and charities. Rosedale has branches in Wymondham, Diss, Attleborough, Bungay and Halesworth.

If you would like to help sponsor Bethany, call mum Heather on 07944 869 518.

Gymnast Bethany is pictured with Andrew Free of Rosedale Funeral Home.

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