A TALENTED North-East gymnast is looking forward to taking part in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) when it begins next week.

13-year-old Amy Tinkler, of Bishop Auckland, is hoping for success when she competes in the team and individual gymnastic competitions in Sydney.

The teenager, who trains with the South Durham Gymnastics Club, Spennymoor, and attends GB squad sessions at Lilleshall, in Shropshire, recently helped her team claim gold and also take an individual bronze medal in the Olympic Hopes Cup.

Loading article content

Her mother Nora said: “She is just one of four gymnasts going out on Saturday. She is really looking forward to it.

“We are very proud of her achievements.”

The AYOF will see 1,700 athletes aged 12-20 competing across 17 Olympic sports in many of the venues that were used to host the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Kat Copeland used the AYOF as a stepping stone to a gold medal-winning appearance at the Olympics, and the hope is that a number of next year's 114-strong British squad will progress to represent Team GB at either the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro or the following Games in 2020.