THREE young gymnasts from the region are heading to America for one of the world’s biggest contests for rising stars of the sport.

Jade Armstrong, Amy Tinkler and Claudia Barkes have landed places at the prestigious WOGA Classic in Dallas, Texas.

Jade, 15, from Spennymoor; Amy, 14, from Bishop Auckland; and Claudia, 14, of Greta Bridge, near Barnard Castle, are all members of South Durham Gymnastics Club, in Spennymoor, County Durham.

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The trio will fly out to Texas on Sunday before competing in four events- vault, asymmetric bars, balance beam and floor- next Saturday, February 8.

All three plan to try new routines as a warm-up to the upcoming English Championships, in Wigan, and British Championships, in Liverpool, both in March.

Hosted by the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, the competition is a chance for the girls to meet and compete against present and future Olympians and national stars from around the globe.

Jade will compete with the GB senior squad, of which she is one of the youngest members, Amy will represent the GB juniors and Claudia will fly the flag for her club.

Head coaches at South Durham, Nicola Preston and Rachael Wright, are proud of the trio.

Mrs Preston said: “These girls work so hard, training in excess of 25 hours per week in an intensive, demanding sport and it is fantastic that they have the opportunity to compete internationally, let alone in such a prestigious competition.

“It is icing on the cake that they have been selected to travel together and we are very proud.”