THE North-East has eight new world champions after a squad from Deerness Gymnastics Academy returned from France victorious.

Representing Great Britain, the youngsters competed at the FIG Acrobatic Gymnastics World Age Group Championships in Paris last week and saw off competition from 33 countries to claim their titles.

Abbi Greaves, 13, from Ushaw Moor and Chelsea Fisher, 17, from Darlington, were victorious in the 12-18 women’s pair and added a world title to the silver medal they won at last year’s European Championships.

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Millie Nesbitt, 15, from Durham and Liam Sneath, 17, from Spennymoor, won the 12-18 mixed pair category. Nesbitt had already won a World Championship bronze medal in 2012 and silver medal at the European Championships in 2011 as part of a trio, and together with Sneath took the 2014 British Championship title earlier this year and the silver medal in the European Championships last year.

In the 11-16 category 16-year-olds Michael Gill, from Ponteland and Nathan Brady, from Durham. Along with Stuart Napier, 14, from Durham and Finn Gavin, 12, from Alnwick were crowned champions in the men’s group. The quartet is current British Champions and also took the silver medal in the 2013 European Championships.

Over 700 acrobatic gymnasts from all over the world were represented at the international tournament for junior acrobats, which included competitions in the categories women’s, men’s and mixed pairs as well as women’s groups and men’s groups. The event helps junior gymnasts gain experience on the international stage and aims to prepare them for their careers as seniors.

Deerness Gymnastics Academy, located in Ushaw Moor, County Durham, helped Great Britain win eight gold, four silver and two bronze medals in total. The club’s coach and head of acrobatics, Stuart Thompson, was also the Great Britain coach for the competition.

“I am so proud and so happy - for the gymnasts, their families, the rest of the club and the sport of gymnastics,” said Thompson.

“They all performed their routines to perfection, qualifying for the finals in first place and then overcoming that added pressure to take gold. There were some amazing gymnasts at the championships and they have all proved how talented they are.

“Gymnastics, and especially the discipline of acrobatics is often over-looked as a sport but these gymnasts train for over 20 hours every week. The dedication and commitment from them and their families has been rewarded and I hope it inspires a new generation of gymnasts to take up the sport.”

Gymnastics coaching in acrobatics, tumbling and trampolining is available to all ages from novice to elite level. Recreational classes are available for children from 3 years. Baby gym sessions take place on weekdays and adults can take a class on Thursday evenings.

To find out more call: 0191 373 9419 or visit follow on twitter @deernessga or find on Facebook.