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29 October 2014

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You are in: Norfolk > People > Your Stories > Young gymnast vaults to the top

Emily Crowe with her mum, Lisa.

Emily with her biggest fan, mum Lisa.

Young gymnast vaults to the top

A nine-year-old who's ranked as one of the top gymnasts in the country is hoping to take gold at the 2012 London Olympics.

Supporting a future Olympic medallist is an expensive business, but for mum Lisa Crowe, who lives on the outskirts of Norwich, there's nothing she wouldn't do to help her gymnast daughter.

"She just loves it. Her whole life revolves around gym," said Lisa.

"We live in Sprowston, and have to travel to Wymondham about five times a week for three to four hours a time. It can make simple things like eating quite difficult to fit in."

It's a rigorous regime for Emily, who started gymnastics aged five and is now ranked 26th in the country.

"I miss out on some of the things other children do my age – all the sports they do," said Emily.

"I just focus on gymnastics. It's really hard. We do four pieces: vault, bars, floor, beam. Then we do an extra range. You have to get an extra pass mark to go through to the national competitions."

Expensive hobby

The costs of travelling backwards and forwards nearly every day and getting all the right kit mounts up financially, and mum Lisa thinks the total figure is around £100 a month.

"One leotard alone costs £80. A tracksuit costs £40, and she has to change hand-guards every six months, which cost £25."

Fortunately, Broadland District Council has stepped in and given a £150 grant towards the family's expenses.

Olympic aim

The London Olympics are only five years away, and the young champion is aiming for the top.

"It's really exciting," said Emily. "I think about being in the Olympics a lot.

"I've just got to train really hard, and keep going. It's really annoying because you're scared you're going to hurt yourself."

The competitions involve the vault, the beam, the bars and the floor, but Emily loves it all.

"I don't have a favourite thing really. I just think I've got to do it and I just get on with it," she said.

Lisa is often found proudly watching her daughter from the sidelines.

She said: "She doesn't realise how good she is, I don't think. She just takes it all in her stride".

last updated: 30/04/2008 at 15:42
created: 12/02/2008

You are in: Norfolk > People > Your Stories > Young gymnast vaults to the top

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