AT the end of this month, a 15-year-old gymnast from Clonakilty will be flying out to Israel to take part in the European Championships.
Aisling Dooley is one of 11 gymnasts, plus two reserves, from the Ballincollig Gymnastics Club, that earned their place on the national team after taking part in squad trials over the summer months.
All of the gymnasts will be competing in their relevant pairs and trios at the championship, which will take place in Holon in Israel, over a four-day period from October 30th to November 2nd.
Aisling Dooley and her partner, Ciara Hickey, who is from Ballincollig, will be representing Ireland in the senior women’s pair contest.
They – together with their club mates and an additional 20 gymnasts from all over Ireland – will fly out on Monday, October 28th next.
Aisling Dooley was part of the Ballincollig club’s RebelAcro team that performed in Ireland’s Got Talent earlier this year, and made it all the way to the final three acts.
Aisling’s former RebelAcro partner, Grace Lyons, who is also from Clonakilty, will not be participating in the championships because she is now focusing on coaching instead.
Aisling told The Southern Star: ‘Acrobatic gymnastics is, at this level, extremely demanding and requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but I love it.’
Aisling, who is in Junior Cert in the Sacred Heart Secondary School in Clonakilty, confirmed that all of the gymnasts have been training five days a week since July.
But she has the additional task of travelling to Ballincollig after school, four evenings a week, plus an overnight stay on Fridays so she can train with the team early on Saturday mornings.
Aisling has already performed at world championship level in China, but this will be her second European Championships.
She said: ‘I am extremely excited to have been chosen to perform at senior level, which is the highest grade, and I’m looking forward to seeing Israel.’