BY KIERAN McCARTHY
A YOUNG Clonakilty gymnast is ready to rock, tumble and roll at the 2016 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in China later this month.
Talented Aisling Dooley (11) and her partner Leah Twomey (15) from Glanmire have been selected on the Irish team that will compete at these world championships in Putian – a city in the eastern Fujian province.
Both members of Ballincollig Gymnastics Club, Aisling travels from Clonakilty to Ballincollig five times a week to train, and her father, Damien, is understandably extremely proud of his daughter.
‘It’s fantastic what she has achieved. She is so dedicated to gymnastics and works so hard. Getting picked on the Ireland team for these world championships is a great reward for her,’ said Damien, who along with his wife Paula will travel to China with Aisling for the competition that starts on March 21st.
A fifth class student at Lisavaird National School, Aisling has three younger brothers – Liam, Connor and Cian – who will be cheering their big sister on from home in West Cork.
Ballincollig Gymnastics Club is also extremely proud of its two young members, and a spokesperson commented: ‘Leah and Aisling are at their gymnastics club training as often as possible every week, working with their coaches Sarah Cahill, Sandra O’Leary, Aine Ryan and Leigh Lehane in order to perfect their moves and improve their artistry.
‘Ballincollig Gymnastics Club would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the girls on their fantastic achievement and all their hard work over the last few months.
‘We would also like to thank the girls’ parents for the huge support in getting the girls to training so often, for ensuring the girls have a proper diet, are resting and everything else that goes with being the parent of elite gymnasts. Well done to all involved.’
Aisling and Leah had to compete at two trial competitions to achieve the required scores needed to secure a place on the Irish team. The first trial was in England in November last year and the second trial was in Dublin in December. The Irish team – which departs to Beijing from Cork on March 18th – was announced just before Christmas.
Also, another West Cork gymnast, Grace Lyons from Clonakilty, will compete at the Celtic Cup this weekend.