Gymnast siblings jump for joy as boy, 9, joins sister, 10, in representing team GB
PUBLISHED: 15:28 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:31 16 December 2019
A brother and sister with sights set on the Olympics are jumping for joy after both being selected to represent Great Britain in gymnastics.
Aaliyah Manning, 10, was first selected to represent Team GB in gymnastics twelve months ago, aged just nine.
Now after a year full of training, overcoming injuries and competing, she has been selected once again, but this time she will be joined by her nine-year-old brother Yasha.
The talented siblings from Reydon have been practicing gymnastics and training since they were just eight weeks old.
Mum Chloe Mace said: "They've been doing it since before they could walk or crawl, it's been their whole lives. They're a bit young at the moment but the big goal is to go into the Olympics, and they're on the right path."
But it hasn't been an easy path.
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For Aaliyah, who has earned three out of five of her 'elite' grades, the last year was a struggle as she recovered from a serious fracture and pulled groin.
"But despite the injuries she is still determined to compete, and came 11th in the nationals, she really overcame it," Miss Mace said.
Aaliyah, who trains at Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club in Ipswich, will now go back to training with Team GB's top coaches at their state-of-the-art facilities where many Olympians have practiced.
She will hope to get her final two 'elite' grades in the next year before further training and eventually competing in the British championships in 2021.
And her brother Yasha, who trains at Waveney gymnastics club, will be hot on her heels, as he goes on to pass his 'boys go forward' elite grades.
"Yasha saw Aaliyah do it, and he's been doing it just as long. Boys don't start competitions until a little later, but he did the east region voluntary levels and became the under tens champion - he won that aged eight. Then in the national finals he came third in Great Britain.
"We found out on Yasha's trial day that Aaliyah made the squad. We are very, very proud of them both.
"We would like to thank St. Felix school and Reydon primary for being so supportive, as well as Waveney gymnastics club and Pipers Vale in Ipswich."
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