Bronze medal joy for Evie Rodwell at world gymnastics championships

Evie Rodwell who belongs to Long Stratton Gymnastics Club scooped bronze for Great Britain in the Wo

Evie Rodwell who belongs to Long Stratton Gymnastics Club scooped bronze for Great Britain in the World Downs Syndrome Gymnastics Championships in Milan. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

A young gymnast who was able to compete on an international stage thanks to the generosity of EDP and Mercury readers is celebrating a medal win.

Evie Rodwell pictured with her bronze medal in Milan.

Evie Rodwell pictured with her bronze medal in Milan. - Credit: Archant

Evie Rodwell, from Bressingham, travelled to Milan last week to represent Great Britain at the World Down's Syndrome Gymnastics Championships after a fundraising campaign was backed by the newspapers.

The 13-year-old triumphantly secured bronze on the bars and the title World DS Junior Artistic Gymnastic Bars Bronze Medallist.

Evie's mother, a volunteer with Special Olympics Norfolk, said: 'It was an amazing experience and we met lots of inspirational gymnasts, coaches and parents.

'Unfortunately Evie hurt her back in the training session on the vault on the Friday and so we made the decision to withdraw her from that piece at the Saturday competition. This dramatically lowered her chances as the vault is one of her best pieces but when she did her bars routine, I knew she'd aced it and could be in with a chance of a medal.'

Evie was competing against gymnasts from nine other countries including America, Russia, South Africa, Italy and Germany.

The Diss High School student was one of eight British artistic gymnasts who competed and only one of three who won a medal.

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The British team also had four rhythmic gymnasts taking part, with one winning the overall title of World DS Junior Rhythmic Gymnast.

Mrs Rodwell said: 'The competition was heavily supported making the atmosphere electric.

'In the evening after the competition there was a Gala dinner and gymnastics demonstrations by the Italian national artistic and rhythmic squad, the latter being current world champions.

'It was a fantastic experience from which we gained a lot of useful information, knowledge and contacts. 'We are now hoping to attend the World DS Games in Florence, Italy next July. And Evie has been put forward to represent the Eastern Region as part of the National Special Olympics Championships in Sheffield in 2017. So we have plenty to work towards but for now we are intending to rest, recover and enjoy Evie's fantastic achievement.'

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