Laura-Rose is rubbing shoulders with the very best of British gymnasts

Laura-Rose Cooke in action. Picture: YNSA

Laura-Rose Cooke in action. Picture: YNSA - Credit: YNSA

Our latest Young Norfolk Sports Academy update comes from artistic gymnast Laura-Rose Cooke.

Laura-Rose Cooke in action. Picture: YNSA

Laura-Rose Cooke in action. Picture: YNSA - Credit: YNSA

Norwich School pupil, Laura-Rose Cooke, is trained by head coach Sara-Jane Inglis at the Norfolk Academy of Gymnastics in Besthorpe. Cooke has been a member of the England Women's Artistic Gymnastic Squad for three years and was recently accepted onto the YNSA programme.

'It has been a very exciting year for me, exceeding things I would never have imagined.

'At the beginning of the year, I placed seventh at the English Championships held at Loughborough University. Previously, in 2016, I received the qualifying mark at the British Challenge Cup where I placed third. This enabled me to compete in the Senior British Championships at the Echo Arena in Liverpool alongside Olympic gymnasts such as Claudia Fragapane and Ellie Downie.

'During this time the expertise of the YNSA would have been particularly helpful to me in order to cope with the pressure of competing in front of 11,000 people and with all the flashing lights and atmosphere of the Echo Arena.

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'Being a YNSA athlete is exciting for me and I believe that the programme will enable me to mature within my gymnastics and support me on such occasions as the British Championships.

'I feel that the workshops will be particularly beneficial in helping me to learn more about experiences in sport by meeting other athletes who share these similar experiences.

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'I finished the year representing England in Leverkusen, Germany at the Ostermann Arena in front of 1,500 people. We competed against teams from Europe and from as far as South Africa. Our team placed second overall. Individually I won the competition with the highest overall score and became the first English gymnast to ever win this competition since it started in 1976.

'In the future I would like to continue my gymnastics in America at university. This requires competing in huge arenas with competitions state versus state. This is something I find extremely exciting but daunting. I am sure the YNSA will support me with this journey and help me build my confidence.'

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