THREE-times world champion Beth Tweddle returned to her home county to inspire the next generation of star gymnasts.
The Olympic heroine joined forces with Brio Leisure to launch her own gymnastics training classes at Brio sports centres in Chester, Ellesmere Port and Winsford.
The Beth Tweddle Gym Stars programme aims to encourage more children to become involved in recreational gymnastics.
The classes target pre-school children aged between two and four and a half years old and will be held at Northgate Arena in Chester, Winsford Lifestyle Centre in Winsford and EPIC Leisure Centre in Ellesmere Port.
Classes will be held on Friday mornings in Chester, Monday mornings in Ellesmere Port and Wednesday mornings in Winsford.
Olympic medallist Beth, who began her career with a local gym club in Cheshire, said: “My passion has and always will be gymnastics.
“I am really excited to be able to bring gymnastics back to my hometown area and offer the chance to young children to have a go at gymnastics on their doorstep.
“They might love it, or they might hate it but for me, the main thing is that they have tried it.”
Her retirement from professional gymnastics last year coincided with the launch of the first athlete-led legacy programme following the London Olympics.
The Beth Tweddle Academy forms part of a national programme to provide the opportunity for as many children as possible to take up gymnastics, within schools, leisure centres and gymnastics clubs to help develop the sport around the country.
It is run by Total Gymnastics, which was set up by Beth and Stephen Parry, the former Olympic swimmer, and first and foremost is about participation.
Paula Jamieson, business development manager for Brio Leisure, said: “It’s a great opportunity for youngsters in the local area to get involved in gymnastics, especially using such a high quality programme like Beth Tweddle Gym Stars.
“It’s also a great opportunity to get more people into coaching gymnastics as well, as the training gives them the opportunity to gain a Skills Active endorsed certification in the Gym Stars programme.”
l Anyone wishing to to find out more, or to book a space on the programme visit the Brio Leisure website www.brioleisure.org or www.totalgymnastics.co.uk or call 0161 763 0959.
See full story in the Chester Leader