Gymnast wins silver medal at world competition in Bulgaria

Washington gymnast Shanice Davidson with the silver medal she won at an international tumblimg competition in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Washington gymnast Shanice Davidson with the silver medal she won at an international tumblimg competition in Sofia, Bulgaria.

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A YOUNG gymnast is jumping for joy after gaining a silver medal in an international competition.

After being chosen to represent Great Britain for a second time, Wearside’s Shanice Davidson, 13, took the silver medal at the World Age Group Competition in Bulgaria.

The Washington teenager, a tumbling gymnast ranked second in the country and fourth in the world for her age group, trains five times a week at the Deerness High Performance Academy in Durham.

Proud grandparents Sheila and Bill Davidson were on hand to see the youngster clinch the medal after beating 30 other girls in the 13 to 14-year-old group to win her place in the final.

Sheila, 66, from Albany, said: “It was absolutely wonderful. We were just elated. She was so neat and fast, and we are chuffed to bits.

“She had a fantastic week, and we threw a surprise party for her with family and friends when she got back and put banners up outside the house. It was lovely.”

The Biddick Academy pupil is no stranger to being in the spotlight and last year picked up a Young Achievers’ Award.

Sheila said: “We are so proud of her. She has done so well. She will now be a regular member of the Great British squad, and there will be another international competition in Florida next year, as well a European competition.”

Sheila and Bill, 67, who became carers for a three-year-old Shanice when her mum, their daughter Gillian, died at the age of 32, say supporting Shanice in her sporting dreams is very expensive but worth it.

Sheila said: “There is no funding at all for juniors, and it is costly, but when they have a talent like Shanice, you just do whatever you can to encourage them.”

The Davidsons are keen to secure sponsorship to help fund Shanice’s continuing national and international success. Anyone interested in helping can contact them on 6592357.