Sunderland gymnast sets sights on national glory

Seven year old Keira Redford from Washington won a gold medal in her first gymnastics competition.
Seven year old Keira Redford from Washington won a gold medal in her first gymnastics competition.
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A YOUNG Sunderland gymnast is setting her sights on national glory after winning a second gold medal.

Keira Redford, of Washington, beat stiff competition to claim top honours in the intermediate floor championship at the Deerness Academy in Durham earlier this month.

That was the eight-year-old’s second win, and she is now aiming to compete for her country.

Her dad George said: “She’s definitely got her eye on representing Britain now.”

The academy is attended by some of the best young gymnasts in the country, with more than 60 of its graduates going on to represent Britain since it first opened, including One Show host Matt Baker and world champion acrobatics group Acropolis.

Despite Keira’s previous success, it was still a shock for the Redford family to see their daughter on the top step of the podium.

“I was completely overwhelmed.” George added. “I was shaking that much I had to put down my camera and give it to my other daughter. Keira came off the podium and was in shock too.”

Keira took up gymnastics last year and has progressed quickly to become one of the best in the region at her age category, thanks to a dedicated training regime.

“She trains at least four days a week.” George said. “It’s a lot of work to do, but she enjoys it.”

“I’m not surprised because gymnastics seems to run in our family. I think she saw her sister doing it and decided she’d like to have a go, and she’s loved it ever since.”

Having claimed her second win, Keira is now switching her focus to her next competition.

She has already entered for the next Deerness floor championship in March and will face even tougher competition.

“She won at intermediate, so she’ll be entering the more advanced level next time.” George said. “The most important thing at the minute is that she keeps on enjoying it.”