A SCHOOLGIRL gymnast tipped for the World Championships is heading to Belfast this month to compete in a national competition.
Shanice Davidson, 10, from Washington, is making the trip after being chosen for the National Gymnastic Squad.
After scooping a gold medal at the British Open Tournament in November, she now hopes to try out for the World Championship when she turns 11.
Shanice, who attends Albany Primary School, has only been doing gymnastics for three years.
Her grandmother Sheila Davidson, said: “We are really proud of her and we love getting involved.
“We have been travelling about the country with her. She needs our support and we love to give it and be involved in it all. We’re really looking forward to the competition in Belfast.”
The schoolgirl, who is also a keen trampolinist, got involved with her gymnastics after she was spotted at her local sports club.
Sheila said: “She was working at the centre and they said she had a talent and needed to go for it.
“She had to do a trial to get into the Deerness High Performance Centre and there is a waiting list to get in. It’s a brilliant centre that is producing world champions.”
Shanice is coached by Glen Wharton at the Ushaw Moor centre in Durham where she trains four evenings a week.
Sheila added: “Her coach has told us that if she keeps up at her current standard it’s possible she will get a trial for the World Champions this year.”
Shanice won the gold medal in the regional graded games competition in November and another gold in the regional schools competition.
Sheila added: “We have to make sure that she does her homework and keeps up with her academic work but she has loads of support from her school.
“It wasn’t until her friends saw a video of her performing that they realised how good she was, I think they thought she went to gymnastics and just did some handstands.
“Now the school has put up a display board of all her achievements which is great.”