Gymnast twins hit talented heights after tiny start

Twins who started off life in a specialist unit are now taking on the top competitors in their sport as they go from strength to strength.

Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 10:33 am
Gymnastic big achieving premature twins. From left Matthew and David Smith aged 9

Mum Zoe Smith delivered Matthew and David nine weeks early, with both given extra care in their early days as they began to thrive.

Now the nine-year-olds from Seaham are both becoming high achievers in sport, with David gaining a place in the Great Britain squad for tumbling and Matthew making it into the elite team for trampolining and the double mini trampoline for the AAAsports in Southwick.

The twins as babies.

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Zoe, who is married to David, both 41, said: “Both started when they were about five or six-years-old.

“They were such little babies when they were premature and it’s amazing to be mum to two talented boys.

“To see both of them doing so well makes us so proud.

“David is that determined to do well. He’s really focused and a very active boy and it’s a really good sport for him.

The twins as babies.

“Matthew really fits in with the trampoline because he’s very energetic and he’s done really well at developing his routine.

“The head coaches for both boys do a fantastic job.”

David trains four times a week in Hartlepool with the help of Shelley Walton and Dylan Jones, and gained a place in the GB team in April.

He is due to take part in the British Championships in Liverpool in July and counts a silver medal among his accolades following a competition in Sheffield last month, which saw him go up against 23 other boys at Federation International Gymnastics standards.

Matthew, who is trained by Susan Robertson, Emily Morritt and Andi Revell, has competed in Ireland, where he claimed a first place in his category, and was placed fifth place in a contest held in Birmingham.

The cost of taking the boys, who attend Seaham Trinity Primary School, is adding up for Zoe and David, so they have set up a crowdfunding page through Just Giving.

Its aim is to raise funds to cover the potential expense of sending David to Portugal in October, if he is selected to take part in the Loule Cup, as well as the Team GB kit he needs and the intensive training sessions at Lilleshall with the squad’s leaders.

Donations can be made via