Olympian Amy Tinkler inspires Sunderland's budding stars
Olympian Amy Tinkler has been at a Sunderland school to show off the moves which won her a bronze medal.
The 17-year-old, who became only the nation’s second ever female gymnast to be awarded an Olympic medal when she leaped to glory at Rio 2016, took a break from her tough training regime to inspire other youngsters to go for gold.
The County Durham-born athlete took her medal along to Sandhill View Academy to give a demonstration and Q&A session for pupils from across the city and Durham.
Amy said: “I’ve really enjoyed meeting the kids, it’s great to chat to them and hopefully inspire them to get into sport. Or, if they are already involved in sport, to work even harder.
“Beth Tweddle was my inspiration and it’s great to meet someone who can inspire you in that way.”
At age 16, Amy was the youngest member of Team GB to compete at this summer’s Rio games and went on to take the bronze medal in the floor exercise, finishing behind Americans Simone Biles and Aly Raisman.
She juggled selections for the team with her GCSEs and has gone on to study A-Levels, despite her hectic schedule.
“It’s been absolutely crazy since Rio,” she said. “I’m constantly doing something and haven’t got a weekend off until after Christmas, but I’m really enjoying it. I feel really strongly about inspiring kids in sport. After I won bronze there were 50 phone calls a day of kids wanting to join our club, which is great.
“I hope that speaking to me can help kids realise that being successful at sport is a possibility, that you can train to that high level.”
Amy, who’s training towards the Commonwealth Games in 2018, visited Sandhill View Academy as part of a series of talks organised by sponsor Education World, a local education recruitment agency.
Managing director Neil Coram said: “Like the rest of the country, I was glued to the Rio Olympics on TV and I was delighted when Amy won her bronze medal for Team GB, in the gymnastics. The fact that Amy is from the Durham and was also undergoing her GCSEs at the same time made her achievement all the more incredible”.
Neil added: “Amy is a real inspiration to school children and young athletes throughout the region. We want to support Amy with her future career, as well as share her inspirational story with our local schools and hopefully inspire their pupils too”.