Team GB joy for gymnast Shanice

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A YOUNG gymnast is jumping for joy at being chosen to represent Britain in an international competition.

For the second time, Wearside’s Shanice Davidson, 13, will be part of Team GB at the World Age Group Competition in Bulgaria next month.

flying high: Shanice Davidson, 13, is currently ranked second in the country for tumbling and is hoping to win a medal at an international competition. Below, Shanice in action.

flying high: Shanice Davidson, 13, is currently ranked second in the country for tumbling and is hoping to win a medal at an international competition. Below, Shanice in action.

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.

The Biddick Academy pupil is no stranger to being in the spotlight, and last year picked up the overall Sunderland’s Young Achiever’s Award for her dedication to her sport.

Shanice, who lives with her grandparents, Sheila and Bill Davidson, in Albany, manages to fit in a huge amount of practice along with her Year 9 studies at school.

Sheila, 66, said: “We are so proud of her. She has done so well.

Ten year old gymnast Shanice Davidson has been chosen for the British National Squad. She is seen here practising at deerness High Performance Centre in Ushaw Moor, Durham.

Ten year old gymnast Shanice Davidson has been chosen for the British National Squad. She is seen here practising at deerness High Performance Centre in Ushaw Moor, Durham.

“She manages to fit everything in because she is so dedicated to her gymnastics.

“We are so thrilled she will be taking part in the competition.

“It will be so exciting.”

Pensioners Sheila and Bill, 67, 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 couple became carers for a three-year-old Shanice after her mum, their daughter Gillian, died at the age of 32.

Sheila added: “Her mam would have been so proud of her.” Shanice, who started tumbling seven years ago, was just 11 when she took part in her first World Age Group Tumbling Competition in Birmingham, ending up being placed fourth.

This time the teenager, chosen along with five other tumblers from her Durham squad to represent Great Britain in the week-long competition, is hoping to pick up a medal.

The Davidsons are keen to secure sponsorship to help fund Shanice’s sporting dreams.

Anyone interested in helping can contact them on 6592357.