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Young gymnast jumping for joy after Team GB selection

PUBLISHED: 10:24 29 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:47 29 December 2018

Reydon gymnast Aaliyah Manning, 9, has been selected for the Great Britain Home Nations Squad. Picture: Chloe Mace

Reydon gymnast Aaliyah Manning, 9, has been selected for the Great Britain Home Nations Squad. Picture: Chloe Mace

Archant

A young gymnast has fulfilled her dream at just nine years of age after being selected for Great Britain.

Gymnast Aaliyah Manning from Reydon. Picture: Sonya DuncanGymnast Aaliyah Manning from Reydon. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Aaliyah Manning, from Reydon, began training at Waveney Gymnastics Club when she was four-years-old and later earned selection at Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club in Ipswich.

An endless string of impressive performances and countless medals have sky-rocketed Aaliyah’s profile, placing her third in the country for her age and gaining her a spot in the Great Britain Home Nations Squad.

Reydon gymnast Aaliyah Manning, 9, has been selected for the Great Britain Home Nations Squad. Picture: Chloe MaceReydon gymnast Aaliyah Manning, 9, has been selected for the Great Britain Home Nations Squad. Picture: Chloe Mace

“Aaliyah was over the moon when she heard about her selection,” said Chloe Mace, Aaliyah’s mother. “She just cried - this is all she’s ever wanted!

“When she received the official letter through the post, followed by her own GB kit, that just made it seem even more real.”

Gymnast Aaliyah Manning from Reydon. Picture: Sonya DuncanGymnast Aaliyah Manning from Reydon. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The result of Aaliyah’s selection is an invitation to the esteemed Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire, where gymnastics stars including Claudia Fragapane and Max Whitlock have strived for Olympics success.

From January 4, 2019, she will take part in an intense three-day training programme alongside talents from across the nation, all under the expert supervision of national coaches.

Gymnast Aaliyah Manning with her mother Chloe, brother Yasha and father Daniel. Picture: Sonya DuncanGymnast Aaliyah Manning with her mother Chloe, brother Yasha and father Daniel. Picture: Sonya Duncan

And Miss Mace is confident the opportunity at British Gymnastics HQ will benefit Aaliyah with her own Olympic ambition.

“Training with these coaches is only going to increase Aaliyah’s chances of keeping her place in the squad and working towards the Olympics,” she added.

Reydon gymnast Aaliyah Manning, 9, has been selected for the Great Britain Home Nations Squad. Picture: Chloe MaceReydon gymnast Aaliyah Manning, 9, has been selected for the Great Britain Home Nations Squad. Picture: Chloe Mace

“It’s just lovely for us that all this hard work, time and money has paid off.”

Having won silver at May’s national finals, Aaliyah travelled to Malta in June for her first international competition - and first trip abroad without her family.

The Instagram star - who boasts more than 10,000 followers - has also been nursing a broken metatarsal, but hasn’t let anything get in the way of her aspirations.

“Aaliyah wasn’t fazed at all about going abroad without us,” said Miss Mace. “Like everything else she just gets on with it.

“When she began training on the broken metatarsal her landings were slightly off, but she hasn’t moaned once and thankfully she’ll be fit for the national squad in January.”

Aaliyah’s parents would like to thank Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club and Reydon Primary School for their continued support.

To held fund Aaliyah’s ongoing commitments, visit her GoFundMe page.

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