Ava jumping for joy after GB selection for Portugal event

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Banchory girl Ava Fettes has been selected for the Great Britain double mini trampolining junior squad.

Ava, 11, is a member of Banchory Trampoline and DMT club (SCIO).

Her selection follows outstanding competition scores and success in Britain this year and after training with the squad, Ava has been chosen for her first international competition, representing GB at the Loule Cup in Portugal from October 6-8.

The Banchory Primary School pupil has been competing at DMT for the past four years, with considerable success. In 2016 she won the national development plan (NDP) finals at level two, which is a relatively low level, and then moved up to the top level in the sport, FIG, last year.

Ava competed well, qualifying for the British Championships at the Echo Arena, Liverpool in September.

Things did not go to plan, as often happens in elite sport, but it was an amazing experience for Ava and she was delighted to be there among some of her trampoline and DMT idols.

The following week however, at the Scottish National Championships on DMT, Ava won the trophy presented by Scottish Gymnastics for the highest form score of the competition.

Banchory club coaches Melanie and John Wills said: “We are absolutely delighted for Ava. She always works hard and gives of her best; she is a determined and focussed gymnast.

“DMT is a very precise and dynamic sport, a mixture of vault and tumbling. When Ava moved up to FIG, the top of the sport, last year we always had the long game in mind.

“Ava is only 11 and will hopefully continue with DMT for many years but to reach the GB squad so quickly is just fantastic.

“It is an amazing opportunity for Ava to train among her peers and with top coaches in the British gymnastics facility at Lilleshall.”

Ava is also in training for this year’s Scottish and British Championships and is in the mix for selection for this year’s World Age Group Championships. Melanie added: “She may not make selection this year but we believe Ava has the potential to be world class. As long as she continues to love the sport, as she does now, we will know we have done a good job.”

As well as Ava, Banchory have two elite members of the GB DMT squad. Bridge of Don’s Kim Beattie heads to Portugal next week for the Scalibus Cup and Edinburgh’s Ciara Donlevy will join Ava at the Loule Cup in October.

Eight members of the Banchory club recently travelled to The Arena, Birmingham as part of Team Scotland to take part in the regional team final competition.

The youngsters had fought off all opposition in three rounds of selection events held in the first quarter of the year in Scotland.

Thirteen regions (of which Scotland is one) battle it out over three disciplines to see which region of Britain comes out top in each category. The disciplines are trampolining, tumbling and DMT. The Scottish team was victorious in DMT for the third successive year which is a remarkable achievement.

Two coaches from Banchory were selected to coach on the DMT team for Scotland – Pamela Clarke and Melanie Wills, while John Wills was selected to judge at this prestigious event.

The tumbling team also took first place in their event with the trampolinists coming fifth.

From this event gymnasts are selected to compete at the NDP finals in Nottingham this weekend. The NDP finals are the equivalent of the British Championships at the lower levels. Seven of the eight from Banchory achieved qualification but a team of only five are heading off to this competition today (Friday), as some club members are away on holiday.

Banchory also have five members who have qualified for the British Championships on DMT, for the elite levels. This will be held in Birmingham in September.

Banchory trampoline and DMT club are running a summer programme for five weeks over the school holidays and all are welcome at it. Please visit their Facebook page or website www.banchorytrampolineclub.managemyclub.net