Gymnast and Bath College student Tia Collins has been picked to represent Great Britain in the European Championships.
Miss Collins, who is starting her second year at Bath College studying Level 3 nails, will compete with TeamGym GB at the European Championships in October.
She was initially picked as a reserve and earned a place on the senior women’s team after months of intensive training with the team gymnastics squad.
Being part of the European Championships is a dream come true for the 17-year-old who started out as a gymnast 12 years ago and trains at Majestic Gymnastics in Bristol.
Miss Collins said: “This has been my dream since I was four years old. I have worked for two years to earn a place on the GB team.
“When I found out I was a reserve I was happy, but not happy enough. I worked my hardest each training session to prove I should be part of the team.
“My goal in gymnastics was to represent my country and now I finally get to do this. I’ve worked so hard and believed in myself, and now I have the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Miss Collins will perform in front of thousands of people at the championships in Slovenia, which take place from October 12 to October 16.
Over the summer, she has been training with TeamGym GB in Crew and Nantwich, spending eight hours a day Monday to Thursday learning new skills and techniques.
Miss Collins said: “We had a selection event where the top judges came in and watched us perform to see if we would get a score high enough to go to the Europeans.
“Training with TeamGym GB has been the most amazing experience of my life. The support from the coaches and other gymnasts has inspired me to become better.
“Sometimes training was tough and muscles were sore but having the mind set to carry on has got me where I wanted to be!
I’m looking forward to going out with my team and showing everyone what we can do.”
Miss Collin’s family continue to support her with her gymnastics career and her coach Michelle George, from Majestic Gymnastics, has set up a crowdfunding page to help send her to the championships.
Mum Zena Collins said: “TeamGym is not a funded discipline in the UK and Tia doesn’t get any sponsorship.
“This is the biggest accolade in the Team Gym competition calendar and to be selected to represent Team GB is a proud moment for Tia, her family and Majestic Gymnastics. Please show your support however you can.”
To visit Tia’s crowdfunding page click here.