Talented Élodie walks away with bars award at major competition


NIMBLE Élodie Hope walked away with a medal and trophy from the Hannah Whelan Invitational competition in Wigan after coming second on bars and winning a bars award.

The petite Year 7 student at Haslingden High School has been a gymnast since age seven when she joined the Best Club in Burnley.

From there she went to Liverpool, but during Covid practice was switched online so she looked for another club.

Élodie, from Oswaldtwistle, now completes 18 hours of training a week at the City of Manchester Institute of Gymnastics.

She said: “At the Hannah Whelan Competition, I competed on the bars, beam, floor and vault, but I like the bars the best.

“I can do an upstart, that is where you jump off a spring board and catch hold of the lower bar, then swing your legs and bend and lift yourself to the top of the bar on your hips.

“I like gymnastics because I am with all my friends, it is fun and I am good at it. I train five times a week. Mondays and Wednesdays from 5pm to 9pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 9pm and Saturdays from 1pm-5pm.

“Last week I did all my homework on Friday night so that I could have Sunday off and relax.”

Élodie has already completed her National Grade 3 and found herself being assessed alongside 16-year-olds who were completing the same qualification. Next year she hopes to get National Grade 2 and Grade 1 which will allow her to enter British competitions.

She said: “Two to three weeks before a competition, all we keep doing it to practice our routines, we will do five on the bars, five to 10 on the beam, a few goes on the vault and full routines on the floor and with music.”

Élodie is from a sporting family and her brother Isaac, also at Haslingden High School, is a rising Judo star who trains at the England Talent Development Centre, while her younger sister Gabrielle, six, is also at the City of Manchester Institute of Gynmastics.

She said: “When the trampolining club starts back at school, I will be joining that as it is similar to gymnastics.

“My favourite day at school is a Wednesday because we have the best lessons; art and design, computing, design technology and my favourite lesson is woodwork.”

Last year Élodie entered the Spooky Spectacular gymnastics competition in Newcastle when she came 13th out of more than 50 competitors.

She added: “My parents and grandparents went to support me. I didn’t like how far it was and we had to stay in a hotel, but there was a pool.”