A YOUNG gymnast’s dreams of representing Team GB at the 2020 Olympics could be shattered unless she finds sponsorship.
Abi-Jae Booth, of Toothill, has been tipped for the top, just 12 months after taking up rhythmic gymnastics.
The nine-year-old trains four days a week and recently won two gold medals at an inter-club rhythmic gymnastics competition in Wales.
She is now hoping to make the step up to international competition later this year.
But her mother, Mel Booth, fears Abi-Jae may have to give up her passion because of the spiralling costs.
The 35-year-old mother-of-three said: “We’ve spent about £2,500 over the last 12 months on Abi-Jae’s training, kit and travelling, but we’ve been told it will be double that if she’s competing internationally.
“As parents it’s overwhelming watching her as she makes it look effortless. But my partner Danny was made redundant by Honda while I look after my little girl, who’s three, so we need sponsorship.”
Abi-Jae said she would be distraught if she had to give up on her dream, despite collecting bruises all over her body from knocks on the apparatus.
She joked: “It’s really fun and I’ve made lots of friends, as well as bruises on my leg, shoulder and spine.
“It was a real surprise to win in Wales, I couldn’t stop smiling.”
If Abi-Jae’s dream to represent Team GB at the 2020 Olympics comes true, she will follow in the footsteps of fellow Swindonian, and Espirit gymnast, Jade Faulkner – who was part of the rhythmic gymnastics squad at last summer’s games.
The 18-year-old was part of the first Great Britain team ever to compete at an Olympic Games, and subsequently went on to win gold at the National Rhythmic Gymnastics Group Champion- ships in December, alongside several of her GB teammates.
‘Abi’s Olympic Dream’ already has 84 ‘likes’ after being set up on Facebook earlier this week.
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