SWINDON’S latest Commonwealth Games gymnastic star Stephani Sherlock said she is proud to be representing England despite being raised in Russia.

Sherlock, whose mother is Russian but father English, lived and trained for most of her early gymnastics career in Moscow.

The Haydenleigh-based 17-year-old came to train in England, at Swindon’s Esprit Gymnastics club, when she was 13 and has now been called up for the Commonwealth Games by England’s rhythmic gymnastics squad.

It is Sherlock’s first international multi discipline event but the call-up was not one without merit. The Esprit gymnast won the English rhythmic title this year and also picked up a silver medal in the ball and hoop at the same competition.

Sherlock spoke to the Advertiser having just picked up her England kit at St George’s Park, the England football team’s training base, saying it helped hit home the call-up.

“Yeah I am really excited. I’ve just picked up my kit and it’s really nice and I really like it. It made me so much more excited for the Games, although I already knew, it makes it feel more real to have my kit,” she said.

“I really like the opportunity I was given to learn from both countries, from my time in Russia and now in England.

“I don’t consider myself as Russian as my dad is English and my mum is Russian. I never thought of myself as Russian and I really am proud to be representing England. I’m really pleased to be given this opportunity as I’ve always wanted to represent England.

“When I started doing gym Esprit was recommended to me and I really liked it. I started gymnastics quite late, when I was 10 years old and when I was then 13 I started training with Esprit, so that’s four and half years now.”

The Commonwealth Games open in Glasgow on July 23, with the gymnastics programme starting a day later.

Sherlock is the second Esprit gymnast to be called up to compete after Laura Halford got the call to represent Wales last week.

You can follow both Sherlock and Halford’s progres throughout the Commonwealth Games this summer with the Swindon Advertiser.