A GYMNAST is preparing for her first national finals.

Edie Coyle, 12, from Davenham will represent the north west in the women’s artistic showdown of the national development plan at Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke on the weekend of June 18-19.

The Year 7 student at County High School, Leftwich, sealed her place when she passed national Grade 2 with distinction as she placed third overall in the North West Grades competition in Manchester last month.

Edie, who started out at Hartford Gymnastics Club but now trains 20 hours per week with Warrington Gymnastics Club, took gold on the bars in the four-piece event.

She placed first overall in last year’s North West Grades at one level lower but did not then have the opportunity to progress and contest the national finals as the event was scrapped due to the ongoing situation with the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s lovely that she’s got to the national finals this year and we’ve got fingers crossed she will do her best there,” said her mum, Lisa Nash.

Edie, who is coached by Olympian Hannah Whelan and her sister Sophie - the gym’s head coach, may well have felt a confidence boost from a particular aspect of her performance in Manchester.

For the first time, either in training or competition, she pulled off the ‘full twist’ skill and demonstrating her determination in doing so.

“There was a big roar and some of her friends gave her a full Mexican wave when she did the full twist in her floor routine,” said Lisa.

“She got a big hug from the coaches at the end for doing that because I think they were very proud that she had managed to do that.”

Edie has played football and attended swimming in the past, but found gymnastics and playing the piano to be her forte.

Her twin sister Agnes is also a gymnast at the same club, competing at county level and likely to feature in the Hannah Whelan Invitational in September and the Classic Challenge next autumn.