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Inspiration of Olympic proportions!

For budding gymnasts, the opportunity to meet a gold medal-winning member of the British gymnastics team would be a dream come true.

That dream became a reality for three schools in Surrey and West London as Claudia Fragapane paid a visit to Kenyngton Manor, Meadhurst Primary School and Oak Hill Academy to give them her inside knowledge on becoming a top athlete.

Claudia is a World, European and Commonwealth medallist who became the first English woman in 84 years to win four gold medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. She represented Team GB in the Rio Olympics in 2016 and scooped Bronze at the World Gymnastics Championships in 2017. She also came fourth in the 2016 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Her passion for gymnastics started as a child when, as a very active 5-year-old, her parents took her to a local gymnastics club. She later moved to Bristol Hawks where she has been ever since.

Claudia’s commitment to her sport is exemplary; she trains for six hours each day to perfect her techniques and routines.

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She admits that in order to achieve the high level she has she’s had to make some sacrifices along the way, but that the key to success in any sport is to enjoy yourself, have fun and do it to the best of your ability.

Claudia spoke about her support network of friends and family who keep her grounded and motivated. But she reminded the children that no matter how busy things get, to never put too much pressure on themselves. Very wise words indeed!

The children were thrilled not only to see one of Claudia’s commonwealth gold medals, a world championship medal and her Great Britain leotard, but she gave a visual demonstration of a handstand and walking on hands, which the children relished.

Her dedication, passion and hard work inspired the children who had lots of questions about her pathway into the sport.

Visits like this are nothing short of inspiring for young people, in particular budding gymnasts. And for some, this will give them the drive to develop their sporting skills or potentially spring into their own careers in gymnastics.

Thank you, Claudia!

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