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Olympic Gymnast Meets Ulster Fans

A London 2012 Olympic medal winner will come face to face with a new generation of gymnasts when she visits the University of Ulster’s Jordanstown campus this Saturday.

Young gymnasts from across Northern Ireland will meet their bronze medal winning hero, Beth Tweddle who has been hailed as the most successful British female artistic gymnast of all time.

Beth, who has been a World, European and Commonwealth champion, will visit the University’s £13 million High Performance Centre in Jordanstown where over 200 local gymnasts will be performing in an oriental themed festival.

Team GB’s gymnasts are attending ‘GymFusion’ events across the UK to say ‘thank you’ to the fans who helped motivate and inspire them during the Olympic Games this summer.

The team exceeded all expectations, claiming sensational results across all disciplines including the three individual medals of Beth Tweddle, Louis Smith and Max Whitlock.

Beth, who is a three times World Champion, said: “The support and encouragement from the British gymnastics community has always been incredible and this year more than ever.

“The whole of the UK embraced Team GB and I know that for every member of the gymnastics team the fans made a massive difference.

“To know that so many people are behind you is a great feeling and the fact that we were so successful in London demonstrates what support can do.

“I’m really looking forward to attending GymFusion in Northern Ireland and, of course, to meeting the best fans in the world.”

This is the second year the event has been staged in the Jordanstown sports centre, which will be decked out with exciting props and lighting to give the event a theatre-style feel.

GymFusion is a non-competitive‘Gymnastics for All‘ festival that encourages all levels and abilities to showcase their talent in a fun and friendly environment.

Over 500 spectators are expected to attend the high-energy show, which is organised by British Gymnastics – the Northern Ireland branch is based at the University’s sports centre.

The High Performance Centre, which was opened in November 2008 by the chair of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee Lord Coe, an honorary doctor of the University, is home to the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland.

The world-class facility has been used as a training base for London 2012 Olympians and Paralympians as well as the Ulster Rugby squad, Irish cricketers, leading European Tour golfers, motorsport and Gaelic Games stars.

Dr Nigel Dobson, Head of Sports Services at the University, said: “It is inspiring to local gymnasts and their families to have the opportunity to meet Beth Tweddle at our Jordanstown campus.

“Each week hundreds of youngsters learn the sport through the unique GymFun club run in world class facilities and it is our hope many will go on to perform at the highest level.

“It is excellent to see Beth in Northern Ireland to thank her supporters and, hopefully, she will pass on one or two tips.”

Ends

Notes to Editor:

Beth Tweddle will be available for brief interviews and photographs at 9.45am at the University of Ulster’s sports centre, Jordanstown campus, on Saturday, November 3, 2012.