Champion gymnast visits Badminton

Olympic medal winner Beth Tweddle inspires girls at Badminton School with PE lesson and talks about her sporting career

Beth Tweddle, the Olympic bronze medal winner, took 15 pupils aged 11 and 12 through a programme of gymnastic activities including half hand stands, forward rolls, splits, how to present at the beginning and end of a performance – and the importance of pointy toes.

Tweddle, 29, who received the MBE in 2010 for her dedication to her sport, then spoke to the girls in year 11, aged 15 and 16, about her career, which started at the age of seven. It included more than a decade of international competition at the highest level, resulting in 20 gold medals at Commonwealth, World and European championships.

But the gymnast’s dream was an Olympic medal and she described how she persevered in spite of injuries and setbacks and eventually took bronze at her third games in London 2012.

After lunch in Badminton’s dining room, Tweddle, who retired from competitive gymnastics last year and is now devoted to encouraging children to take up the sport, spoke to year 10 girls.

Headmistress Rebecca Tear said: “We are delighted to have welcomed Beth to Badminton. Her achievements are an inspiration to us all, but particularly for the girls. They thoroughly enjoyed her insightful talks, learning that despite inevitable setbacks, with determination and passion, you can reach your goals.”

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