While most of us spend our evenings and weekends relaxing and spending time with family and friends, Year 8 Writhlington Student, Zoe Simmons, spends 30 hours a week, on top of school and homework, training with prestigious gymnastics groups across the country in the hope of reaching the 2020 Olympics.
Zoe began her year training for the The Welsh Championships, held in Cardiff in February. The competition saw Zoe compete in the ‘Junior’ squad for the first time against some incredibly well trained gymnasts from across Wales, following in the ‘footsteps of her grandfather’ who competed in athletics for the same teams. Despite competing against some second year Juniors Zoe walked away with a Silver Medal and was very pleased with her performance.
With very little rest between Zoe began training for the Glasgow British Championships, where she competed on all disciplines coming home with the British Team Championships title. Just a week later, Zoe travelled to Loughborough for the English Championships, and was placed 4th overall and bronze on vault, beating many second year juniors.
Just weeks away from Rio selections, Zoe travelled to the Liverpool Echo Arena to compete at one of the biggest showpiece events in the gymnastic calendar, winning the title of British Floor Champion 2016.
‘ It was really exciting to be at this competition, it’s one of those rare events where we get to see the boys compete too. I saw Louis Smith MBE and Max Whitlock perform and it was really inspiring.’
Zoe now begins training for the European Championships to be held in Switzerland at the end of April, where she has been selected to represent Great Britain.