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Melksham gymnast shortlisted for major award

A Melksham gymnast has been shortlisted for a major award after achieving her childhood dream of winning a national championship.

Last year Hannah West took the top place on the podium in the over-18s intermediate category of the Adult Gymnastics British Championships.

She scored the highest marks for all of her routines on the bars, beam, floor and vault in her first return to competitive sports since a childhood injury.

In recognition of her achievement, the 22-year-old has been shortlisted for the annual Wiltshire Life Awards 2018 for ‘Young Sports Personality of the Year.’

The nomination is a remarkable turnaround for Hannah, who started competitive gymnastics when she was just five years old and went on to become a regional and national finalist, before having to give up the sport at the age of 13 after an operation on her knee left her in regular pain.

Today, she is a director and squad head coach at the Moonraker Gymnastics Club, which supported her when she decided to start training again.

Hannah said, “It’s overwhelming to have been nominated for such a prestigious award. I hope it will inspire others to be brave and try to achieve their dreams – you never know what’s possible.

“Gymnastics is a brilliant sport for people of all ages. It provides endless opportunities for personal achievements, confidence-building and lots of fun.”

Her father Steve, Moonraker’s owner and head coach said, “It took all of Hannah’s courage and self-belief to compete again after retiring at such a young age, so the whole family is immensely proud of her success.

“She has been a great inspiration to all of the other gymnasts at our club.”

The winners of the Wiltshire Life Awards 2018 will be announced during a black-tie dinner at the Steam Museum in Swindon in March.

For further information on the Moonraker Gymnastics Club, visit www.chippenhamgymnastics.co.uk

Right: Wiltshire Life Awards nominee, Hannah West, with her gold medal and her father, Steve.

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