WORLD champion gymnast Beth Tweddle has had a train named after her.
The 26-year-old from Bunbury unveiled the Virgin Pendolino train – emblazoned with Beth Tweddle MBE – as it pulled into Liverpool’s Lime Street station last week.
She is the latest athlete to be honoured in this way as part of Virgin Trains’ scheme to sponsor travel for sports stars who are hoping to represent their country in major events.
The initiative – Supporting British Athletes – enables a number of sportsmen and women to attend training camps, key competitions and championships up and down the country.
Tweddle, a three-time world champion who is aiming to compete in next year’s London Olympics, applauded the scheme and hoped her train would bring her good fortune.
She said: “It’s not just about the competition but also the preparation and lead up, so being able to travel on my namesake will be my lucky charm.
“Everyone is getting excited about the Olympics but we have still got to qualify in Tokyo. Everything is geared towards that.”
Gary Iddon, Virgin Trains general manager for Liverpool, added: “We think it’s fantastic that Beth has agreed to have one of our trains named after her.
“As such a well-known athlete we take great pride in being able to help Beth on her journey to the record books and wish her all the best of luck in her upcoming competitions.”
The Virgin Trains scheme is supported by Alstom, which built and maintains Virgin’s Pendolino train fleet.
Operations director Richard Woodroofe said: “We identify with the determination and commitment needed by the athletes to deliver top performance and wish Beth well for the exciting challenges ahead.”