A SCHOOLGIRL is being tipped to become the next Beth Tweddle after narrowly missing out on selection for Great Britain.
Nine-year-old Caitlin Moss, of Northwich, was born 15 weeks premature with one arm but after taking up gymnastics just 18 months ago, she is now on the edge of the national training squad.
Mum Rachel Birtles and dad Keith Moss, say that Caitlin’s success story is inspirational and hopes that the perceived stigma attached to disability is lessened by her sporting achievements.
Rachel said: “She is my miracle girl. She was only one pound eight ounces when she was born and her head was smaller than an apple.
“Now she is training three times a week at Weaverham and Hartford and is going to be training with the British squad. We are very proud of her.”
Charles Darwin Primary School pupil Caitlin is a student at the Hartford School of Gymnastics where she is trained by Charlie Oakes, and his wife Michelle.
Charlie coached Olympic-medal winning GB star Beth Tweddle during her junior years and he says Caitlin has the ability to achieve similar success.
Charlie said: “It was great to be Beth’s coach. You do find you are able to pick up on those early signs of natural talent. And some of those attributes that Beth had are certainly shared by Caitlin.”
Girls are often considered for the British squad, based at the National Sports Centre at Lilleshall, around the age of 11 so Caitlin is already proving her potential.
“They thought she was a bit young for the squad but the fact that she has been invited back shows that she is coming on leaps and bounds.
“We have upped her hours of gymnastics because of how well she is doing. Because of her natural talent, Caitlin can compete against more able-bodied children in certain events,” added Charlie.
Most recently, Caitlin picked up two medals at a two-piece gymnastics event in Widnes and will resume her training when she comes back from a well-deserved holiday to Disneyland, in Florida.
Hartford School of Gymnastics, on Daisy Bank Lane, Anderton, holds evening training sessions from Monday to Saturday. For further details call 01606 782658.