GYMNASTICS: BRAVE Hannah Bloor banished her fears of the beam to become North West U14 gymnastics champion.
Hannah, 13, of Chilworth Close, Crewe, has always showed great talent at gymnastics. But her fear of performing athletic and dangerous techniques on the 10cm-wide apparatus has often held her back in competitions.
Now she has conquered her anxieties and took the U14 title at the Women's Artistic North West Novice and Intermediate Championships in Blackpool - thanks largely to an excellent 9.233 first-place score on the beam.
Her mum, Julie, said: 'Hannah doesn't always compete in the beam event because she gets so nervous and falls off. It has been a problem for her but we always give her the choice and let her decide.
'On this occasion she decided to give it a go and she won the event by a long way. We were absolutely delighted but she was very cool. In fact, I think it may have been pure shock!' The Shavington High School pupil has practiced gymnastics since the age of four. A member of the Hartford School of Gymnastics, she trains three times a week.
Hannah took sixth spot in the vault and floor exercises at the event, held in Black-pool, and also claimed first place on the bar. It was enough for overall first place, although Mrs Bloor was not always confident.
She said: 'We knew Hannah was doing well at first but, after a while, you lose track of what the other girls are doing and you can't tell how it's going.
'It was great when the final results came through but, to be honest, I am always more happy that she hasn't hurt herself than where she comes in the competition.'
Hannah's coach, Michelle Oakes, said: 'It is fantastic that Hannah did so well and especially to get a score like that on the beam. She works very hard and we are proud of her.'