TALENTED young gymnasts from across South Cheshire have been adding a little continental flavour to their routines as they bid to make a name on the international scene.
Sandbach Gymnastics Club youngster Nicole Watson was handed a massive boost this summer when she was selected to represent Great Britain at an elite training camp in Italy.
The 10-year-old won her place after she was crowned National Champion in her age band at Stoke in May, wowing selectors as she beat her nearest rival by nearly a full mark.
She was promptly flown out to Italy with her coach Tracy Cooper to gain some valuable experience with some of the world's most promising performers.
The camp, held in the picturesque Tuscan town of Tirrenia, was attended by gymnasts from Russia, Romania and Ukraine, giving Nicole her first opportunity to meet
potential future opponents as she bids to compete in the London 2012 Olympics.
Coach Tracy said: 'It was a fantastic opportunity for us both. It allowed us to see how Nicole stands next to the best in Europe, not just the UK, and overall she stood up very well.
'It was a great chance for her to see what competition is like on the international stage and, of course, she was away from her parents for 10 days which is a big thing.
'You never know what will happen, but she has every chance of making it.'
Meanwhile, six members of Crewe and Nantwich Gymnastics Club are currently in France spending the week being put through their paces by some of the continent's top trainers at another elite camp.
Sam McGowan, Dominique Barrow, Philippa Kavanagh, Katrina Wright, Megan Carlin and Pagan Brown have travelled to Angers with coaches Jane Kelshall and Stan Buckley, hoping the experience will help them go on to compete regularly at international level.
The trip has been sponsored by recruitment firm Adecco who are celebrating the 10th anniversary of opening their Crewe branch on Nantwich Road. ITALIAN JOB: Sandbach Gymnastics youngster Nicole Watson and coach Tracy Cooper.