TWO inspirational young Wirral gymnasts will take on the best in Britain during a competition in Liverpool next week.

Eleanor Whitehead and Aled Davies-Williams are preparing for the Artistic British Championships at the city's M&S Bank Arena from Thursday to Sunday, March 14 to 17.

They will share the floor with some of the UK's top talent, including five-time Olympic medallist Max Whitlock and former European Champion Ellie Downie.

Eleanor, who is 15 and from Neston, trains at Wirral Gymnastics Club and started gymnastics at the age of four.

Three years ago, the keen tumbler began experiencing excruciating pain in her right arm. Determined not to give up the sport she loved, she managed the pain and continued training.

Months later, she suffered an elbow injury whilst warming up for a national competition but refused to let her dream come to an end and competed, finishing 15 out of 32.

Following a subsequent visit to a specialist, the young gymnast was advised to stop gymnastics.

She is now preparing for her third Artistic British Championships, but her first competing alongside able-bodied gymnasts.

Aled, 14, currently studying for GCSEs at Calday Grange Grammar School in West Kirby, started gymnastics at the age of four.

He grew up training at Birkenhead Gymnastics Club, but recently made the move to Bury Gymnastics Club whilst his coach is on long-term sick leave.

Looking forward to taking part in next week's contest, Eleanor - an aspiring clinical psychologist also coaches youngsters at Wirral Gymnastics Club said: "My family always come to competitions to support me but this time I'll have my club cheering me on and I won't just be able to see my mum waving at me from the audience!

"Whilst I hope to do well and win some medals, I’m most looking forward to showing people that we’re no different and that people of all abilities can do gymnastics.

"I know that a lot of young people with disabilities can feel left, especially if you've been told you can't do the sport you love anymore.

"So I want to go out there and show children with disabilities that they can do whatever it is they want to.

"If we can keep raising the profile, more people can see that there are the opportunities for them to get involved in gymnastics.

"It's exciting to get other people involved in the sport that I adore."

Looking forward to taking part, Aled said: "It will be great. My family will be there cheering my name and the support you get in Liverpool is always amazing.

"It will feel amazing knowing I am in the same competition as these stars – I’m really looking forward to seeing the guys who competed at the Olympics and are now in the same Arena as me."

Looking to the future he said: "I'd like to compete in the British Championships next year and strive for bigger routines and better scores. But mostly I want to continue enjoying the sport and show the crowd what I’ve got."

Encouraging other gymnasts to follow their dreams, Eleanor said: "My message to all young gymnasts is that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like or your disability, you're no different from any other gymnast out there.

"You can do, and be, whoever you want to be."

Tickets are from