SOUTH ESSEX STAR ELIZABETH PACKMAN GETS NATIONAL CALL-UP

ELIZABETH PACKMAN has been called up to British Gymnastics’ Rhythmic Disability Performance Squad.

The talented 11-year-old from Billericay will now get the chance to train at regular intervals throughout the year with some of the country’s top coaches in Kent, and will also take part in an international show at the  Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire at the end of May.

It’s another feather in the cap of one of South Essex Gymnastic Club’s leading lights, who will also defend her national title at the Rhythmic British Championships at Fenton Manor in Stoke in May.

Elizabeth, who has autism, was crowned British Rhythmic Disability Gymnastics champion in Stoke in June last year after she beat off competition from across the country, including girls who were two years older than her in the junior category.

The Brightside Primary School pupil is skilled with the ribbon, ball, hoop and clubs, and her coach Verity Adams says she is a pleasure to work with.

Verity said: “She trains as an Olympic champion would train. She is so committed and is here at every possible session. She fully deserves her success.”

Anyone with a disability who would like to try the sport at the South Essex Gymnastics Club, which is based at the Basildon Sporting Village, can call Verity Adams or Dave Rapley on 01268 722479.