Parents of medal-winning Birtley girl want her story to inspire others into disabled gymnastics

The parents of a girl from Birtley, Gateshead, have told ITV News Tyne Tees they want her story to inspire others into disabled gymnastics.

Paige Harvey, 13, took up the sport just five years ago, but has already won a number of medals both regionally and nationally.

She has Downs Syndrome, heart disease and requires oxygen at night to breathe.

Her mum, Wendy Harvey, said: "She lives for gymnastics and her life has completely changed. She’s just so full of energy and it’s helping her health and she just loves all her friends and she just loves gymnastics."

Medals Credit: ITV News

Her dad, Mark Harvey, hopes her story can inspire more disabled children into the sport, but says that there needs to be more inclusion in gyms.

He said: "There’s so many clubs that try and shy away, because obviously they haven’t got the specialised coaches as Northern Hope have and it think it’s just trying to get that message out to grow the sport and to grow disabled gymnastics."

Coach of the Northern Hope Gymnastics Centre, Natalia Cosgrove said she has impressed with her improvement since joining the team.

She said: "She’s just a dream. She’s fabulous. When we moved her through her skills weren’t very good, but because she was that enthusiastic and she wanted more, she’s just lazer focused so, her flexibility is absolutely beautiful, her strength phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal and just her elegance. I was saying to the head coach who was coaching her the other day, ‘look at her hands’, they’re just beautiful. She’s just so elegant. She’s wonderful."

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