Meet the Acrobatic Gymnasts from Cornwall trying out for Team GB

  • Watch the trio rehearse in Charlotte Gay's report

A trio of acro-gymnasts from Cornwall are the first in the county to try out for a spot in team GB this weekend.

Ashleigh Masters, Ella Atkinson-Townsend and Aine Foden-Clarke have only been working as a group since November but have already won medals this year in the British and English Championships, and the FIG international cup in Poland.

The girls are hoping to wow the GB judges on Saturday (22 July) for a place in the 11-16 acro team.

A good head for heights is needed to be the top gymnast in the team Credit: ITV News

Aine, 10, says, "it's crazy how far we've come".

"We went to Portugal, not very long ago in March and it didn't go so well. But then a couple months later, we go to like Poland, which is where we got our second medal and we just improved like so much."

Ella, 14, says "we thought we'd just stay here" and Ashleigh, 13, says they're also "quite nervous because you've got to impress them to and get through".

The girls bagged a silver medal at the 2023 World Cup in Poland. Credit: Kernow Gymnastics and Acro Academy

The girls have been training as gymnasts throughout most of their childhood but they have only performed together for eight months.

David Atkinson says it's been a huge "confidence boost" for his daughter Ella and all the parents are really invested in seeing all their hard work pay off.

"You're watching, your heart is really beating and sometimes you almost want to look away because you just you just want them to do so well. It's really emotional thing to see when they do well and you see their faces and they're beaming, it's just this incredible to watch."

Kernow Gymnastics and Acro Academy is the only place in Cornwall that teaches this variation of acrobatic gymnastics.

Head coach Tia Mallinder-McCormac says it takes great skill and teamwork to perform this well.

The harness is used in training to avoid any injuries as the girls learn the routine. Credit: ITV News

"They need a lot of strength between the base and the middle. And then the little top has to have a lot of strength to kind of balance it. Also, a lot of courage because of how high they have to go, because if the top doesn't kind of have that trust and they get halfway and decide they don't want to go for it, it's a long way to fall Normally at that level, when you've worked in the harnesses they know to go for it. It's that trust aspect."

There's no sign of the girls' dedication waning as the team currently train 26 hours a week ahead of Saturday's trial.

The trio will find out if they've been selected weeks later in August.