An up-and-coming young gymnast from Highbridge is being given free access to sports facilities by sports leisure trust 1610 to help her progress further in her sport.

Aaliyah Chan, 13, is a leading member of the elite squad at the Monarchs Gymnastics club in Highbridge and is a member of British Gymnastics and has represented her club at international gymnastics competitions in Germany.

Aaliyah performs in gymnastics competitions as part of a pair or a trio which sometimes requires her to lift or support team mates which depends on strength training.

Now, 1610 is giving Aaliyah free access to the gym facilities at King Alfred Sports Centre in Highbridge as part of its FANS scheme (Free Access to sports facilities for National Sports People).

It will enable her to use gym equipment to strengthen and condition her muscles to improve her performance and ability.

Aaliyah’s mum, Donna, says that support for young athletes is vital if they are to improve and progress in a highly competitive sport.

“Aaliyah loves gymnastics and is very competitive when it comes to sport. She performs as part of a pair or trio and will sometimes take the role of the base which means lifting and supporting other team mates.”

“This takes a lot of strength which requires specialist training so having free access to a gym will help her enormously. Taking Aaliyah to events can be expensive, but we as parents do it because we want to support our children so having any help in this way is very beneficial and greatly appreciated.”

Gymnastics sessions are available at King Alfred Sports Centre on Wednesdays from 6.30pm-7.30pm.

1610 is a non-profit making leisure trust, formerly known as Somerset Leisure, which manages 18 leisure centres based on school sites across Somerset, Devon and Dorset. 1610 aims to help people live fuller, richer lives through having an active body and an active mind.

Pictured: 13 year old Aaliyah Chan from Highbridge lifts gymnastics partner Amara Garnwell. Aaliyah’s sporting potential in Gymnastics has earned her free access to gym facilities at 1610 King Alfred Sports Centre under the FANS scheme