Ellie Downie, one of the most successful female artistic gymnasts in British history visited Oak Tree Leisure Centre in Mansfield on Thursday, April 12th.
Ellie picked prize draw winners for the centre’s Commonwealth Games Sporting Challenge, answered questions about her career and gave tips on healthy eating to the children and parents who turned up to meet her.
Oak Tree, which is run by Serco Leisure on behalf of the Mansfield District Leisure Trust (MDLT), added the popular Jump into Gymnastics programme to its roster of events a year ago and has over 100 kids aged 4-11 regularly attending the sessions.
Darren Kissane, Commercial Manager for MDLT said:
“I was thrilled when I heard Ellie would be coming to Oak Tree. It was a great chance for our Jump into Gymnastics kids to get a close up look at a GB gymnastics superstar. This visit can only help to inspire the next generation of local youngsters to get involved in this great sport.”
“I really enjoyed visiting the young gymnasts at Oak Tree Leisure Centre as part of Aldi Mansfield’s opening day celebrations.
“I live and train fairly close by so it's nice to be able to support and give back to the local community. Hopefully I can inspire other children in Mansfield to try the sport and who knows, one may even become a future Olympian!”
Ellie’s list of achievements is impressive, and she’s still only 18. She represented Great Britain (GB) at the Rio Olympics, won medals at multiple championships and in 2017 became the all-around British Champion for the first time, as well becoming the first ever GB gymnast to win a European all-around gold medal.
In 2015, she was named Young Sports Personality of the Year in the BBC’s annual poll, joining a roll of honour, which includes stars like Ellie Simmonds, Andy Murray, Tom Daley and Wayne Rooney.