OLYMPIC hero Beth Tweddle visited Esprit Gymnastics to give a masterclass in cartwheeling yesterday.
Beth, 29, who won bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games, put staff from Cirencester-based Steppes Travel through their paces to launch their Cartwheel Around the World campaign. It is asking for staff, customers and other travellers to do cartwheels on their travels all over the globe to help spread a little cheer to celebrate their 25th birthday.
Beth, Britain’s most successful gymnast, oversaw warm-up activities and then taught the group the perfect technique before having a girls verses boys cartwheel challenge which the men’s team won.
She said: “It's great to be here working with Steppes Travel, who have had this brilliant idea. They felt like they didn't have the best cartwheels at present so they've asked me to give them a helping hand.”
The trip to Esprit, in Headlands Grove, was nostalgic for Beth as the surface the group were training on was the one from the O2, in London, which she won a World Artistic Gymnastics Championships gold medal on in 2009.
Beth, born in Johannesburg, South Africa, said: “Being on this brings back some great memories and if a child can come to Esprit and train on the surface that I trained on hopefully it might inspire them to succeed.
“With the Olympic legacy going strong and the Commonwealth Games coming up you want every child and adult to get up and have a go. Gymnastics has been my life and if someone can get a bit of enjoyment out of it by competing then that's great.”
Mark Hows, Esprit Gymnastics Club chairman, said it was a pleasure to welcome Beth to the centre. He said: “She is a huge star of the sport and her success really helps to raise the profile of it locally.
“She’s such a fine athlete but the best thing is that she is such a warm and friendly person.”
Later in the year, Beth will be travelling to Uthando South Africa, which supports developing areas of the country, and will be presenting the funds that Steppes Travel is raising for them this year.
Justin Wateridge, Steppes Travel managing director, said: “We are hugely grateful to Beth Tweddle for taking the time to come and train us. Travel is all about fun and we’re encouraging people to embrace travel no matter where they may go.”
Those doing cartwheels are asked to submit videos to the company with the best clip being rewarded with a three-night stay at the Citta del Nicliani, in Greece, with the prize including flights and car hire.
For more information visit www.steppestravel.co.uk/mysteppes.