An Oldham gymnast is ‘over the moon’ after being selected for the England Squad.

Poppy Blair from Diggle will be competing internationally with the Junior English Squad for 14- to 16-year-olds along with six other girls from across the country.

The 14-year-old, who started gymnastics when she was just three years old, has previously represented the Greater Manchester County and the North West Region.

Poppy’s mum Rebecca said: “She’s been close to getting into the squad before and just missed out. So, she’s over the moon that she has finally got in and will be getting her England tracksuit.”

The elite junior gymnast trains five times a week at the Tameside School of Gymnastic with coaches Cerys Allen and Vikki Bamber while balancing her schoolwork at The Blue Coat School in Oldham.

Cerys said: “Poppy has managed to get to this level by only training 19 to 20 hours week. Most gymnasts are training 30 to 35 hours a week.

“It’s important to us that Poppy is a well-rounded individual and can still do PE, go to birthday parties and have time off.”

The Blue Coat School has supported Poppy throughout her gymnastic career and allows the Year 9 student to finish early on a Friday to train.

Discussing her daughter’s ambitions for the future, Rebecca said: “She wants to get to the highest level she can.

"She’s been in the top for her age group for several years now and the intensity really stepped up when she got to about eight years old.

“It’s a big commitment and she just gets on with it. I’m really proud. Now that she’s finally got into the squad it’s made it all worth it.”

Cerys said she is proud to see how far Poppy has come in recent years.

She said: “We are really proud of her. She has matured so much over the last few years and has an intrinsic motivation.

“She understands that despite setbacks, like injuries and the club having to close over the pandemic, if she keeps working hard and is determined good things will come. She deserves this success and is becoming a really good role model for the other children.”

Poppy has her first training camp with the squad this weekend and will compete with the team in September.