3 September 2015Beth happy to shout from sidelines as Glasgow gears up for World Gymnastics Championships
With just 50 days to go until the World Gymnastics Championships come to Glasgow, excitement is building. The woman who flew the flag for Britain for so many years will be behind a microphone rather than out on the floor competing but it is a position that Beth Tweddle is extremely comfortable with. The 30 year-old retired in 2013, one year after fulfilling her lifelong dream of winning an Olympic medal and it is a decision she does not regret.
“I thought that being at Glasgow 2014 would make me miss it and wish that I was still competing but actually, when I watched those gymnasts, I knew just how hard they’d worked and that outweighed how much I miss the sport,” she says. “I loved the lifestyle but I don’t think people realise quite how much you put into it. I miss the competition and that buzz you get when you walk in and hear the crowd but to be able to step away from British Gymnastics and see how successful they’re being has really helped.”
When Tweddle says that the British team seems to be managing without her, she is not kidding. The GB squad will travel to Glasgow with numerous gymnasts possessing clear medal potential; Max Whitlock, last year’s all-around silver medallist is an obvious medal hope while Tweddle feels confident that the Scot, Daniel Purvis, will perform well. “If you asked Dan, he would probably say that he didn’t have as good an Olympic Games as he could have but over the past year, we’ve seen the old Dan Purvis back,” she says. “He looks so much happier in the gym and in training so hopefully he’s on the road back up and we’ll see how well he can do in front of a home crowd.”
Ticket sales for the championships have passed the 40,000 mark and a new partnership between SSE Next Generation and the 2015 World Championships was announced today. The partnership will help 100 young athletes financially and also provide professional mentoring. Tweddle is acutely aware of just how invaluable a mentor can be to young athletes and she uses every opportunity to pass on her knowledge to the younger generation. “I feel that I can help the youngsters because I’ve been through a lot of the things they’re going through,” she says. “When I was 13, I would wonder why I looked different to them. Looking back, I grew early but then I was pretty much the same height and weight from 13 until the end of my career. So I just try to explain to the youngsters not to worry if your body is changing.”
The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships will take place at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow from October 23 until November 1. For tickets, visit 2015worldgymnastics.com