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Beth Tweddle MBE

Britain's Greatest ever Female Gymnast

News

18 July 2013Brave Charlotte has a spring in her step after Starlight grants her wish to meet gymnast Beth Tweddle

When she was three years old, Charlotte was diagnosed with a life-shortening condition called cystic fibrosis, which severely affects the major organs of the body and particularly the lungs. To fight the illness, Charlotte has to have physiotherapy twice daily, lots of medication and frequent hospital stays.

Despite the challenges that Charlotte faces, she is a very brave and determined young lady, who enjoys life to the full whilst having to endure the difficulties associated with cystic fibrosis. Keeping healthy is very important for children and young people who have the condition and Charlotte finds that her love of sport, and particularly gymnastics and dance, really helps her.

Charlotte is an active member of the Team Gym Squad at Tolworth Gymnastics Club and she enjoys spending time training and works hard to achieve her goals. She has always drawn lots of inspiration from British professional gymnast Beth Tweddle, who is a triple World Champion and won bronze at the London Olympics in 2012.

2012 was a very difficult year for Charlotte as she had to be admitted into hospital on three occasions for two weeks at a time to receive intravenous antibiotics. One of the play team at Epsom Hospital, which is where Charlotte is treated, decided that she really deserved a special treat and referred her to Starlight for a wish.

Charlotte decided that her wish would be to meet her favourite gymnast, Beth Tweddle, and to train with her. Starlight contacted Beth, who said she would be delighted to help make Charlotte’s dream come true!

After the end of ITV’s 2013 series of Dancing On Ice, which was won by Beth and her professional ice-skating partner Daniel Whiston, the gymnast suggested that Charlotte come and join her for a special training session in Liverpool. Starlight arranged for Charlotte and her mother, Karen, to travel to Liverpool the night before and stay in a lovely hotel so that they could be up bright and early for the next day!

On Sunday 14th July, Charlotte and her family were taken to the Park Road Gym, which is where Beth trains. It was so exciting to meet Beth in person and she was very friendly and really welcoming to Charlotte. Beth asked lots of questions and soon they were chatting away!

Charlotte changed into her gym kit and Beth, who was dressed in her Team GB kit, helped her to do some moves. Beth was very impressed by Charlotte’s standard and gave her lots of useful tips; she even performed a few exercises herself!

It was a dream come true for Charlotte to meet Beth and one of the highlights of the day for the young gymnast was getting to try on Beth’s Olympic medal and have her photo taken with her hero!

After the wish, Charlotte said, “My wish meant a lot to me because Beth has always been one of my idol's and I really want to be like her when I am older. I loved training with her as she was very inspirational and she gave me some great tips which helped me with my gymnastics. She helped me to believe in my ability and never to give up on my dreams however hard it may be. Thank you Starlight and Beth Tweddle.”

Information

To refer a child for a wish or to make a donation, please go online at www.starlight.org.uk. For every £1 you donate, 93p goes towards helping Starlight’s very ill children.

For more information, please contact Henny Vere Nicoll at henny@starlight.org.uk / 020 7262 2881 # 231.

Starlight grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.

Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.