Portsmouth high-flier impresses Great Britain selectors

Maisie Lloyd-Jones is making a big impression.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (133322-6)
Maisie Lloyd-Jones is making a big impression. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133322-6)
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High-flying talent Maisie Lloyd-Jones has caught the eye of the Great Britain selectors.

The Portsmouth Gymnastics Club starlet is starting to make her mark on the big stage.

Her natural ability and enthusiastic approach to training has seen her marked out as a potential Great Britain squad member of the future.

The 11-year-old was recently called up to the British Gymnastics headquarters in Lilleshall.

She was invited to join up with other top gymnasts from around the country for a training camp.

That gave Lloyd-Jones the chance to show off her sparkling routines – with the national selectors impressed by what they saw.

It also provided her with a taste of what life is like for the top gymnasts who train there.

That includes the likes of 2012 Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith and Max Whitlock, who picked up a silver at the 2013 World Championships.

Lloyd-Jones said: ‘I went to national squad training at Lilleshall.

‘We did about six-and-a-half hours training for two days.

‘It was only 15 gymnasts from across the country.

‘For me it was quite good to see what others are doing.

‘It’s exciting to go to the place where all the top gymnasts in the country train.’

Portsmouth coach Roselle O’Connor made the trip to Lilleshall with Lloyd-Jones.

She felt it was a valuable experience for the Portsmouth talent.

O’Connor said: ‘It was well worth her going. They quite liked Maisie.

‘It would be very good for her to be able to go up there regularly to work with gymnasts of the highest standard.’

Injury struck at the start of 2013, causing Lloyd-Jones to miss some key competitions.

But she showed her tenacity to battle back and finish the year with a flourish.

Now 2014 promises much for the rising star.

Portsmouth coach Tina Field said: ‘Maisie had an injury earlier in 2013 but has come back strong.

‘She can do all the things she needs to do next year for her age group already.’