VIDEO: High hopes for Firebird gymnastics squad

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A GYMNASTICS team aim to be on Fire as they compete in their biggest ever competition.

Hartlepool Firebird Gymnastics Club are in Germany today to take part in the world-renowned Bürstadt International Festival.

Members of the Firebird Gymnastics team who are to take part in an international competition in Germany.

Members of the Firebird Gymnastics team who are to take part in an international competition in Germany.

The Firebird squad, which is based at Brierton Community Sports Centre and headed by coach Graham Elsley, will be part of the 15-nation tournament which includes an incredible 12,000 participants.

Team member Rachael Hornsey, who also helps to coach the squad, said anticipation has been building ahead of the event.

She said: “We are very excited.

“It’s the biggest festival we’ve ever been to and only the second time we’ve been abroad.

“We went to Italy last year for the Festival de Solle International Gymnastics Festival, near Bologna.

“It was absolutely fantastic and we got a lot of praise for the displays we did.”

The Bürstadt International Festival is staged over four days in the town in central Germany.

The Firebird display team’s routine incorporates dancing, tumbling and general gymnastics and acrobatic skills.

Members of the squad have ages ranging from eight to 21. The team is: Rachael Hornsey, Lauren Fleet, Faye Maynard, Danielle Fisk, Lucy Burnett, Shaunna Morfitt, Aimy Buglass, Aimee Corsling-Kelly, Sophie Phillips, Larna Long, Russell Brodie plus coach Graham Elsley.