Can you help Finley fund his Team GB Junior Squad ventures?

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Wednesday 22nd June 2022 6:30 am
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Finley Paul.
Finley Paul. (Rachel Vowles )

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A TALENTED local gymnast is such a star that he has been selected to compete with Team GB next month in Portugal.

Finley Paul (16), of Sandford, is currently taking his GCSE’s at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Crediton.

His mum, Rachel Vowles, is now asking people and businesses in the local community if they could support Finley in his journey with Team GB.

She explained: “As long as he has been able to walk Finley has been involved in competitive gymnastics.

“As a younger lad he was part of the South West Gymnastics Squad via Exeter Gym Club and achieved bronze position at the National Age Finals in 2016.

“After a difficult time with a change of coach, Finley moved over to trampoline gymnastics and specifically the double mini trampoline (DMT), an explosive form of gymnastics that involves a long run up (like a gymnastics vault) to a small angled trampoline onto which he jumps and then flies in the air landing in a small boxed space on the other side.

“He now trains with Exeter Trampoline Academy at Sowton in Exeter. He has been training in either artistic or trampoline gymnastics four days-a-week since he was eight years-old, racking up between 12 and 15 hours-a-week 50 weeks-a-year.”

Rachel added: “In the last year has had something of a meteoric rise, being invited to join the Junior England Squad back in September and then being invited to join the Junior Team GB Squad in December.

“We are exceptionally proud of him and all of his hard work in getting to this stage.

“He attends Squad training camps at Lilleshall National Sports Centre near Telford at least six times per year to train with his squad and also frequently visits Olga Gymnastics in Poole where he trains with one of the GB coaches there.

“He has his first competition with Team GB in July this year in Portugal at the Scalabis Cup and is expected to compete for Team GB at the World Championships in Bulgaria in November.”

She added: “As you can imagine it is a costly business for us as parents (we estimate it to be around £10k per year now he is performing as an elite gymnast at national level).

“Over the years we have as a family made many sacrifices to ensure Finley can continue training, we have had no expensive or foreign holidays, missed parties and family events etc to ensure he is able to make essential squad weekend training events and be at competitions and so on.

“We have reached a point as a family where we need to look outside of our own income for some financial support.

“We are only too aware that funds are tight for everyone, especially in the current climate but we are hoping that we might find some local sponsors who would be willing to support Finley on his epic journey with Team GB on the world stage.

“Whether that be by supporting him on a regular basis or by a one off donation to support one aspect of his training journey, maybe by sponsoring a month’s training, the purchase of his GB kit or funding one of his international competitions, we would be so grateful for any support.”

To see Finley in action in a short video, visit: https://youtu.be/-hqdHP3FTL0 .

Finley’s kit for Team GB costs more than £650 and on top of this there are training and travel costs.

Finley, who is also supported by his proud father, Nigel, would be pleased to talk to potential sponsors.

His Crowdfunder already stands at more than £1,300.

Donations can also be addressed to Finley Paul, ℅ Crediton Courier, 102 High Street, Crediton EX17 3LF.

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