A CHIPPENHAM mum who only started gymnastics four years ago, after seeing how much her daughter enjoyed the sport, has finished near the top of a national competition.

Emma Kiely competed across the floor, beam and vault in the Adult Gymnastics British Championships at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire earlier this month.

The 39-year-old came sixth in her age group for the novice category, advancing on her 16th place in 2015 and 12th place in 2016.

Now she hopes her continuing progress will encourage other adults to consider enrolling for classes.

Kiely was introduced to the sport by her daughter Cerys, now aged 12, who trains at Chippenham Moonraker Gymnastics Club at The Olympiad Leisure Centre.

She said: “I’d never done anything more than basic forward rolls and cartwheels when I was a child but always wished that I’d had the opportunity to do more.

“I used to stand on the balcony watching my daughter training below, wanting to know what it was like.

“Then the club started an adult gymnastics class four years ago and I decided to try it. I was rubbish at first but my flexibility and strength improved massively and I gradually became more confident.

“In my first competition in 2015 I came 16th out of 16, but I was still happy - there was a really friendly atmosphere and the gymnasts were all supporting each other and cheering each other, so I entered again in 2016 and finished 12th out of 13.

“This year I moved up an age category but improved again to finish sixth out of 10. I couldn’t believe it.”