World Champion gymnast and JMU alumni Beth Tweddle spoke to JMU Journalism about her time at university and her aims for London 2012.
South African-born Tweddle moved to Cheshire at an early age and after displaying a talent for gymnastics, she joined the renowned City of Liverpool Gymnastics club. Her career has never looked back as she has developed into one of the world’s top gymnasts.
Tweddle graduated from LJMU with a Sports Science degree in 2007, and says that she has many fond memories of her time spent at university.
She said: “I loved being at university. John Moores were very supportive of my career from the word go. I was on a sports scholarship so if I had any clashes with deadlines and competitions they did everything they could to support me.”
A three-time World Champion and five-time European Champion, Tweddle boasts an impressive list of honours. However, she still has one major aim.
The 25-year-old said: “Obviously one goal I still have is 2012. I’ve got every other title to my name apart from an Olympic medal. I’m not fussy, any colour medal will do.”
Tweddle is something of a veteran on the gymnastics scene, which makes her continued dominance all the more surprising. The uneven bars specialist was keen to praise coach Amanda Redding for her success.
She said: “I have a good relationship with my coach, she understands that I’m not the little girl that I used to be and my training style has adapted to that.”
Away from gymnastics, Tweddle is a patron of the Rhys Jones Memorial Fund, which is raising money to build a community centre in memory of 11-year-old Rhys, who was shot dead in Croxteth in 2007. Tweddle spoke of her admiration for the charity and the work they have done to unite the city behind the cause.
She said: “It was tragic what happened to Rhys and obviously he was an Everton fan but it just shows that Liverpool can be united, with both Reds and Blues coming together.”
By Nicholas McGee, Sports Editor
JMU graduate Tweddle has won almost everything in gymnastics and she now wants Olympic success