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Well-balanced family: We’re learning gymnastics

A FITNESS-LOVING family are stretching themselves during lockdown — they’re learning gymnastics together.

Erica Deacons, eight, has been keeping up her rigorous training regime despite not being able to go to classes — and has got her parents and little brother involved too.

The closest parents Jude and Craig, both 38, had come to gymnastics was dropping their daughter off at lessons, but along with son Campbell, six, they found they had time to have a go.

Standing room only: Craig and Jude shoulder their burdens with a smile PICTURES: SWNS

Erica was putting in a gruelling nine hours of training a week before lockdown, entirely self-motivated.

But with the help of Zoom, she has been able to keep training with Alloa Gymnastics Club, which began running family classes.

Erica, who took up the sport five years ago, has got them doing tumbles and forward rolls as well as trying ambitious formations in the back garden of their home in Alloa, Clackmannshire, Scotland.

Mum-of-two Jude, a community sports manager, was furloughed and admits the situation has given them time to learn and have fun together.

Dad’s weighty issue: The kids keep entertained in the garden

She said: ‘Just to try something new while the virus has given us the time to do it has been fun.

‘It is not about being the best at it, both me and my husband wouldn’t say we’ve acquired much gymnastic skill.

‘We picked up a session around the plank and core work, that was something we could all join in with — we can’t bend as much.

‘The club came up with a family challenge, to allow Erica to have fun and challenge herself, and we joined in.

‘Erica did a routine with her dad in the back garden, then we tried a “family balance” — that was a bit more acrobatic.

‘It’s not like we have mastered a lot of backflips but it’s about giving it a go.’

Jude played basketball competitively and her husband coaches rugby. Little Campbell plays football and rugby but had not tried gymnastics before.

Jude said: ‘We are active people but not in this discipline. But it’s been great being able to learn something with Erica.’

She added: ‘She’s smiling more and we have got more respect for how hard she works. We say, “Can you talk to us the right way up?”.

‘We would never have done this as a family but this time has been a gift and we have given it a go.’