Joe Fraser Surprises Local Gymnasts With Tickets To WGC2022
Birmingham gymnastics hero Joe Fraser, who won Commonwealth gold in his home city last month, invited a local recreational gymnast to the National Gymnastics Centre in Lilleshall to gift him tickets to the Men’s All-Around Finals for the World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool this October.
During the surprise visit Harry met his idol and was then invited to train with Joe as he prepares for World Championships Trials.
A member of Birmingham Gymnastics Academy, Harry takes part in gymnastics each week and has been inspired by Fraser’s incredible performances during the Commonwealth Games and European Championships. After the Birmingham star first burst onto the scene becoming all-around British champion in his first year as a senior gymnast back in 2017, he has only gone from strength to strength – and is inspiring young people like Harry to get involved and stay in the sport.
Now Harry will get his first experience watching the world’s best at a home World Championships in Liverpool – and will be hoping to see Fraser amongst the elite competition field battling for medals.
Overwhelmed after meeting Joe and knowing he would be going to the highly anticipated World Championships for his first taste of elite international competition, Harry said:
“It’s been so cool to meet Joe – he’s really nice. He showed me a few tricks but I beat him in a handstand competition! I can’t wait to go to the World Championships. I love flipping and doing gymnastics and am really excited to see all of the British team in Liverpool.”
With today marking 50 days to go until the World Championships, Joe Fraser hopes to continue inspiring young people like Harry as he prepares for the World trials – and will be hoping to earn himself another chance to compete in front of a home crowd desperate to see him continue his outstanding form. Fraser said:
“I’ve loved meeting Harry. For me there’s nothing more important than inspiring that next generation of gymnasts at all levels. That’s what I go out and perform for. I want to show that anybody can do gymnastics – it’s such an amazing sport.
“I really hope to be part of the Great Britain team competing in Liverpool next month – we’ll wait and see!”
Steve Cowley, Harry’s father who has delighted to see him progress through the sport and grow in confidence, also praised the positive effect he had seen:
“He's more confident thanks to gymnastics - I think he just enjoys that he's learning things he can do himself. We had to look around at a few different gyms, and then we found Birmingham Gymnastics Academy just by chance and fell in love with it. As soon as he went through the doors, he couldn't wait to start.
“Any suggestion that gymnastics is not a sport for boys has gone. Being so close as a Birmingham-based club, he watches Joe Fraser on YouTube, he loves him as well as a couple of male gymnasts and follows them all the time. It's really important to see them doing well - they're really inspiring him.
“We’re all so excited to be going to the World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool next month.”