A talented rhythmic gymnast is hoping to spin her way to the Commonwealth Games with support from the University of Wolverhampton.
Mimi Cesar, from Sutton Coldfield, is currently in training as she bids to be part of Team England at Gold Coast 2018.
The 22-year-old is combining her training with a BA (Hons) Sports Studies degree, and has been awarded a Sports Scholarship by the University.
Rhythmic gymnastics combines elements of ballet, gymnastics and dance with equipment including a hoop, ball, club or ribbon.
Mimi says: “Rhythmic gymnastics is completely self-funding so the sports scholarship really helps me with travel to competitions and buying equipment. My tutors are also supportive of the time I need to train and travel, and I’ve also received physio and some strength and conditioning sessions at the University.”
Mimi will be one of eight gymnasts competing for three places on the team when the trials start in October.
The final team will be announced in January, with the Commonwealth Games taking place on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, between 4 and 15 April 2018.
The chosen three will take part in both team and individual competitions, with their sights set on a medal to go one better than their achievements at the previous Games.
Mimi, who competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, explains: “We were in third place for the first three rounds but dropped to fourth and it was gutting when we had worked so hard. But everything happens for a reason and it has driven us to get better and get a medal next time.”
The 2012 Junior British Champion says she is also ‘honoured’ to have been selected as a Team England Athletics Ambassador. “Rhythmic gymnastics is quite an unknown sport so to be chosen as an ambassador for my country and my sport is really nice.”
Mimi made the switch to rhythmic gymnasts after seeing the sport at an artistic gymnastics competition when she was younger.
But she admits that she wasn’t very good at first, and had to work hard to improve.
“I told my mum I wanted to have a go at rhythmic gymnastics, but I wasn’t very good to start with – I would throw the equipment up and wonder where it had gone and it would have already landed behind me! I didn’t go into it thinking I would compete for England, but I’m quite hard working and I stuck at it.
“It is difficult, but the hard times make it more of an achievement and I try to turn everything into a positive so I keep moving forward.”
Mimi’s next challenge is the World University Games which are taking place in China in August.
Picture: Mimi Cesar
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Date Issued: Tuesday, 09 May 2017